Environmental Justice Cultural Studies Bibliography

Below is an annotated list of some key texts that offer a variety of models of environmental justice cultural analysis. The list highlights works of environmental justice criticism of literature, film, television, and other cultural media, stressing work that treats intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, colonialism and "nature."

At the bottom of the page there are additional links to other bibliographies on environmental justice, environmental history, and mainstream ecocriticism.

Featured Books

Sarah Jaquette Ray. The Ecological Other: Environmental Exclusion in American Culture. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2013.

Ray investigates some of the ugly underside of early environmentalism, including eugenics. She concentrates on three categories of ecological otherness: people with disabilities, immigrants, and Native Americans. Extending recent work in environmental justice ecocriticism, Ray argues that the expression of environmental disgust toward certain kinds of bodies draws problematic lines between ecological “subjects”—those who are good for and belong in nature—and ecological “others”—those who are threats to or out of place in nature. Ultimately, The Ecological Other urges us to be more critical of how we use nature as a tool of social control and to be careful about the ways in which we construct our arguments to ensure its protection.

Noël Sturgeon, Environmentalism in Popular Culture: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of the Natural. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 2009.
This is the first book to employ a global feminist environmental justice analysis to focus on how racial inequality, gendered patterns of work, and heteronormative ideas about the family are vitally related to environmental questions. Examining trends beginning in the late 1980s and continuing into the 21st century, Sturgeon unpacks a variety of cultural tropes, including ideas about Mother Nature, the purity of the natural, and the stereotyped close relationship of indigenous people with the natural world. She investigates the persistence of the colonizing “myth of the frontier” and its extension to the militarization of outer space. She ponders the popularity of penguins and the controversy surrounding “penguin family values,” and questions assumptions about human warfare as “natural.”

Sturgeon illustrates the myriad and insidious ways in which American popular culture depicts social inequities as “natural” and how our images of “nature” interfere with creating solutions to environmental problems that work and are fair for currently marginalized social groups. Why is it, she wonders, that environmentalist messages in popular culture so often “naturalize” themes of heroic male violence, white suburban nuclear family structures, and U.S. dominance in the world? And what do these patterns of thought mean for how we envision socially just environmental solutions to issues ranging from toxic dumping, nuclear waste, e-waste and climate change, to the creation of truly “green” businesses and the protection of endangered species?

Dorceta Taylor. The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s-1900s. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2009.
Taylor's already magnum opus (with two further volumes promised to bring her story up to the present) should forever revolutionize the fields of urban studies and environmental studies. By tracing the long, complex history of class, race and gender discrimination in urban planning, and industrial health and safety choices, Taylor brilliantly demonstrates the long backstory of environmental justice and expands the field in ways that will shape all subsequent work. Throwing new light on a host of issues from efforts to the alleviate urban poverty, sanitary reform and public health, safe, affordable, and adequate housing, parks, playgrounds, and green space, occupational health and safety;; consumer protection, and land use in urban planning, The Environment and the People over several centuries has extraordinary range, yet always clearly articulates how none of these issues has been separable from questions of gender and race, in addition to the more often considered dimension of class. The book is theoretically and methodologically sophisticated, empirically rich and accessibly written. All serious students of urban environments, public health, social policy, and environmental justice will need to take this work (and its sequel) into account.

