“I am not by any stretch a gardener, just curious”: Feminist Gentrifier Memoirs and an Ethics of Urban Gardening


  • Maria Sulimma University of Freiburg




Urban gardening, gentrification, memoir, feminism, gentrifier


Even though the texts that this article refers to as “feminist gentrifier memoirs” are not exclusively examples of garden writing, their feminist writers’ gardening practices feature prominently to explore their conflicted position in a gentrifying neighborhood and the networks of care that form out of neighborly interactions over the garden. Drawing on urban studies in the social sciences and humanities, literary studies, and environmental humanities, the article turns to Anne Elizabeth Moore’s Gentrifier (2021) and Vikki Warner’s Tenemental (2018) as prominent engagements with the complex emotions caused by their writers’ white privilege, homeownership, and complicity in processes of displacement and real estate speculation. These texts employ modes and affordances of garden writing, feminist memoir, urban memoir, and gentrification fiction. The article further considers the ways they are influenced by the activism of community gardening and benefit from sustainability measures of cities, including urban farms and gardens (summarized under the keywords green or environmental gentrification).


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Author Biography

Maria Sulimma, University of Freiburg

Maria Sulimma is Junior professor of North American Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Freiburg. She is the author of Gender and Seriality: Practices and Politics of Contemporary US Television (Edinburgh University Press, 2021). Her recent work is on storytelling and gentrification.






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