Call for Proposals

Special issue of Gender and Education:

“Ecofeminisms and Education: Repositioning Gender and Environment in Education”

Guest editors: Annette Gough (RMIT University, Australia), Yi Chien Jade Ho (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Teresa Lloro (California State Polytechnic University Pomona, USA), Constance Russell (Lakehead University, Canada), Shirley Walters (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), & Hilary Whitehouse (James Cook University, Australia)


The notion of “ecofeminism” has been around for nearly 50 years,1 and has enjoyed a resurgence around the world in recent times, with scholarship found in diverse disciplines and interdisciplines.2  A similar pattern can be seen in education, with a spurt of writing on ecofeminism and education in the late 1990s and early to mid-2000s,3  followed by a mostly fallow period (with a couple of exceptions4), then a burst of activity in the past 10 years.5

This resurgence mirrors renewed interest in gender more generally in the environmental education field, which was in part spurred on by two special issues of the Journal of Environmental Education (see Gough, Russell & Whitehouse, 2017; Russell, Gough, & Whitehouse, 2018) that drew on a range of feminist theories and helped place gender back on the agenda (Gough & Whitehouse, 2019). Perhaps one of the reasons ecofeminism is now being rethought and repositioned in education is also related to the growing interest in theoretical approaches that have significant overlaps, such as intersectionality, feminist new materialisms, and posthumanisms (Gough & Whitehouse, 2020; Lloro-Bidart, 2018; Lloro-Bidart & Finewood, 2018).

At play, too, is the sense of urgency many feel in response to the climate emergency and other problems associated with the Anthropocene that may have sparked, as Gaard (2011) suggests, renewed interest in an approach that “frames these issues in such a way that people can recognize common cause across the boundaries of race, class, gender, sexuality, species, age, ability, nation—and affords a basis for engaged theory, education, and activism” (p. 44). For example, Dineo Skosana and Jacklyn Cock (2020), from their study of Black working-class women's responses to the climate crisis and Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in mining-affected communities in South Africa, suggest that these women are engaged in ecofeminist practice even if not all label it as such, highlighting their "respect for nature which goes beyond the expansionist logic of capitalism which reduces nature to a store of resources for profit" (p. 2) and the solidaristic and communal nature of their actions.

While ecofeminism has been discussed sporadically in environmental education for close to 30 years, we note that these conversations have only occasionally reached beyond those particular circles in education. One of the goals of this Special Issue of Gender and Education, then, is to broaden the conversations. This journal publishes articles that consider how gender shapes and is shaped by social, cultural, discursive, affective, and material dimensions of difference and seeks to generate multi-disciplinary and critical discussions of the complex interplay of gender and education across all educational sites and forms within a lifelong learning approach. It has long had "social justice" as an overarching goal, and it is our hope that this Special Issue will illuminate how climate justice, environmental and ecological justice, planetary justice, animal justice, Indigenous land sovereignty, and other such frames can expand ideas about the "social" beyond the human, in ways that are generative for readers of this journal.

As one way to spark potential papers that align with the Special Issue, we have developed a list of initial questions about how ecofeminisms have, or could, inform educational theory and practice. Of course, this is far from an exhaustive list, and other contributions that address the main themes are most welcome.

·     How is ecofeminist thought currently being taken up in practice in diverse educational sites (e.g., early childhood, elementary, secondary and higher education, informal, community and adult education, activist learning, social learning, public pedagogies)?

·     How does ecofeminist-inspired education, training, or activist pedagogies perpetuate and/or disrupt dominant ideologies about gender and the marginalization of diverse voices?

·     What affinities and tensions are at play between ecofeminisms and feminist new materialisms, intersectionality, and/or posthumanism, and what might these imply for gender and education?

·     How could critical environmentally-oriented education movements and subfields (e.g., climate justice education, common worlds pedagogies, critical animal-focused education, critical food education, environmental justice education, Land education, queer ecopedagogies, etc.) be more informed by ecofeminism, and what directions could that take those fields?

·     What could ecofeminisms contribute to queer feminisms and what could queer feminisms contribute to ecofeminisms in the context of educational practice and theory?

·     How are the hyper-accelerating changes in environmental conditions in specific locales around the world affecting women, girls, and those who identify as nonbinary and genderfluid, and what roles might ecofeminist education initiatives play in response?

·     What insights might ecofeminisms offer for understanding the complex relationships between gender, environmentalism, colonialism and anti-colonialism, particularly in post-colonial and settler-colonial educational contexts?  

