This spring we are offering a series of posts on the topic of Environmental Justice and Environmental Health. The series is organized in conjunction with a set of talks at the University of Oklahoma, presented by the OU Health Sciences Center Environmental and Sustainable Health Interest Group, and the OU College of Arts and Sciences Environmental Studies Program, Public and Community Health Program, and the Center for Social Justice. We are posting videos of the talks, along with posts related to them.
Our current installment concerns pesticides; it began last week with a post by Jennifer A. Ross on her work on the effects of insecticides on communities in south Texas. Her post gave some background for her talk, given last Friday, which we present today. Next week Peter Soppelsa will present his research on the use of pesticides to eradicate rats.
[We welcome Jennifer A. Ross to the blog, to continue our series on Environmental Justice and Environmental Health. The video of her talk in the associated speaker series will available next week.]
People have a long and complicated relationship with pesticides. It starts with us defining what a pest is, and then seeking Continue reading
Traci Brynne Voyles. 2020. Environmental History 26, no. 1, pp. 127–141.
In 2018, two military aircraft flew over the Salton Sea, California’s largest inland body of water occupying the desert area of Imperial and Riverside Counties. Midair, the pilots decided to pull a prank: they used their planes to draw Continue reading
This spring we will offer a series of posts on the topic of Environmental Justice and Environmental Health. The series is organized in conjunction with a set of talks Continue reading
[We welcome Traci Brynne Voyles to the blog, to kick off a series this spring on Environmental Justice and Environmental Health. The video of her talk in the associated speaker series is available here.]
For the past decade and a half, I’ve been immersed in studying environmental disasters. I’ve focused on the ways they are shaped by various intersecting power structures: Continue reading
I ended my post last week with a question—why is it so hard to listen to advice? This is a key question these days, with so many people ignoring Continue reading
Where to start
Science shapes our lives, especially in the Anthropocene. Everybody loves modern science … that is, until we don’t, because scientists say something we don’t like. Continue reading
Russell R. Dynes. 2000. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 97-115.
Disasters are usually identified as having occurred at a particular time and place, but they also occur at a particular time in human history and within a specific social and cultural context. Consequently, it is appropriate to call the Lisbon earthquake the first Continue reading
K. Yusoff, 2019, University of Minnesota Press.
Kathryn Yusoff examines how the grammar of geology is foundational to establishing the extractive economies of subjective life and the earth under colonialism and slavery. She initiates a transdisciplinary conversation between black feminist theory, geography, and the earth sciences, addressing Continue reading
In August 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden, something utterly unremarkable happened. A student, Greta Thunberg, then 15 years old, skipped school for one day a week and Continue reading
Burying victims of the Black Death
The COVID-19 spring, and now summer, of 2020 has kept me thinking about something with which I have been preoccupied for about a year now: the fresco series by Ambrogio Lorenzetti known as the Allegory of Good and Bad Government, Continue reading
One hallmark of a market-driven economy is efficiency, i.e. manufacturing a product at the lowest cost. However, some problems exist with always being driven to reduce cost. One problem is that Continue reading
In the past eight weeks I’ve read four equally scary magazine articles. They are (in no specific order): Continue reading
“There’s no image of it, other than that disco-ball microscopic view of the thing.”
— Terry Allen
Screen capture of CNN reporting on coronavirus in the West Wing of the White House, May 11, 2020
In my previous post, I drew on Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology to argue that the “spiky blob” image of the coronavirus produced by designers at the CDC is an ideological image that “interpellates” us by repeatedly triggering in us a flight instinct that leads us to an isolating abyss of fear and thus constitutes us as subjects amenable to the project of neoliberalism.
The broader visual culture of COVID-19 is similarly inclined and has taught us how to fear Continue reading
Screen capture of Sean Hannity on Fox News, February 27, 2020
A couple months ago, as the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic was setting in, I read a news story in which I learned that unwashed produce could put my life in jeopardy. Why am I being taught to fear vegetables? Louis Althusser may have some answers: Continue reading
The Dream Course, Interrupted
With the end of the spring semester, the Climate Change in History Dream Course came to a close. The course was neatly broken in two by COVID-19, which was officially declared a pandemic in mid-March, just as Continue reading