The environmental justice (EJ) movement has gone global! Beginning as a way to expose the racialized inequities in exposure to environmental harms, EJ now comprises social activism, academic research, and formal state policies. In this seminar, we will assess trends in the global movement for EJ yet focus on key cases and dynamics in Latin America. We begin by tracing the history of EJ in the United States as it relates to civil rights, social movements, and federal policy. We then move beyond this narrow framing to assess how social movement demands for a more just future have long intersected with struggles over the environment. The seminar assesses different theories and practices that fall under the banner of EJ, from ideas of “slow violence,” “ecological distribution conflicts,” and climate justice to the action of frontline communities, environmental defenders, and decolonial movements. We study classic and cutting-edge struggles that expand how we understand EJ and its importance in an era of climate change, the effects of Covid-19, and pathways to a more sustainable future in the Anthropocene.
Center for Latin American Studies
Latin American Studies