Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2017

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Katherine Cochran

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Charles Sumner

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Martina Sciolino

Committee Member 3 Department



Ecofeminism is traditionally interested in the relationship between patriarchal domination of women and nature. Ann Pancake’s novel Strange As this Weather Has Been critiques the way the coal mining industry has affected the Appalachian people and land. The novel reflects natural ecofeminism, which views the connection between women and nature in essentialist terms. This outdated mode of ecofeminism leads to a reinforcement of gender stereotypes and a misrepresentation of the relationship between gender, nature, and culture. This study of Pancake’s novel employs a material ecofeminist approach to both critique and develop the novel’s gender politics. Material ecofeminism, even as it integrates some forms of early ecofeminism, precludes a reinforcement of stereotypes and more adequately addresses both men’s and women’s connections to ecology and culture. This paper shows how the author’s ignoring the material and cultural conditions that create and maintain the relationship between men and industry results in a double exploitation of the men in Appalachia: once by the capitalist system, and a second time by a natural ecofeminist representation of them that places them in opposition to the environment.