Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Phil Condon

Commitee Members

Daniel Spencer, Amy Ratto Parks


domestic violence, hydraulic fracturing, ecofeminism, new mexico, Kali


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Studies | Nonfiction | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Women's Studies


Examining the parallels between violence against the earth and violence against women can reveal the roots of these problems. Hydraulic fracturing and domestic violence, though very different problems on the surface, share multiple core causes. By exposing the environmental and social destruction of both fracking and domestic violence, engaging with a holistic perspective of root problems, rather than the symptoms of such violence, becomes possible.

“Fracture” focuses on two separate and personal narratives involving domestic violence and fracking. These parallel narratives not only illuminate the root causes of these violences, but demonstrate the continuous violence victims experience within a legal system designed to protect perpetrators. However, the scope of the work overall asks readers to consider the meaning of violence and its many other manifestations. The form of the work is fractured as a way of communicating both the connections and the ruptures between the reader and the work, the two main topics, and justice and injustice. “Fracture” incorporates research from sources such as Francis Bacon, Charles Darwin, and Rachel Carson, legal documents and reports currently used in United States courts, and personal interviews with community leaders engaged with the problems of fracking and/or domestic violence. By layering research from a wide range of sources, it is possible to understand the scope of the problem of violence, as well as the commonalities across centuries and research fields.

There are no easy answers or quick-fixes to the systemic violence created by centuries of colonization, industrialization, oppression, and murder. As large as these problems are, the enduring solutions will emerge from individual responses. If individuals are able to recognize the system and their roles within it, healing becomes possible, and with healing the potential for creating a new dynamic within our communities. Though the individual narratives pertaining to fracking and domestic violence are ongoing, and thus, irresolvable, Kali, the Hindu goddess of creation and destruction, emerges within “Fracture” as an embodiment of an alternate, aspirational model for the ways we might revise our relationships with each other and the earth.

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