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 Featured Title
This Elusive Land
Women and the Canadian Environment
Melody Hessing   Rebecca Raglon   Catriona Sandilands  

$87.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 12/1/2004
ISBN: 9780774811064    

$36.95 Paperback
Release Date: 7/1/2005
ISBN: 9780774811071    

408 Pages


About the Book

This Elusive Land introduces readers to women’s perceptions and experiences of the Canadian natural environment. This multidisciplinary anthology discusses the ways in which women integrate the social and biophysical settings of their lives, featuring a range of contexts and issues in which gender mediates, inspires, and informs a sense of belonging to and in this land. In particular, the historical association of women with "domestic" nature is challenged by the investigation of women’s lives in a broad range of environments.

The collection begins with an introduction to literatures on women and the environment, and to Canada within ecological feminist conversations. The first section discusses the invisibility of women in traditional accounts of Canada's exploration and settlement, pointing to the literary, historical, and geographic significance of women's experiences in a variety of landscapes. Section two develops the ways in which the natural environment is a source of social and economic livelihood, with particular emphasis on fishery, forestry, agriculture, and parks. The third section explores environmental politics through a feminist perspective. The book concludes with a discussion of new directions for a culturally and ecologically diverse Canadian environment.

This book contributes to women’s studies through its environmental focus; informs environmental studies with a range of feminist perspectives; and complements Canadian studies by integrating disciplinary perspectives of the Canadian experience from the humanities and social sciences.

About the Author(s)

Melody Hessing is a member of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Douglas College.

Rebecca Raglon teaches in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia.

Catriona Sandilands is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and Canadian Research Chair in Sustainability and Culture at York University.

Table of Contents

Table of contents information is not available at this time.


This book addresses a very important subject and makes a significant contribution to the field, in view of the accelerating global ecological crisis and the recent ratification of the Kyoto Accord. There is no other volume that bring together a variety of gendered perspectives on ecological and environmental issues in Canada.
-- Diana M.A. Relke, University of Saskatchewan

This exhaustively-researched anthology reviews the experiences of women in their relation to the Canadian environment. It is meant to stress our dependence on the natural environment. The essays note the handicaps women faced via their marginalization but give constructive suggestions on their role in supporting and saving the environment. An excellent reference text.
-- Ron MacIsaac, The Lower Island News, May 2006

This Elusive Land marks a new stage in Canadian environmental thought …[and] will be of interest to a wide range of scholars in environmental studies, ecocriticism, women’s studies, and Canadian studies. The collection presents an impressive multidisciplinary array, including chapters by sociologists, literary critics, geographers, planners, a religion scholar, and a community activist with a background in conservation ecology… This Elusive Land succeeds in drawing together a substantial body of feminist work that takes place under different disciplinary banners and showing how it contributes to a common project. These essays push Canadian environmental thought in new directions (particularly in the areas of resource communities, wilderness and national parks, and queer studies), toward greater appreciation of multidisciplinary intersections and the importance of gender analysis, and toward more theoretical sophistication.
--Cheryl Lousley, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Vol. 13, No. 2, Summer 2006

This Elusive Land is an important text as an introduction to both ecofeminist theory and women's representation (or under-representation) in environmental and social politics in Canada…Multidisciplinarity coupled with varied ecofeminist positions are what make This Elusive Land a particularly strong collection…I recommend reading This Elusive Land in its entirety from beginning to end…[it will] remain a valuable text as one of the first in Canada to bring together a variety of voices and methods on issues pertaining to women, ecology and the Canadian environment.
--Lisa Sara Szabo, Canadian Literature #191, Winter 2006

This Elusive Land is a broad-ranging multidisciplinary collection. The editors bring a critical approach to one of the nagging questions underlying the study of gender and the environment: how to build upon ecofeminist analysis.

There is a west coast feel to both the subject matter and the feminism of this collection that will appeal to students and the general reader.
- Joanna Dean, Environmental History Journal, Volume 12, Number 4, October 2007

Sample Chapter


Related Topics

Environmental Studies
Women's Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of This Elusive Land from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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