Most-Read Posts of 2020

As we embark on this new year, we want to say thank you for supporting EHN. In 2021, we look forward to continuing to showcase the environmental-related work and expertise of graduate students and early career scholars who identify as women, trans and non binary people.

Today, inspired by NiCHE’s Top 5 Posts of 2020, we would like to highlight last year’s most-read posts. Indeed, these pieces embody what EHN stands for. 

***

1. “Problems of Place: How My Nana Taught Me to Listen to Plants” by Ligia Arguilez (February 12, 2020)

Someone once said that dissertation topics are often, one way or another, autobiographical. This essay by Ligia Arguilez just goes to show how true that can be. As part of our Problems of Place series, Ligia wrote about how her grandmother’s story led to her dissertation research on the creosote bush. Poignant and lovely.

2. “No One is a Virus: On American Ecofascism” by April Anson (October 21, 2020)

In a year dominated by COVID-19, police brutality, and the climate emergency, the “humans are the virus” trope took hold (once again). In her piece for EHN, April Anson unpacked how this argument relates to a distinctively American version of ecofascism rooted in violent white supremacy. A must-read.

3. “Climate Justice is Racial Justice: A Reading List” by the EHN team (June 11, 2020)

After sharing a statement of solidarity to demand justice and an end to police brutality against Black people, the EHN team posted this list of readings from Black scholars and activists who identify as women, trans and non binary people. These are readings that we’ve found helpful for centering conversations to gain a deeper understanding of race, racism, and racial justice in various environmentally-focused topics. Did you know that new readings regularly get added to this list?

4. “Bodies And Sexuality In Gilead: A Queer Ecofeminist Reading Of The Handmaid’s Tale” by Asmae Ourkiya (September 24, 2020)

In this piece, Asmae Ourkiya shared their take on how a queer ecofeminist reading of The Handmaid’s Tale, a tv series set in a dystopian future, shows how social and climate justice are linked. A fascinating (yet slightly frightening) read.

5. “Historical Black Lives Matter: What A Single Story Can Reveal About People & Places” by Natascha Otoya (September 8, 2020)

In this piece, Natascha Otoya wrote about a letter by João de Deus de Souza to the Brazilian National Petroleum Council that “upends the chronology of how we think about the transition from slavery to free labor.” By focusing on this one particular case, she sheds light on the importance to uncover, and call attention to, marginalized single stories within wider themes as nature, racial inequalities, and the role of place in any research topic. An apt reminder to think about the little picture, too.

***

Some of our other most-read posts include those about the #FlipTheList initiative that we helped organize in the summer of 2020. Our founder Elizabeth Hameeteman worked together with Justin Fisher, Sara Pritchard, Chris Slaby, and Ramya Swayamprakash to update and enrich Wikipedia’s “List of environmental books” by including more books written by scholars of color, scholars from the Global South, and/or scholars who identify as women, trans and non binary people. Through an edit-a-thon—sponsored by EHN, NiCHE New Scholars, ASEH’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, ASEH’s Graduate Student Caucus, and the Women’s Environmental History Network—more than 100 people crowdsourced a list with over 800 entries, far exceeding the initial goal of 300 recommendations. The work to add all the entries to the Wikipedia page, as a way of bringing the diverse and multi-layered nature of environmental-related work and expertise to the forefront, has been ongoing. Elizabeth and the rest of the #FlipTheList team hope to expand the initiative’s impact over the course of the coming year. 

As always, if you have ideas, proposals, or questions, please reach out to us at: contact@envhistnow.com


*Cover image: Illustration by Nicolás Aznárez.

[Cover image description: an illustrated graphic depicting rows of faceless people with interlocking arms.]