Brinda Sarathy, Pitzer College (moderator)
Kevin Dawson, University of California-Merced, “Waterscapes and Wet Bodies: Racializing Enslaved African Salvage Divers.”
Matthew Himel, Mississippi State University, "Hidden Labor at the Village of Pinehurst: Golf, Environment, and Middle-Class Expectations."
Rebecca Johns, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, "Not your Grandpa’s Sierra Club: Examining Racism and Exclusion in the Rhetorical Construction of the Environmental Citizen."
Hannah Ramer, University of Minnesota, "Planting Gardens, Cultivating Segregation: Real Estate and the Garden Club of Minneapolis, 1910-1925."
Addressing racial inequalities is not just a matter of increasing diversity, but also of recognizing and naming anti-Black racism. Humans’ relations with the environment also bear examination. This webinar offers a platform to four scholars who explore different aspects of anti-Black racism in environmental history.
The webinar begins with two papers on racialized labor. Kevin Dawson of the University of California, Merced will speak on “Waterscapes and Wet Bodies: Racializing Enslaved African Salvage Divers.” This paper describes how salvage, pearl, sponge, and conch industries targeted members of African ethnic groups because they were proficient underwater divers. Matthew Himel, Mississippi State University, continues the exploration “Hidden Labor at the Village of Pinehurst: Golf, Environment, and Middle-Class Expectations.” Himel explains how hidden, African American labor created a pastoral playground packaged as unchanging and natural in North Carolina’s pine barrens.
Next are two papers on environmental organizations. Rebecca Johns, of the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg presents “Not your Grandpa’s Sierra Club: Examining Racism and Exclusion in the Rhetorical Construction of the Environmental Citizen,” which uses rhetorical analysis to examine the construction of audience and interrogate the Club’s responsiveness to criticisms about racial exclusion. Finally, Hannah Ramer, University of Minnesota, speaks on “Planting Gardens, Cultivating Segregation: Real Estate and the Garden Club of Minneapolis, 1910-1925.” Ramer explains how Garden Club leaders aimed to beautify the city, save money for working families, promote exercise and healthy eating, even while working to block labor organizing, boost profits for real estate developers and institutionalize racial segregation.
The webinar will begin with presentations by each speaker and conclude with half an hour of questions from listeners.
Link will be shared as the event approaches.
The American Society for Environmental History will sponsor a series of webinars around Race and the Environment during Fall 2020. The webinars will capture and expand some of the exciting sessions from the March 2020 meeting that ASEH was forced to cancel to the COVID pandemic. ASEH and its members are eager to engage in this transformative cultural moment by sharing their scholarship and discussing its larger implications. The 2020 Program Committee and the Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity are organizing the webinars.
Sponsored by the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB) under the auspices of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University.