Environmental studies department seeks applicants with 'ecofeminism' background

In addition to having a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the university suggests that applicants have backgrounds research topics like "ecofeminism" or "posthumanism."

A private college in Maine is seeking an Environmental Studies professor with some very specific suggested qualifications.

One private Maine college not only requires that the newest addition to its environmental studies program be a champion of “equity and inclusion,” but also hopes that he or she may have some research background in “posthumanism,” “ecofeminism,” or “queer ecologies.”

Bates College has just begun an active search for a new assistant professor for its environmental studies program. The job description suggests that applicants have research backgrounds in various fringe disciplines, including “decolonizing environmentalism” and “feminist environmentalism.”

Bates advertises its environmental studies department as one that “encompasses a broad range of issues” involving the “interaction of humans with both the natural world and built environments.” The description of the department includes a claim that “students must think beyond existing disciplinary boundaries” in order to fully understand environmental issues.

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The newest addition to the department would be a professor who is involved in the performing or studio arts, literature, or cultural studies, and who is “attentive to hierarchies of power and privilege.” The university hopes this individual will “offer cross-cultural and/or transnational perspectives on environmental traditions.”

Applicants are expected to highlight their commitment to “equity and inclusion, social and cultural diversity, and the transformative power of our differences.”

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The department notes that potential research areas for its new professor “are open,” but lists various suggestions, such as “ecocriticism and nature writing,” “queer ecologies,” “indigenous and post-colonial/decolonial/decolonizing environmentalisms,” “ecofeminism/feminist environmentalism,” and “posthumanism and animal studies.”

What is Posthumanism? author and Rice University professor Cary Wolfe has defined “posthumanism” in the context of animal studies as a discipline rejecting the traditional concept of the “humanities” in its recognition of humans as separate from other living beings. Instead, “posthumanities” asks if it is possible to “reject the classic humanist divisions of self and other, mind and body, society and nature, human and animal, organic and technological?” 

The successful candidate will be charged with teaching five courses and providing academic advising to students. Employment would begin in August 2020.

Campus Reform reached out to the college for comment, but did not receive a comment in time for publication. 

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