Wooden fences loosely connected by wires in a desert lanscape

Faculty Favorites: Ecologies & Politics of Borders

Edge Effects invites scholars from different disciplines to introduce texts on the complexities of borders. This list also includes ideas on how to frame and teach the topic of borders in the classroom.
black framed glasses resting on an open book, the pages show a map

Faculty Favorites: What to Read (and Watch) on Race & Place

Edge Effects invited scholars from a range of fields to share with us environmental books and texts on the topic of "Race and Place" that they are most excited to teach in the new academic year.
Tattooed forearm and hand holding a small sagebrush plant

Mapping the Unfree Labor of Prison Agriculture: A Conversation with Carrie Chennault and Josh Sbicca

Prison Agriculture Lab directors Carrie Chennault and Josh Sbicca discuss the ubiquity of carceral agriculture in the United States, its structuring logics of racial capitalism, and possibilities for abolitionist food futures.
Work, Play, and Elephants in South Florida’s Leisure Landscape

Work, Play, and Elephants in South Florida’s Leisure Landscape

Two elephants came to live in Miami Beach with resort guests in the 1920s, troubling the divides between humans and animals, work and play. Anna Vemer Andrzejewski examines the ambiguous role these elephants occupied in Florida's leisure landscape.
The Violence of Gated Communities in Buenos Aires's Wetlands

The Violence of Gated Communities in Buenos Aires’s Wetlands

Real estate developments emulating U.S.-style master-planned communities are popular in Buenos Aires. Mara Dicenta unpacks the violence such developments enact on the environment and the community, as well as the resurgence against them.
Portrait of white woman in a gown, a young African boy, and a parrot showing multispecies friendship.

The Boy and The Bird

Nancy J. Jacobs explores the thought-provoking, tragic relationship between enslaved Africans and the African grey parrot in eighteenth century European portraiture.
Rainbow-color shave ice in a blue cone

The Cold Never Bothered Native Hawaiians Anyway: A Conversation with Hi’ilei Julia Hobart

How do certain temperatures come to be normalized and idealized in Hawai'i? Dr. Hiʻilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart shares critical insights at the intersection of Indigenous dispossession and resistance.
silhouette of a person wearing a narrow brimmed hat and holding a rake, backlit by the sun

Unearthing the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming: A Conversation with Liz Carlisle

Liz Carlisle shares stories from her latest book, which uncovers the history of regenerative agriculture and the farmers of color who practice it.
A group of youth work in a community garden

Growing Food Justice Through Urban Farming

In the final episode of the Ground Truths podcast series, Clare Sullivan, Carly Gittrich, and Ben Iuliano talk to urban agriculture leaders in Dane County, Wisconsin about how their programs serve Black communities and other communities of color.
Old can of Dutch Boy lead paint

Living with Lead in Milwaukee

In 2021, rates of childhood lead exposure in Milwaukee were nearly double the state average. In this episode of Ground Truths, Juniper Lewis and Carly Griffith learn more about this public health crisis.
Why Are Anti-Vaxxers Obsessed With the "Natural"?

Why Are Anti-Vaxxers Obsessed With the “Natural”?

In this written correspondence, emery jenson talks to Dr. Traci Brynne Voyles about how ableist and racist thinking along with a narrow conception of "environmentalism" have propped up the anti-vaccination movement.
Black and white photo of brick wall with "Fallout Shelter" sign

American Apocalyptic: A Conversation with Jessica Hurley

Beyond "doom bros" and end-of-history narratives, Jessica Hurley's new book looks to the stories Black, queer, Indigenous, and Asian American writers tell about nuclear infrastructures and the radical politics of futurelessness.
Aerial view of bridge over blue river through a city

Green Gentrification in South Philly

"South Philly had Black history but no Black people." Sterling Johnson, with Kimberley Thomas, ‎follows a century of green gentrification along the Schuylkill River.
A sign saying "Solidarity Against AAPI Hate" in front of the National Mall

Framing Asian Suffering in an Anti-Black World: A Conversation with Claire Jean Kim

Political science scholar Claire Jean Kim outlines how COVID-19 came to be racialized and discusses the implications of foregrounding anti-Asian harassment and violence in an anti-Black society.
cots in an empty room

Surviving the Pandemic in Prison

Prisoner and abolitionist Lawrence Jenkins describes the struggles of being incarcerated during COVID-19 and the heightened risk, fear, and racial violence of life on the inside.
The Young Lords march to the UN with the Puerto Rican flag

