Happy New Year from all of us at EHN!
We’re excited about what lies ahead and like to express our gratitude for your ongoing support as we continue to showcase the environmental-related work and expertise of graduate students and early career scholars who identify as women, trans and/or nonbinary people from around the world, in different languages, and from various fields.
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1. “Galvanizing Glaciology: Thoughts on an Ecocritical Art History” by Isabelle Gapp (January 20, 2022)
“Confronting the fragility of place and community embedded in glacial landscapes, art history details the possibilities of a visual archive,” writes Isabelle Gapp in this intriguing reflection on the role of glaciers in an ecocritical art history in which icy materialities, cultures, typologies, and temporalities all figure. Isabelle notes her own fascination with ice and the ways in which interdisciplinarity enriches our understanding of glaciers and their contemporary perplexity, urging us to push beyond the confined disciplinary parameters of art historical discourse and theory.
2. “Nation, Toxicity, and Care: Exploring Chemical Kinship in Cuba’s Latest Environmental Disaster” by Ysabel Muñoz Martínez (August 19, 2022)
On August 5, 2022, lightning sparked a massive fire at a crude oil facility in Cuba, leading to dozens of injuries and causing dense black smoke to spread. As Ysabel Muñoz Martínez poignantly writes, this disaster not only worsened the island’s already severe energy crisis, but it also connects to a longer history of industrial degradation and pollution impacting communities in Cuba. She uses the concept of “chemical kinship” to explore how such toxicity impacts peoples’ lives and how it reshapes their world. Or as Ysabel puts it, “[t]hinking about chemical kinship in Cuba prompts me to think how toxicity has been present in communities left adrift by a government that is unable to meet the required demands, and how it has silently become encoded in the national genetic makeup.”
3. “Problems of Place: Breath Under Threat, With and In the Absence of Iodine” by Knar Gavin (August 29, 2022)
In this piece as part of our Problems of Place series, Knar Gavin offers a small glimpse into their own poetic practice in connection with breath, uncommon sensemaking, and environmental justice struggles–from incineration to policing. As Knar insightfully notes, “[v]isible or not, problems of place are often quite materially in the air, and through the basic common denominator of breath, relations of solidarity across interconnected struggles can be forged.”
4. “Extracting Empire: Changing Visions of Labor and Environment in Bengal’s Salt Industry” by Julia Fine (October 7, 2022)
In this piece, Julia Fine offers a snippet of her dissertation research on salt production in colonial Bengal and its implications for land and labor. She focuses on how colonial capitalism reshaped this industry and how it eventually became a linchpin in the fight for decolonization. Not only did Gandhi’s Salt March in 1930 address the oppressive salt tax enacted by the British government, but “[…] the physical act of producing salt as part of his protest also gesture[d],” as Julia explains, “to the importance of labor within the commodity production that undergirded the empire.”
5. “Writing Nature in the Active Voice” by Sophie Chao (July 8, 2022)
“Many of us find ourselves at a loss for words when faced with the unspeakable violence wrought by large-scale, extractive human activity on more-than-human communities of life–including those among us who are trained in the arts of narrative craft and storytelling,” begins Sophie Chao. What follows next is an experimental and reflexive piece about walking through a natural landscape and looking closely. Such a beautiful reflection on language and method.
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A little note: we’re specifically looking to publish more content in languages other than English this year. If you are a graduate student or early career scholar who identifies as a woman, trans and/or nonbinary person and interested in sharing a piece in another language, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re eager to hear from you!
Keep an eye out for an updated call for non-English content later this month. As always, if you have ideas, proposals, or questions, feel free to contact us anytime.
*Cover image: Illustration by Nicolás Aznárez.
[Cover image description: an illustrated graphic depicting rows of faceless people with interlocking arms.]