Creating a culture that respects nature

How to rethink our connection to landscape, environment and community

Governmental regulations alone will not undo the effects of environmental degradation or address its complex and deep-seated causes. For one SSHRC-funded researcher, lasting change requires a cultural paradigm shift.

Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands, Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Culture at York University, is reframing how we understand and think about sustainability. It is a grassroots process, one she argues must reflect complex social understandings of local and global sustainability.

An authority on ecological feminism, Mortimer-Sandilands studies environment and culture at the community level. A pioneer in the interdisciplinary field of queer ecology, she works at the forefront of the movement to build environmentally sustainable cultures—and culturally sophisticated understandings of sustainability—based on the values of democracy, justice, equity and diversity.

Mortimer-Sandilands is the author of The Good-Natured Feminist, the first book-length treatment of ecofeminism as a body of democratic theory. Bringing together leading international researchers in areas including queer geography, ecofeminism, environmental justice and gender studies, she co-edited, with Bruce Erickson, the groundbreaking Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire.

By developing and promoting the integration of cultural, environmental and identity studies, Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands is helping ensure a more sustainable future for Canadians.