Volume 19, 2003
Environmental Philosophy as Social Philosophy
Queering the Ecological Body Politic
This paper raises the issue of governmentality in popular environmental understandings of the (human) body. Understood as object-subjects of environmental management, “ecological bodies politic” are increasingly produced and organized by disciplinary discourses that have the (ironic) effect of reifying, enclosing and surveilling corporeal experiences in the world, especially for bodies deemed unruly. This paper thus deploys queer theories of corporeal materialization (Butler), and queer histories of corporeal-ecological abjection, toward a political account of embodiment oriented to creative opening and transgression, rather than the increasingly hysterical bodily managerialism of pollution discourses. This paper also performs, through the transgressive presence of body narratives from dance experiences generated as part of a workshop on Japanese Butoh traditions, the kind of practiced body awareness suggested in the political account.