Teaching environmental justice at the intersections of activist practices and critical analysis
Session type: 

With the election of Donald Trump and his nomination of big oil, coal, and other polluting industrial leaders to high level cabinet positions, the stakes of reading, writing, critical analysis, and the forming an activist praxis that confronts the myriad of environmental issues have never been higher. But to whom and what do we look for inspiration for a critical teaching practice that not only engages contemporary and future issues of environmental studies, but also traces the lineages of eco-justice and eco-writing and activism? What do these histories and sources do, what and whom do they exclude, and how, as educators, can we do the work of assembling a more intersectional map of environmental justice that connects academe with on-the-ground activists of yesterday and today? What does the work of eco-activism do for our research and teaching on the environment and how can the classroom serve as a way for those often at the margins of academe and society to participate and struggle toward eco-justice? How are we as instructors and researchers meant to facilitate student driven critiques of power and institutions amid the growing cynicism and complacency of private enterprise, the neoliberal order, and the NIMBY ethos that rapidly and negatively impact the environment while simultaneously continuing the systemic effects of social segregation and eco-aparthide? Therefore, we seek to understand the ways in which the environment can be made and read transnationally and locally toward a richer discourse of environmentally engaged social justice movements of the 21st century.

 

Current contributors: 
Robert Oxford (University of Texas, Austin)
Anna Waltman (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
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