Doing Away With Community: Thinking Queer Ecological Politics and its Radical Potential
By, Trevor Reddick
The competitive and institutionalized nature of academia has encouraged the cordoning off of studies that have much to offer one another. Constantly producing boundaries and defining rigidly the line between their philosophies, academics have forsaken coalitions and broad-based activism in favor of intensely technical and in many instance futile discussions regarding the inviolability of one’s community. The notion of a closed off area of study that is completely distinct from another is patently false, a nostalgic thinking that dreams of a clean and universal ethic or field of knowledge to smooth over critical failures in mobilizing effective responses to oppression in all its formations. The arbitrariness of the human/non-human animal binary and notions of animality used in critical animal studies, the essentializing use of Nature and Women in environmental studies, and the self-defeating dyad between queer and heteronormativity used in queer theory are examples of how institutionalized and unreflexive academic studies reproduce violent exclusion in the quest to solve it. Totalizing narratives in academia have dulled the revolutionary potential of thought, requiring us to invigorate our thinking with new narratives and ways of telling our stories. My paper will attempt a brief foray into a truly queer, intersectional, counter-monumental politics that affirms rather than denies the erotic Other of academic studies. To examine, unveil, and queer the exclusionary portions of critical animal studies, environmental studies, and queer theory itself will be a strange undertaking, but one that is necessary to think differently and think queerly. My paper will use the works of William Haver, James Stanescu, Timothy Morton, Daniel O’Rourke, and Dana Luciano among others to theorize a critical intersectional politics sufficient to create and sustain hegemonic interventions that eschew traditional communities and create change in new and exciting ways.
Trevor Reddick is a Junior English Major with a Concentration in Rhetoric and Global Culture at Binghamton University. His studies focus mostly on Post-Colonial and Poststructuralist literature which attempt to create new narratives in an age of globalization. He is an avid reader, writer, philosopher, and Captain of Binghamton University’s nationally competitive Speech and Debate Team. He aspires to use his education and critical thinking skills to revolutionize the fields of critical theory and eco-criticism, while actively shaping the world for the better through a career in law.