The Young Lords’ Fight for Environmental Justice in NYC

Erik Wallenberg reviews Johanna Fernández's award-winning book on the Young Lords and connects their political project of securing garbage pickup and medical access for New Yorkers to the broader environmental justice movement.
A seated woman holding two young goats

How Jewish Farmers are Divesting from White Supremacy

Anika Rice and Zachary A. Goldberg show how an emerging movement is not only connecting Jewish farmers but also building solidarity for racial justice.
Graffiti covering a tall monument with man on horse

How Protest Artists Transformed Whitewashed History

In her poem and photo exhibit, Les James reflects on how protest artists transformed the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia and spoke back to history.
Hand holds gold colored root

A Black Herbalist’s Guide to Breathing and Grieving with Yellow Dock

Herbalist Asia Dorsey reflects on a pandemic year when life and death cycles were especially present and describes Yellow Dock's role as the grief worker of the plant world.
Green and purple ink swirls in water

Be Like Water, An Abolitionist Relationality (Part II)

What does abolition look like? Ki’Amber Thompson discusses the need for more abolition visuals and how the Charles Roundtree Bloom Project brings outdoor healing justice to youth impacted by incarceration.
A trippy collage photo with a mountain scene and rainbows shooting out of someone's eyes.

How Being “an Environmentalist” Became an Identity

In the 1960s, environmentalists often pitted the "natural self" against "artificial" social identities like race, class, and gender. Alexander Menrisky argues that this vocabulary still obscures issues of environmental justice in the U.S. today.
HOLC redlining map of Baltimore, Maryland

Financing American Inequality: A Conversation with Paige Glotzer

Historian Paige Glotzer discusses the segregated suburbs and what the history of Baltimore's Roland Park Company has to do with today's inequality.
Woman reaches small net into green marsh

On Being the (Only) Black Feminist Environmental Ethnographer in Gulf Coast Louisiana

Ethnographer Frances Roberts-Gregory describes the importance of embracing ‘Black girl reliable’ and supporting frontline communities.
Scattering of mustard seeds. Black and white photograph

Fugitive Seeds

Christian Brooks Keeve traces how fugitive seeds and seed stories are deeply entangled with the stories and legacies of the Black diaspora.
A photograph of Kamal Bell at Sankofa Farms

Sankofa Farms Is an Education: Five Questions for Kamal Bell

Farmer and educator Kamal Bell discusses the growth of Sankofa Farms and the legacies of racism and dispossession for African American farmers.
Boats filled with sugarcane on a muddy river with smokestacks visible in the background

Decolonizing Labor in the Caribbean: A Conversation with Shona Jackson

Dr. Shona Jackson discusses labor in the Caribbean and the need for radical, collective labor histories that include Creole groups and Indigenous peoples.
Organic Farming's Political History

Organic Farming’s Political History

Organic farming has far-right roots. While the movement has grown beyond those, its history shows why we must examine our theories of social change.
Drawing of people kneeling in pineapple plantation

In Hawaiʻi, Plantation Tourism Tastes Like Pineapple

The Dole pineapple plantation has a destructive history of transforming the Hawaiian Islands. Mallory Huard describes how that continues today in the tourism industry.
Painting of a woman in a row boat, a fish-shaped ship, and a large bird.

Whose Utopia? American Ecofascism Since the 1880s

A 19th-century novel about a (white) women's utopia at the center of the earth documents the long history of American eugenics and ecofascism.
Food Is Just the Beginning: A Conversation with Monica White

Food Is Just the Beginning: A Conversation with Monica White

Farming has been a part of Black freedom struggles for a long time. It's always been about much more than growing food.
An old photo from the cover of Letters to Memory depicting two young girls in pink dresses and palm trees in the background.

What Counts as Environmental Storytelling: A Conversation with Karen Tei Yamashita

The award-winning author and Professor Emeritus of Literature and Creative Writing discusses storytelling during environmental crisis, legacies of Japanese incarceration, and why ethnographies are environmental writing.
A hand holds a fern leaf at the base of it

Recommended Readings for a Radical Life

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, and other activists and educators recommend books that challenge the divisions of life drawn by settler colonialism, racial slavery, and the natural sciences.
A street lined with tents and palm trees

Plantation Housing Isn’t the Answer to Homelessness in Hawaiʻi

A "plantation-style community" might ease houselessness in Hawaiʻi. But it also erases violent histories of labor exploitation and Native dispossession. Leanne Day and Rebecca Hogue discuss Kahauiki Village and the dangers of plantation nostalgia.
Greta LaFleur's book discusses the relationship between the natural world and sexuality. This painting depicts a fish skewered on a brach. The branch also holds a blue jay and many smaller purple, red, pink, blue, and yellow birds.

