You are here:Home/Research/ Garden and Landscape Studies/ Scholarly Activities/ Toward Black Environmental Imaginations

Toward Black Environmental Imaginations

Where
Zoom
When
October 21, 2021
CANCELLED | Carlyn E. Ferrari discusses how individuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois had deep, intimate connections with the natural world, pointing to a rich legacy of Black environmental thought.

The prevailing misconception is that African American individuals simply do not have an innate connection to or interest in the natural world, resulting in a myth of Black environmental apathy. Black writers like W. E. B. Du Bois were quite forward-thinking and were “green” before it was fashionable. They were critical of industrialization and advocated an anti-dominion relationship with the natural world that positioned human beings as stewards, not owners of the earth. They were far from apathetic; rather, they viewed environmentalism as an urgent moral imperative, one that was inextricably linked to racial equality. This talk discusses such how such individuals as Du Bois and had deep, intimate connections with the natural world, pointing to a rich legacy of Black environmental thought. Their meditations serve as evidence that a Black environmental imagination exists and invites further study into how Black writers theorize the natural world.

Carlyn Ferrari (Seattle University) is an assistant professor of English at Seattle University, where she teaches courses on Black literature and culture. Her research explores the relationship between Black feminism and ecocriticism. She is currently working on two book projects about poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer.

General View of Townsite from Vicinity of Clementine Vaughn House, Nicodemus Historic District, Nicodemus, Graham County, Kansas. Survey HABS KS-49, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC