Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

This chapter focuses on how the supposedly porous bodies of white women intersected with stratigraphic and speculative explorations of the planet's past. It addresses these engagements under the sign of geophilia, a term drawn from contemporary new materialist thought, which this chapter's cases in some ways resemble. The chapter considers two unconventional examples: a series of geological experiments conducted by psychometric mediums Elizabeth M. Foote Denton and Annie Denton Cridge along with the geologist William Denton. The second case is Harriet Prescott Spofford's 1860 short story “The Amber Gods,” whose narrator, Giorgione Willoughby uses amber—“fossil gum”—to access the geological past, manifesting new erotic possibilities. In both cases, although white femme geophilia departs markedly from the masculinism of much nineteenth- century geological fantasy, rendering it a form of “minor geology,” it inclines toward the replication of antebellum American racial hierarchies.

This content is only available as PDF.
You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal