Environmental Ethics

Volume 14, Issue 4, Winter 1992

Peter Quigley
Pages 291-306

Rethinking Resistance
Environmentalism, Literature, and Poststructural Theory

I argue that with the advent of poststructuralism, traditional theories of representation, truth, and resistance have been seriously brought into question. References to the “natural” and the “wild” cannot escape the poststructural attack against foundational concepts and the constituting character of human-centered language. I explore the ways in which environmental movements and literary expression have tended to posit pre-ideological essences, thereby replicating patterns of power and authority. I also point to how environmentalism might be reshaped in light of poststructuralism to challenge power without reference to authority.