Uranium Mining, Interdisciplinarity, and Ecofeminism in Donna Smyth’s Subversive Elements
Donna Smyth’s Subversive Elements, published by The Women’s Press in 1986, is a multi-generic, postmodern, ecofeminist, Maritime novel. One of the novel’s narrative threads recounts real-life resistance to uranium mining in Nova Scotia in the early 1980s. The other dominant narrative thread takes place in mid-twentieth century Europe and tells the story of the loves and lives of Beatrice and Lewis. This essay examines the rich intertextuality and heterogeneity of Subversive Elements, analyzing themes of silence, language, and gender in relation to the novel’s ecofeminist stance. Set against the backdrop of late Cold War anti-nuclear activism, Subversive Elements is a compelling addition to literary representations of resource extraction in Atlantic and Canadian literature.