Recommended Readings

Adamson, Joni. American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice and Ecocriticism: The Middle Place. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2001.
The best sustained example yet of environmental justice ecocriticism, this book offers a rich, elegant set of stories woven into superb critical analysis of such writers as Edward Abbey, Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, Simon Ortiz, and Leslie Marmon Silko, among others. This groundbreaking work locates American Indian fiction, poetry, and culture in the contexts of native struggles around open-pit mines, uranium tailings, and other examples of economic and environmental degradation of reservation lands, and provides a much-needed, thoughtful and respectful challenge to the current theory and practice of ecocriticism.
Adamson, Joni, Rachel Stein, and Mei Mei Evans,., eds.Environmental Justice: Politics/Poetics/Pedagogy. Tucson:: U of Arizona P, 2002.
Excellent, wide-ranging anthology that has played a crucial role in the development of environmental justice cultural criticism and pedagogy.
Adamson, Joni and Scott Slovic. "The Shoulders We Stand On: An Introduction to Ethnicity and Ecocriticism." MELUS: Multiethnic Literatures of the United States 34.2 (Summer 2009): 5-24.
Introduction to a special issues of the journal on race/ethnicity and environmental cultural studies.
Alaimo, Stacy. "'Skin Dreaming': The Bodily Transgressions of Fielding Burke, Octavia Butler, and Linda Hogan." Ecofeminist Literary Criticism. Eds. Greta Gaard and Patrick Murphy. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998.
Explores the naturalization and denaturalization of racialized bodies in three very different writers.
--. Undomesticated Ground:Recasting Nature As Feminist Space. Ithcaa, NY: Cornell U Press, 2000.
Reading works by Catherine Sedgwick, Mary Austin, Emma Goldman, Nella Larson, Donna Haraway, Toni Morrison, and others, Alaimo finds that some of these writers strategically invoke nature for feminist purposes while others cast nature as a postmodern agent of resistance in the service of both environmentalism and the women's movement.
Asante-Darko, Kwaku. "The Flora and Fauna of Negritude Poetry: An Ecocritical Perspective." Mots pluriels. Sept. 1999.
Examines neglected environmental concerns raised in the poetry of Caribbean "negritude" writers Cesaire, Senghor, Birago Diop, Guy Tirolien, and Dadi.
Bennett, Jane, and William Chaloupka, eds. In the Nature of Things: Language, Politics and the Environment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
Examines the social construction of "nature" and "the environment" using an intriguing mix of discourse analysis and political theory.
Bennett, Michael, and David W. Teague, eds. The Nature of Cities: Ecocriticism and Urban Environments. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1999.
Important collection that helps undermine the notion that nature somehow stops at the edge of cities, and explores a rich variety of ways to think about urban environments in an ecocritical context.
Boag, Peter. “Thinking Like Mount Rushmore: Sexuality and Gender in the Republican Landscape,” in Virginia Scharff, ed. Seeing Nature Through Gender, Lawrence, Kansas: U of Kansas Press, 2003.
Buell, Lawrence. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing and the Formation of American Culture. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1995.
One of the founding texts of eco-criticism. While constrained by excessive focus on the white male canon of nature writing, this extensive work remains resonant with ideas on various genres of writing about the environment in the US context.
--. The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination. London and New York, Blackwell, 2005,
Surveys the history environmental cultural criticism and cites environmental justice eco-criticism as crucial to the future of the field.
--. Writing for an Endangered World. Cambidge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.
Another encyclopedic work from Buell, this time making a nod to issues of environmental justice via a chapter on "Toxic Discourse," and treatment of a couple of writers of color.
Braun, Bruce, and Noel Castree, eds. Remaking Reality: Nature at the Millennium. NY: Routledge, 1998.
Rich collection of essays applying a variety of theoretical approaches to "social nature," and engaging with debates in politics, science, technology and social movements surrounding race, gender and class, the contributors explore important and emerging sites where nature is now being remade with considerable social and ecological consequences. See especially the essays by Katz, Watts, Latour, and Smith's afterword.
Cantrill, James G., and Christine Oravec, eds. The Symbolic Earth: Discourse and our Creation of the Environment. Lexington, KY:University Press of Kentucky, 1996.
The authors demonstrate a range of ways in which the preservation of the earth is dependent upon changing discursive practices, as well as and as intertwined with, material practices.
Carr, Glynis, ed. "New Essays in Ecofeminist Literary Criticism." Bucknell Review 44.1 (2000). Also published in book form by Bucknell Press.
See especially the essays by Sze on Karen Yamashita, Blend on Chicana writers, and Gaard on Linda Hogan and Alice Walker. Demonstrates the strong tendency in much recent ecofeminist criticism to align itself with environmental justice concerns.
