Summary of the 22nd EASLCE Webinar
“Environmental Justice, Narrative, & (Ethnic Minority) Literature
(Dr. Isabel Pérez Ramos, University of Oviedo, Spain)
20 April 2023, 4-6 pm (CEST)
- Diyali Bhattacharya (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
- Abdelghani Elmitry (University Mohammed Premier, Oujda-Angad, Morocco)
- Walter Hornfelt (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
- Alisa Preusser (University of Potsdam, Germany)
- Peri Sipahi (University of Münster, Germany)
- Dr. Linda Heß (University of Augsburg, Germany)
- Lena Pfeifer (University of Würzburg, Germany)
The 22nd EASLCE webinar brought us closer to the various facets of environmental justice both as a social movement and as a concern of narrative texts. The group began by taking a look at a selection of examples of US-American as well as global environmental justice movements before discussing the intersection of environmental justice and mainstream environmentalism which is all-too-often represented as disproportionately white and upper-class. This first part of the webinar was complemented by an in-depth discussion of the terminological affordances (and shortcomings) of the terms environmental justice, socioenvironmental justice, and ecological justice, as well as a critical engagement with the concept of the Anthropocene from an environmental justice perspective. We thought about where these concepts originate, on which preconceptions they are built, and how their use has changed and potentially can change particular forms of thinking.
In the second part, we moved towards thinking about the role of narrative as an affective medium for political and cultural engagement with environmental justice, but also about how narrative inevitably makes up the stories we tell about historical events and hence history as such. The variety of research interests within the group quickly broadened the discussion to a breadth of different concerns reaching from the role of feminist and multispecies concerns in thinking about environmental justice, to waste cultures, to concrete literary examples from specific national and ethnic cultures. As has become a tradition by now, the discussion could have continued way beyond the confines of a 90-minute webinar.