Year of Award

2020

Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Sustainable Food and Farming

Department or School/College

College of Humanities and Sciences

Committee Chair

Neva Hassanein

Commitee Members

Phil Condon, Elizabeth Dove

Keywords

intersectional ecofeminism, sustainable agriculture, storytelling, gendered agriculture, food justice, artistic languages

Publisher

University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Studies

Abstract

There is a disconnect in Western academia, between classroom conversations concerning the impact of environmental degradation on rural communities, and engagement with those communities whom we are discussing. Those working in environmental studies are confronted with the question of how to effectively communicate the concerns addressed by the field in ways which are accessible to, and engage broader audiences. Creative languages such as the visual arts, storytelling, and music are invaluable tools in this task because they offer accessible and culturally relevant means of conveying ideas, perspectives, and experiences. This project examines the ways in which these creative languages contribute to effective communication and knowledge sharing in social environmental movements. Utilizing a critical ecofeminist lens, it also emphasizes women’s role and knowledge as creative makers and food producers, and seeks to amplify their historically marginalized voices. This project shares the experiences of women working in the areas of both agriculture and art, documents and interprets these stories to find connections between the two areas, and uses the connections discovered to expand the languages employed in environmental discourse. It demonstrates that ecofeminist theory, sustainable farming, and artistic practices are integrally linked by their shared ability to support the processes of storytelling, building place and identity, addressing social dynamics, and deconstructing dualisms. Pairing conceptual portraits with written accounts of 10 participants' narratives, this qualitative research study explores how the creative and emotional languages expressed through sustainable agriculture and artistic practices serve as tools in confronting and healing myriad issues across personal, public, and socio-ecological spheres.

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© Copyright 2020 Aubrey Pongluelert