Abstract: This presentation considers the evolution of environmental justice studies as a field concerned primarily with the intersection of social inequalities and ecological risks. Drawing on the concept of “critical environmental justice studies,” I present cases from research on struggles for environmental justice in prisons and jails across multiple scales, including the body, communities, populations, and nations. I draw on evidence from historical and contemporary cases to illustrate the importance of understanding how multiple categories of difference (race, gender, class, sexuality, ability, species) are entangled in both the production of environmental inequalities and in the possibilities for realizing imaginative forms of environmental and climate justice.
Bio: Professor David N. Pellow is the Dehlsen and Department Chair of Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he teaches courses on environmental and social justice, race/class/gender and environmental conflict, human-animal conflicts, sustainability, and social change movements that confront our socioenvironmental crises and social inequality. He has volunteered for and served on the Boards of Directors of several community-based, national, and international organizations that are dedicated to improving the living and working environments for people of color, immigrants, indigenous peoples, and working class communities, including the Global Action Research Center, the Center for Urban Transformation, the Santa Clara Center for Occupational Safety and Health, Global Response, Greenpeace USA, and International Rivers.