The Environmental Histories of Desire

Greta LaFleur’s new book, The Natural History of Sexuality in Early America, shows how desire was produced in surprising ways alongside taxonomies of plants and racial difference in early British colonial texts.
Small conical red clay sculptures in a wooded lot.

How the Soil Remembers Plantation Slavery

What haunts the land? Artists R.L. Martens and Bii Robertson dig up the tangled history of "the vampire crop," slavery, and soil exhaustion in Maryland, revealing that the past is more present than you might think.
A sculpture depicting a police officer with a dog on a leash, as the dog attacks a man who is falling backwards

Why Animal Studies Must Be Antiracist: A Conversation with Bénédicte Boisseron

A new book, Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question, moves beyond familiar comparisons between race and species by drawing on Black studies.
Coal worker at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Wyoming

The WWII Incarceration of Japanese Americans Is an Environmental Story

The environmental conditions of Japanese American incarceration camps in World War II were pivotal to the way detainees navigated their experience. But these histories are as diverse as their landscapes.
Photo collage of rice, fields, and cotton plants

Plantation Legacies

The Anthropocene gives a name to human-caused environmental change. The Plantationocene puts colonialism, capitalism, and enduring racial hierarchies at the center of the conversation and asks what past and future modes of resistance might emerge.
Portrait of a Eddy Harris in a black beret and a red and black flannel shirt open over a grey t-shirt looking at the camera without smiling with a big lake in the background under a grey sky.

Navigating Race on the Mississippi River: A Conversation with Eddy Harris

When you venture into the great unknown, you often have to rely on the generosity of strangers. Eddy Harris reflects on race and outdoor recreation, ecological conservation, and the elusive idea of America as he discusses his film, River to the Heart.
A colorful drawing with green fields, pink mountains, and a collection of human and animal figures.

Weathering This World with Comics

Comics and graphic novels help us picture new worlds and imagine how to save our own. Four writers recommend their favorites.
A woman and man tie leaves of tobacco together with a return address for the British-American Tobacco Company in Shanghai and Chinese characters superimposed over them.

Tobacco’s World of Racial Capitalism: A Conversation with Nan Enstad

A historian planned a small study of cigarette culture. But she ended up uncovering a transnational network of seeds, plants, knowledge, and racist ideologies, and writing a book that transforms how we conceive of corporations and empire.
A mural on a brick wall reads "W. E. B. Du Bois / William Edward Burghardt Du Bois 1868-1963 / "Du Bois' legacy is beneficial to all those who seek freedom and justice" - Rev. Esther Dozier" The images are of Du Bois reading, writing, and with his wife and child. A car is parked in front of the mural and a two-hour parking sign sits in the middle of it.

W. E. B. Du Bois and the American Environment

Du Bois, born 150 years ago, was one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century. But his environmental thought remains underappreciated.
Woke Environmentalism

Woke Environmentalism

Environmental justice is the future of environmental activism. A new documentary reader edited by Christopher Wells chronicles the birth of the environmental justice movement.
The Water's Not Fine: A Conversation with Anna Clark

The Water’s Not Fine: A Conversation with Anna Clark

The Flint water crisis is not over. Anna Clark’s new book tells the history of how we got here and how lead is here to stay.
Two brown dogs face each other and try to smell each other. Their tails are wagging.

What Dogs Can Teach Us About Justice: A Conversation with Colin Dayan

What would it mean to see through the eyes of dogs? The tangled histories of humans and animals show us how personhood, criminality, and cruelty are constructed.
On the left side, an image of Santo Toribio on a pale blue backround, ringed by nopal cacti. On the right side, "Oracion Por El Emigrante", a Spanish-language prayer for immigrants.