Comer, Krista. Landscapes of the New West: Gender and Geography in Contemporary Women's Writing. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
Works to lessen the grip of the "wilderness plot" and other elements of frontier mythology surrounding writers from the Western US, raising new questions about gender, race, and environment. Demonstrates how even otherwise progressive writers like Silko and Kingsolver have been trapped at times in these imperialist and racist tropes.
Cronon, William. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England. New York: Hill and Wang, 1983.
Important study of European-native conflicts rooted in cultural differences in conceptualizations of what whites called "nature."
--. "The Trouble with Wilderness: Or Getting Back to the Wrong Kind of Nature." Uncommon Ground. Ed. William Cronon. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1995. 69-90.
Succinct and brilliant critique of the ecological and political dangers inherent in the concept of "wilderness." See also the responses to this essay by Hayes, Dunlap, and Cohen, in Environmental History 1.1 (1996): 29-46.
DeLoughrey, Elizabeth , Jill Didur, and Anthony Carrigan, eds. Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches.. NY: Routledge, 2015.
Wide-ranging collection Including sections on nuclear disasters, terraforming, climate change, and environmental justice globally and much more.
--. ed. Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1995.
Classic, wide-ranging anthology that includes work from Richard White, Donna Haraway, Anne Whiston Spirn and Susan Davis, among others, treating environmental rhetorics in popular culture, science, the arts, and movements.
Deming, Alison, and Laurel E. Savoy, eds. The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World. Berkeley: Milkweed, 2002.
A rich anthology of writing from African Americans, Latino/as, Asian Americans, Native Americans, mixed race writers and others that brilliantly challenges the assumption that nature writing is white writing. The editors demonstrate that the alleged "'lack' of nature writing by people of color reflects the limited perspective of both the defining audience and the publishing community more than lack of interest in the natural world by writers of color."
Di Chiro, Giovanna. "Nature as Community: The Convergence of Environment and Social Justice." Privatizing Nature: Political Struggles for the Global Commons.Ed. Michael Goldman. New York: Pluto Press, 1998. 120-143. Also reprinted in Cronon, ed. Uncommon Ground.
Rich set of arguments about the natural disaster of intellectually separating the environment from questions of society and culture.
--. "Environmental Justice from the Grassroots: Reflections on History, Gender, and Expertise." The Struggle for Ecological Democracy: Environmental Justice Movements in the United States. Ed. Daniel Faber. New York: Guilford, 1998. 104-136.
Excellent summary of key factors in the rise of the environmental justice movement, with a special focus on the constricted definitions of environmental "expertise" and the role of women in the movement.
Faber, Daniel, ed. The Struggle for Ecological Democracy. New York: Guilford Press, 1998.
Excellent, important collection of essays rooting environmental cultural studies in political economy and the search for substantive democracy.
Gaard, Greta, and Patrick D. Murphy, eds. Ecofeminist Literary Criticism: Theory, Interpretation, Pedagogy. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998.
Wide-ranging collection that at its best brings questions of race, class, gender, colonialism and nature to bear on key literary texts and literary critical questions.
Gedicks, Al. The New Resource Wars: Native and Environmental Struggles Against Multinational Corporations. Boston: South End Press, 1993.
Key collection rooting environmental struggles in indigenous peoples' struggles for sovereignty and cultural survival.
Gersdorf, Catrin and Sylvia Mayer, eds. Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies: Transatlantic Conversations of Ecocritiicism. Amsterdam, Rodopi B.V., 2006.
A mixed collection that contains some interesting pieces, especially those by Hartmann, Mayer, Heise, and Murphy.
Glave, Diane D. and Mark Stoll, eds. 'To Love the Wind and the Rain': African Americans and Environmental History. U of Pittsburgh P, 2006.
Includes much historical work, from the ere of slavery to the present, of interest for environmental justice cultural studies and the continuing effort to squelch the myth that black folks are not environmentalists.
Gottlieb, Robert. Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement. Washington, DC: Earth Island Press, 1993.
First book to fully weave worker safety issues and environmental justice concerns into a general history of US environmentalism. A major work of revisionism.
Gottlieb, Roger S., ed. The Ecological Community: Environmental Challenges in Philosophy, Politics, and Morality. New York: Routledge, 1997.
Philosophical, political and ethical issues going beyond the limits of a narrow environmental ethics.
Guha, Ramachanda. "Radical American Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation: A Third World Critique." Environmental Ethics 11.1 (1989): 71-84.
Classic statement of the dangers of wilderness purism when looked at from the perspective of Third World economic, political, and ecological realities.
