Placing Their Feminism in the Southern Appalachian Mountains: Emma Bell Miles, Grace MacGowan Cooke, and the Roots of Ecological Feminism

Elizabeth S. D. EngelhardtWest Virginia University
Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring 2001), 11-31

This article explores early ecological feminism in the writings of Emma Bell Miles and Grace MacGowan Cooke. These women’s views are distinguished from environmental feminism—a conservationism premised on the separation and even superiority of human from and over the nonhuman.  Miles and Cooke criticized the work of environmental feminists as insensitive to local situations and as obscuring regional women’s issues. The article argues that because the feminism of Miles and Cooke is rural, working class, and rejects the automatic superiority of certain human beings over nature and other human beings, it is an early form of ecological feminism.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]