The Violent Environments of the Mexico-U.S. Border

An artist honors the struggles of undocumented immigrants in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands and shows the emotional and environmental toll of immigration policies.
How a $750 Down Jacket is Dividing College Campuses

How a $750 Down Jacket is Dividing College Campuses

When students critique outdoor fashion on campus, their views reveal gendered, ethnic, and regional stereotypes at play in the local meaning of international brands.
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.
The "Visions of Pullman" mural in Chicago's Pullman Neighborhood

How the Other Half Loved Nature

A recent book shows Chicago's turn-of-the-century black and immigrant laborers embraced the great outdoors. Did they have any other choice?
The Immigrants Who Supplied the Smithsonian's Fish Collection

The Immigrants Who Supplied the Smithsonian’s Fish Collection

The Smithsonian's fish collection preserves not just specimens but the labor and knowledge of immigrant fishermen on the California coast.
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.
Zozobra & Me: Performance and Place at the Santa Fe Fiesta

Zozobra & Me: Performance and Place at the Santa Fe Fiesta

A meditation on how the annual burning of a 51-foot marionette forges connections to a city and its complex, violent past.
The Monuments We Never Built

The Monuments We Never Built

Charlottesville reminds us that a full reckoning with our landscapes of commemoration requires we ask not only what stories they tell, but also what stories they don't.
President Lyndon Johnson (left) and Vice President Spiro Agnew (right) watch the Apollo 11 Liftoff at Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969. Photo by NASA/Apollo 11.

NASA and the Explosive 1960s: A Conversation with Neil Maher

The author of the new book "Apollo in the Age of Aquarius" shows how NASA shaped, and was shaped by, 1960s environmentalism, feminism, conservatism, counterculture, antiwar protests, and the black freedom struggle.
Black Branding and Gentrification in Washington, D.C.

Black Branding and Gentrification in Washington, D.C.

Who should be allowed to brand a neighborhood? A review of Derek Hyra's new book, "Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City," examining transformations in the Shaw/U Street neighborhood of the nation's capital.
Trees cast shadows on the stone path leading to Rowan Oak, home to enslaver Robert Sheegog at the time of the founding of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Photo by Visit Mississippi, 2005.

Ole Miss and the Shadow of Slavery: A Conversation with Jeffrey Jackson and Charles Ross

Ivy League institutions are scrambling to uncover their links to the history of slavery. But the University of Mississippi—built by slaves, amid slave plantations, for slaveowners to teach future slaveowners—might offer the richest insights into the nation's unshakable ties to centuries of bondage.
Suburban Commuters, Urban Polluters

Suburban Commuters, Urban Polluters

The migration of African Americans to cities and the rise of a commuter culture in the suburbs were shaped by one transformative technology: the automobile.
Transparent Walls: The Work of Do Ho Suh

Transparent Walls: The Work of Do Ho Suh

Four graduate students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison share their reflections on the work of Do Ho Suh.
An abandoned building, beginning to fall down, next to an overgrown vacant lot in Baltimore. Photo by Dawn Biehler, 2016.

The Itchy Ecology of Segregation: A Conversation with Dawn Biehler

For many of us, mosquitos are an annoying fact of life in the summer. But for Dawn Biehler, they are also a symptom of social inequality.
Carolyn Finney addresses the Nelson Institute's Community Environmental Scholars Program in Madison, Wisconsin, April 2016. Photo by Ingrid Laas.

Nature and the Rules of Race: A Conversation with Carolyn Finney

The importance of storytelling in elucidating and challenging understandings of race and the environment.
Black and white portrait of Laurent Savoy

The Land Doesn’t Hate: A Conversation with Lauret Savoy

A geologist turned award-winning writer reflects on the marks racism has left on the American landscape.
Wasting Space: Composting for Change in New York

Wasting Space: Composting for Change in New York

A compost organization in New York City offers up an alternative vision of urban green space and waste labor.
From White Privilege to White Supremacy: An Illustrated Interview with Laura Pulido

From White Privilege to White Supremacy: An Illustrated Interview with Laura Pulido

Pursuing environmental justice requires recognizing the varied forms of racism.
Rethinking Girodet's Portrait of Citizen Belley

Rethinking Girodet’s Portrait of Citizen Belley

A late eighteenth-century painting of a moment that never happened illuminates our complex struggles with how to “deal with” the past.
"It's Only Whites Who Go There": On Safari in Uganda

“It’s Only Whites Who Go There”: On Safari in Uganda

A safari trip inspires wonder at both what is found in a game park and who is not.
environmental justice and radicalized violence

Doing Environmental Studies During Times of Racialized Violence

In the last few weeks, two grand juries declined to indict the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. What can scholars in the environmental humanities and social sciences say about racialized state violence?
Davis Island: A Confederate Shrine, Submerged

Davis Island: A Confederate Shrine, Submerged

A visit to Jefferson Davis’s former property in Mississippi shows that, in the battles over how we remember the Civil War, the combatants are not always human.