Jessica Roy Colloquia

This colloquia series was established to honor the memory and research of Jessica Roy, a UC Santa Cruz graduate student in sociology whose life was abruptly cut short while doing her dissertation fieldwork in Kenya. Her research in rural Africa was designed to illuminate the problem of access to safe water resources and the influence of gender relations on this access. Her approach was interdisciplinary, including environmental, feminist, and sociological perspectives. 

Jessica Roy


April 19, 2016

12:00-1:45PM | Namaste Lounge

David Schlosberg, University of Sydney

"Environmentalism and Justice in Everyday Life: The Discourse of Environmental Justice in Community Foods and Energy Movements" (Flyer-PDF)

Community food and energy movements are clearly not only about food and energy, but also about the creation of just communities and material systems. Actors and activists in these movements often understand their efforts to redesign systems as linked to a broad range of concerns about social justice. In particular, movement activists articulate justice concerns focused on political inclusion and engagement, a clear response to unjust and powerful institutions, and a set of basic human needs and capabilities. Across these, a rejuvenated and reengaged community is seen as a crucial to the expression and achievement of a range of justice goals. Participants in food and energy movements understand justice in multiple ways, and see concepts and practices of injustice as interrelated and mutually reinforcing. While their emphases may differ from the race and equity concerns of other environmental justice groups, the breadth of justice concerns in these movements illustrates the reach of the discourse of environmental justice into other areas of environmental politics.

David Schlosberg (UCSC Stevenson 1985, with a degree in Politics) is Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations, and co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute, at the University of Sydney. He is the author, most recently, of Defining Environmental Justice (Oxford, 2007); co-author of Climate-Challenged Society (Oxford, 2013); and co-editor of both The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (Oxford 2011) and The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory (Oxford 2016). His most recent article, on ‘The New Environmentalism of Everyday Life’ is available open access from Contemporary Political Theory. Schlosberg’s current work includes justice and adaptation planning, environmentalism and everyday life, and theoretical implications of the Anthropocene.

April 2013

Giovanna Di Chiro, Lang Professor for Issues of Social Change at Swarthmore College

“Embodied Ecologies: Connecting Sustainability and Environmental Justice” 

Dr. Giovanna Di Chiro’s research bridges academic and community action domains and integrates the fields of environment, sustainability, and social justice. She teaches interdisciplinary courses in environmental studies and women’s & gender studies, and incorporates a community-based, action research emphasis. Di Chiro has published widely on the intersections of race, class, gender, and environmental justice with a focus on activism and policy change addressing environmental health disparities in lower income communities. She collaborates with environmental justice and community development organizations to conduct participatory action research on environmental health concerns and on developing culturally relevant “sustainability” initiatives in diverse communities.

Di Chiro is co-editor of the volume Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power and is completing a book titled Embodied Ecologies: Science, Politics, and Environmental Justice. Embodied Ecologies focuses on what she calls “embodied” or “situated” environmental science and community-based environmental justice activism. The central argument interrogates conventional environmental science and policy approaches, which tend to concentrate on global, cosmopolitan, and macro-level frameworks of organized power: states, markets, global institutions, global environmental sciences, and international environmental organizations. That selective attention to the macro scale tends to dismiss or simply disregard community/local/situated practices and approaches to environmental science and policy as overly micro level and parochial (i.e., not relevant or up to the task of addressing the big environmental problems of the moment, like global climate change). Using the conceptual framework of “embodiment” and drawing on the feminist political economic theory of social reproduction (the maintenance and sustainability of bodies/families/communities and everyday life), Embodied Ecologies examines the harm done to (human and non-human) bodies, communities, and local environments, which has been eclipsed by dominant discourses emphasizing the global scale. The book highlights the innovative and diverse eco-cosmo-politics generated by grassroots activists to build sustainable, just, and resilient communities in the face of broad-scale environmental problems like global warming and climate change.

Di Chiro has a background in Biology (B.A. with honors from UCSC), a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness (Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Environment, Health, and Development) from UC Santa Cruz, which integrates her interdisciplinary background in biology, environmental studies, and socio-cultural theory. Di Chiro has over 20 years teaching experience, and has taught in Environmental Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies at Deakin University (Australia), University of California (Santa Cruz), Allegheny College, Mount Holyoke College, and Swarthmore College.  She has received numerous research fellowships and grants, including from the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of California Humanities Research Institute, the American Association of University Women, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

April 2010

Anirudh Krishna, Duke University

"One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How They Escape Poverty"

See Also