A Clear and Present Pedagogy

This research project explores the vital roles that radical scholars and critical environmental educators can offer at this pivotal historical moment. Amid ongoing debates surrounding the nomenclatures (and mis-nomenclatures) of “The Anthropocene” — debates which have struggled to name the profound implications and extraordinary dangers attendant to current planetary trajectories — this project specifically explores questions of pedagogy. In particular, this project will examine the ways in which critical environmental scholars are addressing two key dimensions of their work: (a) questions about the “stakes” of what they do (i.e. envisioning the domains of influence where the particular roles, knowledges, and capacities of critical environmental scholars can be leveraged to greatest effect) and (b) how they have come to practice their “craft” (i.e. what such a pedagogy does and can and arguably should look like). While pursuing basic theoretical questions about the politics of knowledge and higher learning, this project maintains a strong focus on praxis—on how to constitute a pedagogy proportionate to the bewildering scale, wrenching affect, brutal inequities, and dire urgencies of the planetary transformations now in motion—with, for, and around a generation of students whom we are now regularly told is the most important in the history of history and whom we are now tasked with educating.

The illustration above was made by one of my students, Ivonne Juarez Serna, for an interdisciplinary panel discussion we organized in Feb. 2020 establishing the broad themes of this project.