Queering ecology: (Re)Constructing ecology as a home to better understand the social-ecological pressures of wildlife

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Cesar Omar Estien


Homes are intimate spaces where many bodies come together in space and time to deeply learn and understand the many processes that have created one another. Ecology, the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment, is based on the study of a home. Yet, ecologists are trained in patriarchal, heteronormative, and otherwise Western articulations and understandings of nature that prevent access to this ecological home. In this article, I argue that through (re)constructing ecology as a home, ecologists can better understand the social and ecological processes that shape an organism. To do this, I dissect conflict with wildlife as a concept that reinforces taxonomical hierarchies and prevents humans from making a home with wildlife. I then leverage queer theory to flatten taxonomical hierarchies and create a landscape that invites the (re)construction of ecology as a home-making discipline. I then sit within the ecological home to examine urban wildlife and the environmental pressures they are subjected to – using the urban coyote as an example. This work leverages Queerness to collapse taxonomical hierarchies and push traditional ecology towards a boundless relationality with wildlife to more holistically understand the various social and ecological pressures that ultimately create their phenotype.




Arts and Humanities


queer theory, intimacy, kinship, queer ecology, interspecies relationships, human-wildlife relations, Canis latrans


Published: 2023-06-01 20:53

Last Updated: 2023-11-11 21:55

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