DepositComposting Feminisms and Environmental Humanities

Composting is a material labor whereby old scraps are transformed—through practices of care and attention—into nutrient-rich new soil. In this provocation, we develop “composting” as a material metaphor to tell a particular story about the environmental humanities. Building on Donna Haraway’s work, we insist “it matters what compostables make compost.” Our argument is twofold. First, we contend that certain feminist concepts and commitments are foundational to the environmental humanities’ contemporary emergence. Second, we advocate for more inclusive feminist composting for the future of our field. We begin with a critical cartography of some of the field’s origin stories. While we discover that feminism is named or not named in several different ways, what most interests us here is a particular trend we observe, whereby key feminist scholars or concepts may be mentioned, but their feminist investments are not incorporated as such. Following this cartography, we dig into the stakes of these missed opportunities. A failure to acknowledge the feminist context that grows some of our field’s foundational concepts neutralizes their feminist politics and undermines the potential for environmental humanities to build alternative worlds. To conclude, we propose feminist composting as a methodology to be taken up further. We call for an inclusive feminist composting that insists on feminism’s imbrication with social justice projects of all kinds, at the same time as we insist that future composting be done with care. Sometimes paying attention to the feminist scraps that feed the pile means responding to feminism’s own potential assimilations and disavowals, particularly in relation to decolonization.

DepositPattern and Decoration and Feminism

This essay examined the relationship between P&D and feminism in American contemporary art. It was part of the exhibition catalogue for the 2018-2020 exhibition “Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise,” co-organized by the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst (Ludwig Forum) and the Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Vienna (mumok) and also exhibited at the Ludwig Múzeum (Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest).

DepositThe Feminized Cross of the Dream of the Rood

The performances of Christ in the text of The Dream of the Rood construct a masculinity for Christ that is majestic, martial, and specifically heterosexual and that relies on a fragile opposition with a femininity defined as dominated Other in the figure of the Cross. His particularly constructed masculinity, explored rather than merely assumed or revered, adds a new dimension of gendered heterosexuality to our understanding of this Old English poem.

DepositCharacterizations of Feminism in Reformed Christian Online Media

The term “culture war” is often used to describe the relationship between evangelical Christianity and movements like feminism. Given the increasing dependence of religious groups on online media, analysis of the discourse therein offers an effective means of examining patterns within Christian discourse about feminism. The current study examines a corpus of 147 articles from a popular online North American Reformed Christian news site, focusing on what feminism is most frequently associated with and counterexamples to these characterizations. Feminism was consistently connected with false theology, breakdown of marriage/traditional gender roles, promiscuity and nontraditional sexuality, abortion, anti-Christian cultural change, and liberal politics. However, a minority of dissenting voices suggests that some are allowed to express cautious support of feminism.

DepositMOOCs 2.0: Reviewing n.paradoxa’s MOOC on Contemporary Art and Feminism

This collaboratively written article explores the pedagogical role of MOOCs today through analysis of a MOOC on contemporary art and feminism, created by Katy Deepwell, editor of the international feminist art journal n.paradoxa. Parme Giuntini offers an updated overview of MOOCs and their increasing value as OERs for faculty and students. Feminist art historians Anne Swartz and Kathleen Wentrack investigate the n.paradoxa MOOC from different, but complimentary perspectives. Wentrack explores the structure, documents, and interactivity of the MOOC as a rich source of feminist material useful to both students and scholars. Swartz addresses Deepwell’s international treatment of transnational feminism at a moment when feminIsm is under worldwide siege.