An electrifying feminist poetics combining language and visual collage to explore gender, landscape, taxidermy, and the idea of a “natural body”
An innovative book-length poem that delves into the intricacies of natural history dioramas, taxidermy, landscape, and women naturalists, Her Wilderness Will Be Her Manners is an experience of looking for “Woman’s Work” in American natural history museums. Why, for instance, have the contributions of taxidermist and naturalist Martha Maxwell, the first person to create a “habitat group” display in the United States, and Delia Akeley, the wife of the “father of modern taxidermy,” been largely erased?
Sarah Mangold mines language from natural history texts and taxidermy manuals from the 1800s to explore the perception and the reception of women in male-dominated scientific pursuits, as well as the doctrine of nature as pure, unpopulated, and outside historical and political time. A stunning work of visual and textual collage, Her Wilderness Will Be Her Manners creates a vibrant textual ecology that utilizes language as landscape while reshaping notions of nature and the natural.