Alice O'Malley profile

Alice OMalley Woods.jpg

Alice O'Malley

University of Brighton (2023)


Dr Irralie Doel


Towards an ecofeminist ecriture feminine : poetic responses to climate grief under patriarchal and anthropocentric hegemony


Research Questions:

  • How can the concept of an ecofeminist 'ecriture feminine' ('feminine writing') inform the development of a more-than-human methodology that challenges both
    patriarchal and anthropocentric hegemonies?
  • How might this methodology be used to develop creative responses to climate grief, which leverage notions of entanglement while also challenging hegemonic structures of language, as part of a holistic response to the climate crisis?

This thesis uses writing in the form of an ecofeminist ‘ecriture feminine’ - writing centring the language of the oppressed and repressed 'feminised other'. While reflecting on the interconnectedness of anthropocentrism and patriarchy, this thesis presents climate grief as a narrative of entanglements. Recognising hybrid writing as characteristic of ‘ecriture feminine’, I use poetic “autotheory”, a hybrid genre of writing. Inspired by Maggie Nelson’s autotheoretical work ‘The Argonauts’ (2015), I use poetic verse and lyric essays to present accounts of climate grief. Using a more-than-human methodology, walking methods are used to facilitate movement through, and embodiment in, landscapes which invoke personal feelings of loss. This inspires freewriting around intimate narratives of climate grief, conceived of as necessarily entangled with other forms of grief, which is then developed into poetry and lyric essays. Additionally, this autotheory reflects on how ecofeminist philosophy can inform reimaginings of human/non-human entanglements during a time of ecological crisis. As a hybrid creative work, this thesis speaks to a rejection of the construction of binaries central to both an ecofeminist and psychoanalytic feminist approach. I offer two unique contributions in my research: 1. Through the development of a unique more-than-human methodology that synthesises feminist approaches in the concept of an 'ecofeminist ecriture feminine' 2. Through the development of original creative work that presents climate grief as an experience of entanglement, highlighting human/non-human relationality, as well as the interconnectedness of different forms of grief.