Publication Date

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Christopher T. White, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rosemary Erickson Johnsen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kerri K. Morris, Ph.D.


Ecofeminism has permeated the disciplines of politics, philosophy, science, and literature – all of which are embedded in the fiction of Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer and Ruth Ozeki’s All Over Creation. In this thesis, I consider the authors’ use of scientific evidence to engage readers with their rhetorical goals of protecting the systems of nature and gender. In the first chapter, I define the history of ecofeminist activism and how Kingsolver and Ozeki continue its tradition. The second chapter considers the parallels between biodiversity and cultural diversity within both Prodigal Summer and All Over Creation. In the final chapter, I analyze themes of motherhood, maternity, and fertility in each novel, specifically as they are impacted by toxic human behavior.