92 Queer Ecology Lesson Plan

E. Rose Paulin; Griffin Nyhan; Alyssa Desautelle; and James McGhee

The following is a student-generated lesson plan for Timothy Morton’s PMLA essay “Queer Ecology.” It includes an original video production entitled”A Morning with Ginger” (see below), which introduces the aims and underlying principles of queer ecology:


  • ❏ Create 4-5 Discussion Questions based on the reading
  • ❏ Find 2-3 short clips to analyze as a class
  • ❏ Pull out 3-4 Quotes to analyze as a class



  1. “Masculinity performs no performance. If you appear to be acting masculine, you aren’t masculine. Masculine is Natural. Natural is masculine. Rugged, bleak, masculine Nature defines it self through contrasts: outdoorsy and extraverted, heterosexual, able-bodied – disability is nowhere to be seen; physical wholeness and coordination are valued over spontaneity.” (Morton, 279)
  2. “Supertramp’s concept of wildness overrode his survival instinct. Do such suicidal young men think they are disappearing into Nature when they follow this script? They might think they’re escaping civilization and its discontents, but they actually act out its death instincts. They fantasize control and order: “I can make it on my own.” The “return to Nature” acts out the myth of the self-made man, editing out love, warmth, vulnerability, and ambiguity. Queer ecology must visualize the unbeautiful, the uncold, the “lame”, the unsplendid…” (Morton, 280)
  3. “When the environment becomes intimate, as in our age of ecological panic and scientifically measurable risk (Beck), it is decisively no longer an environment, since it no longer just happens around us: that’s the difference between weather and climate.” (Morton, 274)
  4. “ All life-forms, along with the environments they compose and inhabit, defy boundaries between inside and outside at every level.” (Morton, 274)



  1. What does it mean for Nature to be masculine?
  2. How does Morton’s mesh apply to dark ecology’s implications of inhuman entities such as modern artificial intelligence?l
  3. Is the concept of the strange stranger unique to humans? Why or why not?
  4. How can queer ecology be applied to Passing? What could queer ecology have to say about the relationship between Clare and Irene?


Bonus Question: How does Whitman’s Song of Myself fit into queer ecotheory?




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The Student Theorist: An Open Handbook of Collective College Theory Copyright © 2018 by E. Rose Paulin; Griffin Nyhan; Alyssa Desautelle; and James McGhee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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