Feminist Scholar Analyzes History Of Pelicans And ‘Racialized, Sexual Violence’

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Pelicans are “implicated in a history of racialized, sexual violence,” according to a feminist scholar’s Friday presentation.

Logan O’Laughlin, a gender studies graduate student at the University of Washington, conducted a lecture titled “Queer Toxic Ecologies: Analyses and Implications of the Pelicans of the BP Oil Spill” at the University of British Columbia.

The workshop description explains that oil-stained pelicans represented the massive impact of the BP spill.

“But what do these pelican images tell us about gender, race, and sexuality in ecological contexts?” O’Laughlin asked in the description. “Utilizing feminist discourse analysis of pelicans in post-spill popular media and historical analysis of pelicans as the state mascot of Louisiana, this presentation articulates how this bird is symbolically and materially implicated in a history of racialized, sexual violence.”

“I explore how this history is diffracted in contemporary discourses and argue for acknowledging the reproductive harms of environmental toxins without reifying norms of white, hetero-reproductive families,” the description read.

O’Laughlin — who asks to be called by they/them pronouns — has taught courses such as “Psychology of Gender” and “Masculinities: Contestation, Circulation, and Transformation” at the University of Washington.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to O’Laughlin for comment, but received none in time for press.


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