Earthly Encounters

Sensation, Feminist Theory, and the Anthropocene

By Stephanie D. Clare

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy, Phenomenology, Philosophy, Gender Studies, Environmental Studies
Series: SUNY series in Gender Theory
Hardcover : 9781438475875, 222 pages, September 2019
Paperback : 9781438475882, 222 pages, July 2020

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Table of contents


1. Feeling Cold: Phenomenology, Spatiality, and the Politics of Sensation

2. Locating Affect, Swimming Underwater

3. “Being Kissed by Everything”: Race, Sex, and Sense in Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

4. Psychic Territory, Appropriation, and “Geopower”: Rereading Fanon, Foucault, and Butler

5. Location, Sensation, and the Anthropocene


A feminist approach to the Anthropocene that recovers the relevance of sensation and phenomenology.


Earthly Encounters develops a fuller account of the lived experience of racialized gender formation as it exists on this planet, earth. It analyzes sensations: the chill of winter, the warm embrace of the wind, the feeling of being immersed in water, and a stifling sense of containment. Through this analysis in settler colonial and colonial contexts, in twentieth-century North America and Africa, Stephanie D. Clare shows how sensation is unevenly distributed within social worlds and productive of racial, national, and gendered subjectivities. From revealing the relevance of phenomenology, especially in the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Frantz Fanon, to debates concerning new materialism and affect theory, Clare shows how the phenomenology of race and gender must consider both the production of the body-subject and the environment. She concludes by making a case for the continued significance of sensation in the context of the Anthropocene.

Stephanie D. Clare is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Washington.


"Truly ecological, this book offers a considered step toward finding solution to the problem we have little time to ignore … Highly recommended." — CHOICE

"This book charts a course that is simultaneously materialist and attentive to the politics of representation. It aims to hold on to the legacy of feminist theory and to develop a queer political strategy that on the one hand gives an account of the earth as an active, living organism and, on the other hand, holds on to the critique of the politics of representation." — Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky, Ruhr-Universität Bochum