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K-State Today

October 12, 2016



Gender studies professor publishes article in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

By Valerie Padilla Carroll

Valerie Padilla Carroll

Valerie Padilla Carroll, professor in the gender, women, and sexuality studies department, published the article, "The Radical Possibilities of New (Feminist, Environmentalist) Domesticity: Housewifery as an Altermodernity Project," in the Winter 2016 of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.

This article examines three books that promote this environmentalist, feminist and radical domesticity:

  • "Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front," by Sharon Astyk, a political analysis of peak oil, which calls for cultural and economic adaptation to the end of American empire through the re-centralization of family and home.
  • "Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture," by Shannon Hayes, an ethnographic examination and collection of interviews about the lives of the women and men who reject capitalism.
  • Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life," a collectively written chronicle authored primarily by Kingsolver that documents her family's yearlong project to abandon industrialized food.

In this article, Padilla Carroll shows that the radical possibilities of new domesticity as an environmentalist and feminist altermodernity project can be read as an anti-capitalist environmental activism that embraces a global vision of sustainability based on reciprocity and care.

Drawing from Michael Hardt's and Antonio Negri's work on affective labor and altermodernity, this article argues that even while new domesticity emerges from these authors' privileged positions, as a feminist and environmentalist altermodernity project, new domesticity has the potential to be a potent revolutionary activism.