This Elusive Land
408 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2005
Release Date:01 Dec 2004
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

This Elusive Land

Women and the Canadian Environment

UBC Press

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.

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
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.
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 an associate professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and Canadian Research Chair in Sustainability and Culture at York University.
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