In 2002, Constance Russell, Tema Sarick, and Jacqueline Kennelly wrote what was arguably the first foray into queer theory in environmental education (EE) research, drawing scholarly attention to the potential “in explicitly and actively ‘queering’ environmental education” (2002, p. 55). Shortly thereafter, Gough, Gough, Applebaum, Doll, and Sellers, invited environmental educators to walk the difficult path of exposing and “queer(y)ing” the field’s “heteronormative constructedness” by visiting the imaginary Camp Wilde (Gough et al., 2003, pp. 44-45). However, a period of silence followed these important calls for applying and performing queer theory within environmental education research and scholarship. Ten years later, in 2013, Joshua Russell took up the theme once again, seeking to (re)orientate environmental educators toward the liberatory potentials of pedagogies that emphasize queer experiences with nature, animality, and “environment.” With the addition of articles published in the Journal of Environmental Education’s more recent special edition on gender (Adsit- Morris & Gough, 2017; Bazzul & Santavicca, 2017) there is clearly a renewed interest in queer theory among environmental education scholars.
This proposed volume seeks to build on the momentum surrounding queer work within EE, while also encouraging cross-pollination between environmental education research and the growing bodies of literature dedicated to queer (de)constructions of categories such as “nature,” “environment,” and “animality” (e.g., Barad, 2011; Chen, 2012; Chisholm, 2010; Gaard, 1997; Gaard, 2011; Gandy, 2012; Garrard, 2010; Giffney & Hird, 2008; Krupar, 2012; Mortimer-Sandilands, 2005; Mortimer-Sandilands & Erickson, 2010; Morton, 2010; Sandilands, 2002; Seymour, 2013). The book will be comprised of submissions that engage with the existing literatures of queer ecology, queer theory, and various explorations of sexuality and gender within the context of human-animal-nature relations. It is the editor’s hope that continued commitments to queer pedagogical investigation can further diversify environmental education research as well as provide new directions for both scholarship across a variety of EE contexts. In addition, the editor hopes to encourage authors to engage with queer readings of pedagogy as (dis)orientating, with the potential for establishing counter hegemonic practices that challenge dominant and destructive views of bodies, nature, and community.
The scope of this book will be multi- or interdisciplinary in order to cast a wide net around what kinds of spaces, relationships, and practices are considered educational, pedagogical, or curricular. The volume invites chapter submissions that are conceptual, theoretical, empirical, or any combination of these approaches.