·     What can be learned from historical and contemporary ecofeminist thought, perhaps especially in light of debates around "strategic essentialisms"?

Submission Process

The guest editors welcome theoretical and empirical papers from contributors that align well with the CFP and the aims and scope of Gender and Education. We welcome submissions by sole authors, multiple authors, and feminist collectives, and from diverse disciplines, interdisciplines, and transdisciplines. The working language of the collection is English, as is the refereeing and editing process.

To begin, we seek proposals of up to 1,000 words (plus references) by 30 November, 2022. Please email these directly to the guest editors ( Proposals should crystallise the key arguments of the proposed paper and map out how the aims of the paper will be achieved. Accepted proposals will be those deemed most likely to:

·    have a focus and content in line with the CFP;

·    make a significant, innovative, or creative contribution to theoretical, methodological, and/or practical understandings of ecofeminisms, gender, and education;

·    have a coherent research method/scholarly approach, arguments, and conclusions; and

·   be understood by an international audience.

Invitations to submit a full paper will be sent to selected authors by 15 December 2022.

Complete draft manuscripts should be a maximum of 8,000 words (including references) and will be due by 15 March 2023.

Consult the following for the aims and scope of Gender and Education and guidelines for manuscript preparation: Publisher guidance is available at:

Final acceptance of an article is conditional upon peer review assessments and the decision of the Guest Editors and Journal Editors. We anticipate publishing the special issue in late 2023 or early 2024, with accepted articles published online in advance as ready.

For further information or to submit a proposal abstract, please email:


1. Ecofeminism emerged in the 1970s, with the term first being used by Francoise D’Eaubonne (1974). Its roots were in activist social movements of the time, particularly women-led anti-nuclear and peace movements, alongside growing recognition of the lack of attention to gender and sexism in environmental and animal advocacy groups (Gaard, 2011; Phillips & Rumens, 2016). Scholars were also beginning to attend to “the convergence of ecology and feminism," working to develop "a new social theory and political movement [that] challenges gender relations, social institutions, economic systems, sciences, and views of our place as humans in the biosphere” (Lahar, 1991, p. 28).

2. For example, Adams & Gruen, 2022; Brownhill & Turner, 2019; Di Chiro, 2021; Estévez-Saá & Lorenzo-Modia, 2018; Foster, 2021; Gaard, 2015; Graness, 2018; Grosse, 2018; Husein et al., 2021; Jabeen, 2020; Konik, 2018; Liu, 2022; Lloro-Bidart & Finewood, 2018; MacGregor, 2021; Phillips & Rumens, 2016; Rahman, 2019; Sempértegui, 2021; Vakoch, 2022; Wei, 2018.

3. For example, in chronological order, Russell & Bell, 1996; Gough, 1999; Houde & Bullis, 1999; Schwartz, 1999; Fawcett, 2000; Fry, 2000; Hallen, 2000; Fawcett, Bell & Russell, 2002; Gough, 2004; Gardner & Riley, 2007.

4. For example, Harvester & Blenkinsop, 2011; Spencer & Nicholls, 2010.

5. For example, Appleby & Pennycook, 2017; Bakhmetyeva, 2021; Berger, 2020; Bhutia & Liarakou, 2018; Chattopadhyay, 2019; Echegoyen-Sanz & Martín-Ezpeleta, 2021a, 2021b; Fahs, 2015; Fawcett, 2013; Gough, 2013; Gough & Whitehouse, 2018; 2020, 2021; Hatten-Flisher & Martusewicz, 2018; Holmes, 2021; Hua, 2021; Isik, 2021; Lloro, 2020, 2021; Lloro-Bidart, 2017, 2018; Lloro-Bidart & Semenko, 2017; Maina-Okori, Koushik & Wilson, 2018; Martusewicz, 2013; Piersol & Timmerman, 2017; Pilgrim & Davis, 2015; Rizzo, 2018; Russell, 2019; Russell & Semenko, 2016; Ryman, 2021; Walters, 2022; Walters & Von Kontze, 2021.


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Gough, A., & Whitehouse, H. (2018). New vintages and new bottles: The “nature” of environmental education from new material feminist and ecofeminist viewpoints. The Journal of Environmental Education, 49(4), 336-349.

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Lloro-Bidart, T. (2018). An ecofeminist account of cyberbullying: Implications for environmental and social justice scholar-educator-activists. The Journal of Environmental Education, 49(4), 276-285.

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