Why Ecofeminism Matters

Narrating/translating Ecofeminism(s) around the World


  • Eleonora Federici Università di Ferrara




ecofeminism, translation, narration, reception, web publications


Ecofeminism is a widely encompassing ideology, touching on subjects as diverse as nature-based religion, women’s rights, environmental issues about water, land, and air pollution, wildlife conservation but also the oppression of Third World countries and peoples by Western industrialized nations. A major proposition is that a society based on cooperation and balance rather than dominance and hierarchy is necessary for the survival on this planet of any living being, that is why ecofeminist scholars propose to think about a change in our perspective about a sense of community based on a system of cooperation, ecology, and protection of planet Earth, and not its exploitation and destruction.
As a theoretical and activist movement, ecofeminism emerged in the US context of the 70s and 80s from the intersection of feminist studies and the arising movements for social justice and environmental health. It started as a framework that sought to combine, re-examine and widen these movements. Since then ecofeminism has developed into different directions and spread across the world. When we discuss ecofeminism today we know it is intersectional and global, it shows how women live and act in different geographical, social, political and cultural contexts. My essay wants to examine how ecofeminist ideas have been narrated and translated into various linguistic/cultural contexts since their American beginning and how they have developed, changed and readapted through different textual typologies, from books to newspaper articles, blogs and web publications.


Adams, Carol and Laurie Gruer, edited by. Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with other Animals and the Earth. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Agarwal, Bina. “The Gender and Environment Debate: Lessons from India.” Feminist Studies 18.1 (1992): 119-158.

Alaimo, Stacy. Undomesticated Grounds: Recasting Nature as Feminist Space. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000.

Alaimo, Stacy and Susan Hekman. Edited by. Material Feminisms. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.

Barad, Karen. “Posthumanist Perfomativity: Toward an Understanding of how Matter Comes to Matter.” Material Feminisms. Edited by Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. 120-156.

Bianchi, Bruna. “Introduzione. Il pensiero, il dibattito, le prospettive.” DEP. Deportate, esuli, profughe 20 (2012): 1-30.

Biehl, Janet. Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics. Boston: South End Press, 1991.

Caldecott, Léonie and Stephanie Leland. Reclaiming the Earth: Women Speak out for Life on Earth. New York: The Women’s Press, 1983.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Boston: Riverside Press, 1962.

Chun-hua, Lv, and Wang Ziyan. “Carolyn Merchant's View of Nature from the Perspective of Ecofeminism.” Proceedings of the 2018 2nd International Conference on Management, Education and Social Science (ICMESS 2018). Edited by Xiaonan Xiao and Huijuan Xue. Paris: Atlantis Press, 2018. 1659-1661.

Diamond, Irena and Gloria Feman Ornstein. Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1990.

Door, Jorgen and Dorte Bay Madsen. “Food for Thought—Metabolism and Metaphors.” Sustaining Language: Essays in Applied Ecolinguistics. Edited by Alwin Fill and Hermine Penz. Wien Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2007. 267-278.

Gaard, Greta. Critical Ecofeminism. Lanham: Lexington books, 2017.

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Griffin, Susan. Woman and Nature: The Roaring inside Her. San Francisco: Berkeley Counterpoint, 2016.

Griswold, Eliza. “How Silent Spring Ignited the Environmental Movement.” The New York Times Magazine 23 September 2012. nytimes.com/2012/09/23/magazine/how-silent-spring-ignited-the-environmental-movement.html. Last visited 30/10/2022.

Kellerer, Fatimah. “Why the World Needs an African Ecofeminist Future.” Convention on Biological Diversity 3 (March 2019). cbd.int/kb/record/newsHeadlines/120330?Subject =GEND.

Merchant, Carolyn. Earthcare: Women and the Environment. New York: Routledge, 1996.

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Phillips, Mary and Nick Rumens. Contemporary Perspectives on Ecofeminism. London: Routledge, 2015.

Plant, Judith. Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1989.

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Tabary, Zoe. “Climate Change a ‘Man-made Problem with a Feminist Solution’ says Robinson.” Reuters (June 2018). https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-climatechange-women-idUSKBN1JE2IN Last visited 15/12/2022.

Tuana, Nancy. “Viscous Porosity: Witnessing Katrina.” Material feminisms (2008): 188-213.