This special issue of Genders invites essays, reviews, roundtables, and creative work that address the emergent category of “postnature” in the new geological epoch of the Anthropocene. We seek interventions across local and global frameworks that consider the ways postnature is informed by gender identities, norms, discourses, and practices, as well as their socio-political, scientific, popular, and aesthetic regulation. As a disciplinary norm deployed to police the “unnatural,” nature has proved to be a labile signifier used to endorse or discredit a wide spectrum of cultural formations. Narratives of the natural have also been foundational to political "states of nature" theories from Hobbes to Social Darwinism, from Deep Ecology to Neo-Liberalism. Posthumanist and post-anthropocentric positions have more recently propelled the re-examination of received Western discourses about nature (from the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and beyond) through the lenses of non-Western, indigenous, and ecological discourses and practices. Current arguments invoke postnature to reference and revise these histories while acknowledging the escalation of nature’s contamination, mediation, and homogenization through human impacts. At the same time, recent work theorizes how nature’s independent agency eclipses the human, and dwarfs or disorients its scales of meaning. This estranged and estranging mega-agent is also postnatural.
We welcome work that considers any of the following: how has the categorical incoherence of “nature” (as both a set and its contents) led to its reconceptualization, the better to account for its post-binary diversity and mutability? In what ways has postnature been militarized, sacralized, and/or technologized, and with what gendered implications? How have emergent global and local postnatures recast and regendered questions of risk distribution, incommensurabilities of temporal and spatial scales, or environmental justice? How have indigenous, racial, sexual, national, and class-based accounts of nature been impacted by the postnatural, and to what extent are such accounts implicitly or explicitly gendered? Can we speak of postnatural sciences, arts, or states of postnature, for example, and how might they be defined, historicized, and gendered? Are there one or many postnatures, and how have such determinations been influenced by new, gendered materialisms and posthumanisms and their respective ethical challenges to anthropocentrism? To what extent has the belief that women are somehow “closer” to nature—whether diminished by virtue of their bodily processes or elevated by their alleged predisposition for environmental stewardship—changed in response to postnature? Should postnature be equated with post-gender?
Please submit abstracts of no more that 300 words and a short (100 word) biography by February 15, 2017 to Karen.Jacobs@colorado.edu