Guest Editorial: Women Writing Ecology

http://www.setumag.com/2016/07/author-sangeeta-sharma.html
Sangeeta Sharma
First of all, I would like to thank the editors of Setu Bilingual Journal for giving me this opportunity of guest-editing this special section on a topic that has come to engage the entire world-community. In the last 15 years or so Eco-Criticism writing and activism have come to dominate the collective consciousness and global conversations.

The teen-sensation Greta Thunberg has put some honest and bold questions to the top political leadership of the world. This collection of research articles and creative pieces continue the tradition of exploring this broad theme and global concerns. It is a right mix of theory, literary criticism and creativity. These contributors have raised some vital questions. Women play a major role in the ecology and the environment of a given area. Their nurturing capabilities are unique and they have shown the world a way out through activism and conservation efforts. The Chipko movement was a grand success and similar movements have been witnessed across the world.

Right from time immemorial man has been changing the face of Nature and not always has he done it to the ultimate advantage of the earth or himself. Man has, in fact, destroyed more than necessary.
In his struggle to live and extract the most out of earth, man has destroyed many species of wildlife and also the forests. Industrialization started this process. And excessive consumption of natural resources has depleted them and green house effect is there. The recent bushfires, hurricanes, drought and excessive rains testify to the present and clear danger of extreme climate change. If there is no earth there will not be any life.

Dr. Rajshree Trivedi applies the principles of ecopsychology, a branch of psychology, to the reading of Mahasweta Devi’s short stories anthologized in Bitter Soil.

Dr. S. Sridevi in her paper titled: Contemporary Women Nurturing Family in Urban Dwelling: Yoshimoto analyses the novella Kitchen as a metaphysical journey into sustenance and energy creation.

Dr. B. V. Saraswathy in her paper: Reading Arab Women’s Literature through Intersectionality aims to demonstrate how an intersectional reading of the novel reveals the gender dynamics and social change in Oman and the importance of this novel as a palimpsest.
Dr. Debarati Das analyses the writings of Temsula Ao and Easterine Iralu of the northeastern region. Temsula Ao through her poems shows the necessity to safeguard and nurture Mother Nature for our posterity.
In her memoir, Greece-based Roula Pollard, informs the readers about the various campaigns she took up right from her childhood as an environmental activist.

Dr. (Smt.) G.D. Ingle through her paper entitled ‘Ecological Concerns and Novelistic Art of Virginia Woolf’s ‘The Voyage Out’, testifies Woolf’s ecological concerns as reflecting in the content and in the formal aspects of the novel. She exemplifies how Woolf accords superior status to nature, portrays it as independent of human beings, humanizes Nature and demands that she be treated with respect.

Dr. Shweta Tiwari, through Anita Desai’s Fire on the Mountain, seeks to foreground theoretical loopholes in ecofeminism and that the relationship between women and nature is not absolute but ambivalent.

Dr. Lakshami Muthukumar attempts to present eco-fiction as a genre that offers great potential for amateur writers of fiction. Dr. Ancy Eapen’s research throws light on the contribution of women in ecological and biodiversity conservation and Sampale Jyoti Digambar analyses Eco-Feminism and the role of women as preservers.

Overall, these are some of the enduring concerns and visions articulated by these scholars.
A lot has to be done in this expanding field.

- Sangeeta Sharma

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