An article published in the academic journal “Progress in Human Geography” proposes a new methodological approach in the study of glaciers. Calling for “postcolonial science studies” and “feminist political ecology” to be integrated into glaciology, the neo-Marxist article speculates that such an epistemological paradigm shift will yield “more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.”
Although somewhat surreptitiously acknowledging its own political point of departure as neo-Marxist by describing itself as a provider of “critical reviews of current research” – “critical” is often used as a euphemism for Marxist dialectics in academic political literature – the article is noteworthy given its absurdity in the presumably apolitical field of geography.
Readers should note, however, that “human geography” is a distinctly political subset of geography. The field can also be categorized as belonging to social science, as it studies the relationships between societies and environment. Much like “political economy,” academic fields like “human geography” can mislead the uninitiated into believing it is a supremely objective pursuit.
This rise of neo-Marxist branches of academia has yielded nonsense disciplines such as “international development,” “women’s/gender studies,” “social justice studies,” “pan-African studies,” “conflict resolution studies,” “environmental studies,” and others.
Below is the article’s abstract in its entirety:
Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.
Placing the leftist corruption of academia on full display, the article assumes that the “ice is just ice” assertion requires sociological contextualization. In other words, is depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.
Below are some of the article’s gems:
A critical but overlooked aspect of the human dimensions of glaciers and global change research is the relationship between gender and glaciers
Feminist theories and critical epistemologies – especially feminist political ecology and feminist postcolonial science studies – open up new perspectives and analyses of the history of glaciological knowledge.
Researchers in feminist political ecology and feminist geography have also called for studies to move ‘beyond gender’, to include analyses of power, justice, and knowledge production as well as ‘to unsettle and challenge dominant assumptions’ that are often embedded in Eurocentric knowledges.
Since the origins of the field of glaciology in the 19th century, the discipline has been dominated by men and masculinity. Glaciology, polar exploration, and mountaineering – profoundly interconnected pursuits – have also been characterized by masculinist discourses that privileged manly exertion, heroism, and conquest.
This article was subsidized by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The authors include a dual-associate professor of history and environmental studies, a PhD candidate with a Fulbright scholarship studying glacier-society relationships in Ireland, a postdoctoral fellow studying environmental history, and a master’s forestry student with a BA in environmental studies and romance languages.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.