SQUEEEEEEE! Got good news on my Ecofeminism Comprehensive Exam results — woohooo! ;)

This is such a relief, too. I know everyone tells me it's silly to worry, but nevertheless after turning in such a huge project there's always that little niggling doubt, that voice in the back of my head: did I use personal voice too much? Did I express my ideas well or not? Were they even good ideas? Was I too terse, too simple, too flippant? Now all that worry is gone — yay! My prof was incredibly complementary too! I'm waiting for her permission to quote her email to me, but I will note she said my work was "EXCELLENT"! Needless to say, I'm still dancing! :)

(Later edit: Got permission! Here's what she emailed me — so encouraging! :) "EXCELLENT work on your comp. You're a very gifted writer, and your scholarly writing has become ever more refined over the last couple of years that I've worked with you. You've passed with flying colors.")

I thought printing my chosen book list here might be helpful for both my scholar sisters and anyone interested in Ecofeminism — though I will note these are my preferences; there are many other wonderful books on the subject. However, here's what I read and reported on for my ecofem comps. I've included my subsection title choices, and I've included the articles amongst the book titles. They should be pretty easy to tell apart, though. I'll be posting some of the better book reviews I did (at least in my opinion ;) over the next few weeks as well — enjoy and I hope this is fun and helpful!

Later edit: I've added links in to the various reviews (or the first page of a several-page review) in an attempt to make this more useful. The links will all go live bit by bit as more posts go live each day — be patient, please! ;)  Also, keep in mind that sometimes the reviews will be just a paragraph or two. You have to be really concise, after all, to squeeze 35 or so reviews, plus an essay Introduction and Conclusion, and an Intro and Conclusion for each of three subsections, into only 30 to 50 pages! ;)

Subsection 1: (Re)Embodiment

  1. After Patriarchy: Feminist Transformations of the World Religions, eds. Paula M. Cooey, William R. Eakin, & Jay B. McDaniel (1991)
  2. Aikido and the New Warrior by Richard Strozzi-Heckler (1993)
  3. The Serpent & the Wave: A Guide to Movement Meditation by Jalaja Bonheim (1995)
  4. Through the Earth Darkly: Female Spirituality In Comparative Religion by Jordan Paper (1997)
  5. Sweat Your Prayers: Movement as Spiritual Practice by Gabrielle Roth (1998)
  6. Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance: Awakening Spirituality Through Movement and Ritual by Iris J. Stewart (2000)
  7. "Body, Representation, & Black Religious Discourse" by M. Shawn Copeland in Postcolonialism, Feminist & Religious Discourse, eds. Kwok Pui-Lan & Laura E. Donaldson (2001)
  8. The Frailty Myth: Women Approaching Physical Equality by Collette Dowling (2001)
  9. "Menstruation & Childbirth as Ritual & Religious Experience Among Native Australians" by Rita M. Gross in Unspoken Worlds: Women’s Religious Lives, eds. Nancy Auer Falk & Rita M. Gross (2001)
  10. The Tribal Bible: Exploring the Phenomenon that is American Tribal Style
    by Kajira Djoumahna (2003)
  11. Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete by Alice Walker (2005)
  12. Art is a Spiritual Path: Engaging the Sacred through the Practice of Art and
    by Pat B. Allen (2005)
  13. Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf (2012)

Subsection 2: the Divine Feminine

  1. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine In American Indian Traditions by Paula Gunn Allen (1992)
  2. Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World by Judy Grahn (1994)
  3. Life's Daughter/Death's Bride: Inner Transformations through the Goddess
    by Kathie Carlson (1997)
  4. When the Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm by Layne Redmond (1997)
  5. Rebirth of the Goddess: Finding Meaning in Feminist Spirituality by Carol P. Christ (1998)
  6. Beautiful Necessity: The Art and Meaning of Women's Altars by Kay Turner (1999)
  7. The Spiral Dance: 20th Anniversary Edition by Starhawk (1999)
  8. Women of the Sacred Groves: Divine Priestesses of Okinawa by Susan Sered (1999)
  9. "Mama Lola & the Ezilis: Themes of Mothering & Loving in Haitian Vodou" by Karen McCarthy Brown in Unspoken Worlds: Women's Religious Lives, eds. Nancy Auer Falk & Rita M. Gross (2001)
  10. "When Christ is a Woman: Theology and Practice in the Shaker Tradition" by Susan M. Setta in Unspoken Worlds: Women's Religious Lives, eds. Nancy Auer Falk & Rita M. Gross (2001)
  11. Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice and the Possibilities of a Spiritualized Feminism by Leela Fernandes (2003)
  12. She Who Changes: Re-Imagining the Divine in the World by Carol P. Christ (2004)
  13. Goddesses & the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History by Rosemary Radford Ruether (2006)

Subsection 3: Interrelatedness

  1. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, & the Scientific Revolution by Carolyn Merchant (1990)
  2. WomanSpirit Rising: A Feminist Reader in Religion by Carol P. Christ & Judith Plaskow, eds. (2nd ed. 1992)
  3. Ecofeminism by Maria Mies & Vandana Shiva (1993)
  4. Ecofeminism: Woman, Culture, Nature by Karen Warren, ed. (1997)
  5. Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is & Why It Matters by Karen Warren (2000)
  6. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature by Val Plumwood (1994)
  7. The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit In The Rhythms Of Nature by Starhawk (2005)
  8. Humane Livestock Handling: Understanding Livestock Behavior and Building Facilities for Healthier Animals by Temple Grandin (2008)
  9. Integrating Ecofeminism, Globalization, & World Religions by Rosemary Radford Ruether (2005)
  10. Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren (2002)
  11. "En'owkin: Decision-Making as if Sustainability Mattered," by Jeannette Armstrong in Ecological Literacy, eds. David W. Orr, Michael K. Stone, & Zenobia Barlow (2005)
  12. Relational Reality: New Discoveries of Interrelatedness that are Transforming the Modern World by Charlene Spretnak (2011)
  13. Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism by Irene Diamond & Gloria Feman Orenstein, eds. (1990)
  14. Tending the Soul's Garden: Permaculture as a Way Forward in Difficult Times by Denise Rushing (2nd ed. 2012)

I've been asked which book I liked best, and I had to reply that I couldn't pick just one — for the simple reason that different books moved me deeply on different subjects. Also, different books moved me at different times. For example, Judy Grahn's Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World was a real game-changer for me when I read it for one of my Master's classes. However, if I were to make a Top Five books (plus one article) list right now, then for me some of the most eye-opening books & articles were (in no particular order):

  • Jeannette Armstrong's "En'owkin: Decision-Making as if Sustainability Mattered" — because this is a radical idea that is actually working in multiple communities, which really excites me. I want to help put it in place and see it in action in my community!
  • Val Plumwood's Feminism & the Mastery of Nature — because there's never too much brilliant thinking that really marvelously challenges your worldview out there.
  • Charlene Spretnak's Relational Reality: New Discoveries of Interrelatedness Transforming Modern World — because more brilliant, duh. :)
  • Leela Fernandes' Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice and the Possibilities of a Spiritualized Feminism — because this is amazing stuff that makes me really think and work on my activism.
  • Naomi Wolf's Vagina: A New Biography — because wow this is information about our female bodies that really needs to be commonplace knowledge in this culture! -and finally…
  • Collette Dowling's The Frailty Myth — because I knew women could do a lot more than men told them could do… but I didn't realize just how much more!

So there you have it. Enjoy the reading, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on these books and articles. Namaste! :)

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