The CNR Ecofeminism Collection and this exhibit

exhibit home

In the early 1990s, I took on a Library project to continue to build a collection in memory of Elizabeth G. Sullivan, a graduate of SAS 1948.   Initiated and sponsored by Elizabeth's sister, Nancy Sullivan Murray, SAS 1950 in the area where ecology and women's studies meet, this work evolved into The Ecofeminism Collection . According to Nancy, Elizabeth was a maverick in her time: a feminist, a woman religious, and a lover of nature.  She founded the now famous, Paraclete Book Center, which served until its closing, as a rich resource for philosophers, theologians, students, teachers, and seekers.

Ecofeminism, as pertains to an area of study, is somewhat of an umbrella term, as the field itself encompasses a wide diversity of disciplines impacted by the ever-growing voice of feminine insight and sensibility.  Questions found at the heart of personal and social reflection and change related to spirituality and religion,  humanity and nature, globalization and indigenous rights, racism, sexism, and speciesism...are all explored in the collection materials.

Over the years, I could say, I have grown along with the collection, and benefited from opportunities to study and serve as I worked on this project. Along the way, I continued to consider my own inquiries from particular points of personal interest and concern. One particular area of passionate interest to me is animal rights.

A significant event I attended, thanks to a donation by Nancy S. Murray,  was the weeklong 2012 Summer Symposium on Religion and Environmental Stewardship sponsored by Yale Divinity School. Many of the speakers addressed the relationship between religion and environmental issues; they asked that we question the role of humankind in relation to other species,  and to reconsider our concept of dominion over animals, in favor of adopting a role of stewardship.

Naturally, "ecofeminist" studies are, by no means, restricted to the concern of women only.  They are relevant to and addressed by persons of all genders, cultures, and religions.  I come to this field as a woman who struggles daily with many social and spiritual issues, and with a sense of urgency and desire to make a difference.  This online exhibit looks at a passionate interest of mine through an exploration of the beauty and spiritual depth of animal life.  It offers resources on animal rights, as an area of major concern to ecofeminists and all who love and wish to protect the earth and all of its inhabitants.