We are familiar already with how glaciers are misgendered, but now we can learn about how to get intimate with… mountains.
A graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bryanne Young, suggests just such a course.
Let us, again, state the usual elements of these “academic” papers: Feelz over Realz; blaming Whites, men, straights, &c. for the problem (the more intersectional, the better); and, of course, heavily reiterating the work of others.
For a taste of the insanity, the Abstract:
“This essay engages feminist science studies and theories of performativity to inject with dynamism familiar figurations of static being. Through the modalities of ethnographic writing, memory, and embodied experience, I enact a lively engagement with Canada’s Rocky Mountains. By shifting the way we understand this unique, constitutive feature of the Canadian West, I suggest an approach to ethics that expands categories of agency, disaggregating it from realms of human exceptionalism. Through the analytic of performativity, I attend to the dynamic and agentive capacity/ies of glacial bodies, mountains, and lichen—nonhuman bodies considered passive and inert by prevailing epistemologies—to make/materialize meaning. I animate the argument that what we call nature is not a passive, immutable surface on which culture is inscribed, but rather is the production of active, agential practices, each containing divergent wills to power immanent with the capacity to make cuts of their own. The aim of this writing is to think through how mountains, and other such complex living systems, might pose a necessary series of questions to prevailing epistemologies and systems of epistemological capture.”
Right out of the gate, the author invokes not just natural and scientific elements, but something akin to a spiritual longing, when it comes to mountains:
“It is marked by spatio-temporal longing and the hope of return as well as the psychical/physical impressions left on the body of actually having been there”
Lady, it’s called having an acid flashback. To try to keep the reader from getting too drawn in, some mood music will be included…
“Furthermore, it can productively work to deconstruct what physicist and philosopher Karen Barad (2003) calls the thingification of the world: the deadening transfiguration of phenomena and relationality into a static series of objects/things.2 By engaging what I call a posthuman performativity, whose point of origin is latent in Judith Butler’s earliest elaborations of the concept, I interrogate and revitalize static concepts of embodiment, agency, relationality, and materiality. My aim in doing so is to contribute a useful theoretical framework for developing more nuanced understandings of bodies and embodiment, pointing to the necessity of taking seriously the materializing epistemological cuts we enact when we frame our understanding of the world.”
Ah, the type of “nuance” one gets by dropping enough acid to make the late Syd Barrett say “WTF?!”
So, rather than study nature by natural laws and the scientific method, the author suggests we ignore the oppressive realz for the liberating feelz.