10 Mar 2022 17:00 - 19:00 Online


An event organised by the Global Conversations Towards Queer Social Justice research network.

Download the event poster

Theme 4: Queer ecological justice

‘Whose relatives, including other-than-humans, will thrive and whose will be laid to waste?’
(Kim TallBear, Making Love and Relations Beyond Settler Sex and Family, 2018, p. 147)



‘Perhaps queer theory has always been a theory of extinctions.’
–Neel Ahuja, ‘Intimate Atmospheres’

‘How does one mourn in the midst of a culture that finds it almost impossible to recognize the value of what has been lost?’
–Cate Sandilands, ‘Melancholy Natures, Queer Ecologies’

We are delighted to be joined by two highly influential scholars of queer ecologies. In this reading and discussion group with Dr Neel Ahuja and Professor Cate Sandilands, we will discuss how their engagements with queer theory and practice have influenced their approaches to ecological justice and vice versa. We will explore the shifts in their work between the micropolitics of interspecies entanglements to the planetary scale of environmental destruction. Ahuja and Sandilands push back against the fetishization of nature to think through nuanced temporalities of life and death amidst commodity capitalism, ecotourism, and the persistence of racism and colonial attitudes in environmentalist theory and praxis.

Main readings for the session:

  • Neel Ahuja’s ‘Intimate Atmospheres: Queer Theory in a Time of Extinction’ (2015) GLQ 21:2-3, 365-385
  • Cate Sandilands’s chapter ‘Melancholy Natures, Queer Ecologies’ from the volume Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire (2010) that she co-edited with Bruce Erickson in 2010 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press) pp. 331-358

Further reading (more recent work by the authors):

  • Neel Ahuja’s ‘Animal Death as National Debility: Climate, Agriculture, and Syrian War Narrative’, New Literary History, Volume 51, Number 4, Autumn 2020 pp.855-874
  • Cate Sandilands’s ‘Mulberry Intimacies and the Sweetness of Kinship’ (draft available on academia.edu)

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk