Portland State ‘Queer Ecologies’ Course Will Instruct Students on ‘Queering Science’

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Portland State University professor Peter Boghossian tweeted an image showcasing the details for a class at the school, entitled, “Queer Ecologies,” which will encourage students to start “rethinking the nature of nature.” Some of the topics that will be discussed in the course include “Queering settler colonialism” and “Queering science,” among others.

“This class uses a queer lens to understand bodies, places and the environment,” reads the description for Portland State University’s course, “Queer Ecologies.”

Portland State assistant professor of philosophy Peter Boghossian tweeted an image of a flyer disseminating the details of the class on Tuesday.

“Queer Ecologies – Rethinking the Nature of Nature,” reads the flyer’s headline.

“We explore how gender, sexuality, and queer experience and identity intersect with race, class, disability, and settler colonialism to construct bodies and places as ‘natural’ and the role that science plays in defining ‘nature,'” elaborates the description.

The topics that will be examined include the following:

  • Queer Bodies
  • Queer settler colonialism
  • Queer environmental politics
  • Disability and queer environments
  • Queering Science
  • Queer Animals
  • Queer Environmental Futurity

“WGSS faculty member Lisa Weasel will challenge students to consider how places, people, and practices come to be understood as ‘natural,'” elaborates the school’s website of the class. “What counts as ‘nature,’ and who has access and belonging there? How are categories and discourses of nature and the natural used in both liberatory and oppressive ways?”

“Students will explore the ways in which gender and sexualities have been central in defining what counts as natural for people, places, and practices in both local and global contexts,” adds the description. “Finally, they will be asked to use queer theory to re-envision and re-imagine nature, bodies, and environments.”

According to the university’s website, the course is taught by Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) department chair and biology professor Lisa Weasel, who obtained her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Cambridge in 1993.

Professor Weasel’s interests include, “public engagement with science; global ethics and equity issues in applied bio- and nanotechnologies; feminist science studies; feminist pedagogies; participatory and qualitative methodologies; inter-sectionality and food justice,” according to her university biography.

Students can earn four academic credits toward an accredited degree by taking the “Queer Ecologies” course at Portland State University.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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