Exploring ecofeminism, ecocriticism, aquapoetics, and environmental humanities in Gabeba Baderoon’s poetry





eco-feminist consciousness, aquapoetics, Gabeba Baderoon, South Africa, environmental humanities


In this article I focus on Gabeba Baderoon’s engagement with nature and the ecological nuances in her poetry. Baderoon is an accomplished South African poet with four poetry collections to date: The Dream in the Next Body (2005), The Museum of Ordinary Life (2005), A hundred silences (2006), and The History of Intimacy (2018). These poetry collections sustain Baderoon’s ecofeminist sensibility as she engages with South Africa’s eco-environmental challenges. In expanding the scope of how ecology impacts on poetry, I strive to illustrate how Baderoon’s poetry is intimately bound up with the tropes of environmental humanities, ecofeminism, ecocriticism, and aquapoetics. I interrogate Baderoon’s engagement with ecological concerns in South Africa. Previous critical works about her poetry often discount how her poetry creatively harnesses ecopoetic tropes to illustrate the problematics of ecological concerns, climate change, and environmental crises. Rather, they often fixate on the portrayal of racial politics of apartheid as it culminated in the poverty of black people in her poetry. Interestingly, Baderoon does not enforce a strict and total division between these thematic concerns in her poetry collections. I argue in this article that, within the framework of commitment to ecological values, Baderoon explores the relationship between human and non-human agencies in her poetry. Arguably, the conception of human relations with the environment enables Baderoon to advocate for the protection of plants, animals, and water resources for a sustainable ecosystem.


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Author Biography

Niyi Akingbe, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Niyi Akingbe is Distinguished Research Fellow in the Department of English Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.


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How to Cite

Akingbe, N. (2024). Exploring ecofeminism, ecocriticism, aquapoetics, and environmental humanities in Gabeba Baderoon’s poetry. Tydskrif Vir Letterkunde, 61(1), 90–101. https://doi.org/10.17159/tl.v61i1.16343



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