Date of Creation
This project links sexuality and environmental issues in the context of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It considers how I, a queer student at Gettysburg College, can be in “right relations” with this environment. While queer ecological scholarship defines “right relations” as relationships where all beings—people of all identities, as well as animals, plants, and the land—can flourish through their interactions, I inquire whether such flourishing is possible for me, and others like me, here in this place. To answer this question, the project links queer ecological scholarship with environmental history scholarship specific to the Gettysburg battlefield and civil war. It also involves research into archival and contemporary articles about the battlefield and the college. I created a website using Scalar to present this research interwoven with my personal experiences as prose essays, accompanied by artwork. I found that queer students at Gettysburg don’t fit into the heteronormative fraternity-based social environment and can feel “unnatural” and alienated from the campus community. As a white student, I can escape to the pastoral landscape of the battlefield as a respite. However, because the battlefield is constructed to primarily valorize white men, it is a white masculine space. Its use is often uninviting (even threatening) for people of color, and also for queer people, especially when white supremacists gather. Yet, through the reclamation of alternate historical narratives, like those of Black residents and women during and after the civil war, the landscape can become a place for students of color, and those like me, to feel more connected to a shared past. In merging historical alternate narratives, enviro-sexuality scholarship, and my own experiences the project informs how Gettysburg students might reclaim and make narratives that can inspire an investment in “right relations”—with all people, as well as the land.
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Mandeville, Kylie R., "Place Me in Gettysburg: Relating Sexuality to Environment" (2021). Student Publications. 937.