Commentary

Commentary from the CHE community on current events, contemporary issues, and scholarly debates.

The Tangled Roots of U.S. Imperialism and Biodiversity Science: A Conversation with Megan Raby

What does the scientific study of biological diversity have to do with the history of U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean? Just about everything, says the author of a new book on American field stations in the tropics.

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Savi Horne poses, smiling at the camera, in front of a large tilled field against a bright white sky.

Food Justice Requires Land Justice: A Conversation with Savi Horne

The fight against African American land loss isn’t just about economic justice. It’s about environmental sustainability.

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Making the Nation in the Gilded Age: A Conversation with Richard White

To be outside the “home” was a dangerous place to be in Gilded Age America. Richard White tells the story of how the modern nation reluctantly came into being alongside the environmental crisis of the late nineteenth century.

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Winona LaDuke stands in a field behind three tall stalks of hemp that reach two feet above her head against a cloudy sky,

We Are the Seventh Generation: A Conversation with Winona LaDuke

Two centuries ago, Ojibwe people planned for seven generations to come. Today that seventh generation is fighting for the treaty rights their ancestors established and a just, sustainable future.

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Photo of Jason W. Moore

The Case for Ecological Reparations: A Conversation with Jason W. Moore

Making things right in the face of climate change demands that colonialism, race, and gender take center stage in the story of capitalism.

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An aerial photograph shows beachfront damage caused by Hurricane Irma in South Florida.

After the Wind and the Rain: Making Sense of a Record Hurricane Season

Harvey, Irma, Maria. Why has there been so much damage, and what does it mean? A guide for reading helps make sense of disaster.

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A picture of Gregory Cushman

The Fragile Society We’ve Built from Rocks: A Conversation With Gregory Cushman

Fertilizers, computers, gasoline, and other parts of our everyday lives come from irreplaceable deposits found in the Earth. But how long will they last?

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Chicken nuggets against a blue square background imposed in the upper-left corner of an image of a charred industrial kichen after a fire, run through with horizontal red stripes, suggests an image of the U.S. flag.

How’d We Get So Cheap? A Conversation with Bryant Simon

The author of “The Hamlet Fire” discusses a deadly blaze at a chicken-processing facility and the logics of cheapness which provided the kindling.

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A trypctic featuring, left to right, gut bacteria in a petri dish, a photo portrait of Anna Tsing, and a silhouette of a smockstack and smoke.

The Best of End Times: A Conversation with Anna Tsing

The author of “The Mushroom at the End of the World” is back with another exploration of how humans and non-humans will make their lives in the ruins of modernity.

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A large red metal sign, shot from below against a cloudy sky. The title reads "Massacre of Wounded Knee," with the word "Massacre" carved onto a panel added to the top of the sign.

A History Buried at Wounded Knee: A Conversation with Louis Warren

A new history of the Ghost Dance shows Native Americans preparing to live within industrial capitalism and impoverished landscapes without succumbing to assimilation.

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