Feminist Ecologies, Relational Ontologies and Critical Eco-Pedagogies: Disrupting the Humanist Paradigm in Further and Higher Education

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This paper will explore the extent to which feminist concepts focusing on a relational ‘ontology of dis/oreintation’ (Rogowska-Stangret, 2021) can be leveraged to develop critical eco-pedagogies within education. The paper examines key concepts elaborated by feminists around the politics of care (Tronto, 2013) and feminist political ecologies, which are combined with the insights of an integrative and intersectional feminist contemporary psychotherapy (Madden, 2023). Feminist political ecologies have long-since been engaged with examining everyday practices of social difference, environmental change, reparative climate justice and political economies across different personal, local and global scales, critically exploring intersectional political and social relations between society and nature (WEGO-ITN, 2022). Moreover, because it sees body, gender, nature and society as being relational and interconnected, it has rejected Cartesian ontological dualities. Here, anti-colonial, indigenous, feminist and queer theories and praxis have sought to disrupt dominant paradigms that continue to underpin environmental campaigns in the Global North. Feminist political ecologies have been key to advancing relational frameworks for planetary health in terms of an anti-capitalist politics and ethics of relationality, care, responsibility, friendship and ‘companioning’ (Haraway, 2003). The paper will briefly map out this wider terrain before looking specifically at what some of these concepts and approaches might mean and how they can be applied in ways that can challenge the humanist paradigm as well as some of the settled ideological assumptions that have taken root within neo-liberal further and higher education in the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2023
Event On Relationalities: Politics, Narrative, Sociality - University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Apr 20235 Apr 2023


Conference On Relationalities: Politics, Narrative, Sociality
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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