Haraway, Donna. Primate Visions. New York: Routledge, 1989.
Brilliant reinterpretations of the history of primatology, natural history museums, and other constructions of human and non-human "natures."
--. Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature.New York: Routledge, 1991.
Superb collection of essays on the ways in which, for better and for worse, recent historical developments have blurred the border between nature and culture, animal and human, biology and society.
Hartmann, Simone Birgitt. "Feminist and Postcolonial Perspectives on Ecocriticism in a Canadian Context: Toward a 'Situated' Literary theory and Practice of Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice," in Catrin Gersdorf, and Sylvia Mayer, eds. Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies: Transatlantic Conversations of Ecocritiicism. Amsterdam, Rodopi B.V., 2006, 87-110.
Combines Haraway, eco-fem and ej in a rich synthesis.
Harvey, David. Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1999.
Harvey offers a reframing of historical-geographical materialism in light of issues of environmental justice and postmodern socio-cultural conditions on a global scale.
Hayashi, Robert T. "Beyond Walden Pond: Asian American Literature and the Limits of Ecocriticism," in Ingram, et al., eds, Coming into Contact. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2007: 58--5.
Important exploration of a neglected terrain.
Herndl, Carl G., and Stuart C. Brown, eds. Green Culture: Environmental Rhetoric in Contemporary America. Madison: University Wisconsin Press, 1996.
Examines a variety of environmental rhetorics from nature writing to Earth First! to toxic waste techno-speak.
Hofrichter, Richard, ed. Reclaiming the Environmental Debate: The Politics of Health in a Toxic Culture.Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000.
Excellent, wide-ranging collection that artfully combines political and cultural analysis of various environmental health issues. Includes strong essays that deconstruct the concepts of "toxicity" and "risk," "green capitalism," and "toxic tourism," as well as discussions of environmental justice art and media, and a host of other topics.
Ingram, Anne Merrill, et al. eds. Coming into Contact: Explorations in Ecocritical Theory and Practice.Athens, GA: U of Georgia, P, 2007.
Rich collection. See especially essays by Hayashi, Martin, and Mazel.
Ivakhiv, Adrian.“Stirring the Geopolitical Unconscious: Towards a Jamesonian Ecocriticism?” New Formations 64: 98-109 (2008).
Consolidating a neo-marxian eco-justice cultural criticism.
--. “Green Film Criticism and Its Futures.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 15 (2), 1-28 (2007)
Surveys main debates environmentalist film studies.
Karliner, Josh. Corporate Planet: Ecology and Politics in the Age of Globalization. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1997.
Excellent, accessible analysis of corporate pseudo-environmentalism, and the role of the World Bank, WTO (World Trade Organization)and other agents of globalizing capitalism in wreaking environmental damage and undercutting worker-environmentalist alliances.
Kirk, Gwyn. "Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice: Bridges Across Gender, Race, and Class." Frontiers 18.2 (1997): 2-20.
Savvy analysis by an experienced activist about the pitfalls and possibilities of alliances between two of the most dynamic elements of current environmental movements.
Knobloch, Frieda. The Culture of Wilderness: Agriculture as Colonization in the American West. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Excellent study of agricultural colonialism in the US west as it shaped and destroyed cultures.
Kollin, Susan. Nature's State: Imagining Alaska as the Last Frontier. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.
Uses postcolonial and environmental justice theory to explore the gendered and racialized nature of eco-imperialism and social anxieties about nature, ethnicity and national identity in the context of the Northern "frontier" of the US. Re-thinks a range of writers from John Muir and Jack London to Margaret Murie, John McPhee and Barry Lopez.
Kuletz, Valerie. Tainted Desert. New York: Routledge, 1998.
Excellent study of the environmental impact of nuclear testing and uranium mining on the cultures, peoples, and landscape of the US Southwest.
Leduc, Timothy B. Climate, Culture, Change: Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North. Ottowa: U of Ottawa P, 2010.
Rich work putting serious cross-cultural discussion at the center of questions about the impacts of global climate change. Based on the cultural experience of the Inuit people in relation to Anglo North American culture, but with broad applicability around the globe.
Luke, Timothy. Capitalism, Democracy, and Ecology. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999.
Wide-ranging, lucid critique arguing that a new alliance of the oppressed centered on environmental concerns is the best chance for global democracy, social justice and ecological sustainability.
Luke, Timothy. Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1997.
Insightful set of readings of various environmentalist discourses, from Nature Conservancy to Earth First! that argues for a more complex understanding of the cultural and political economy of "nature" and the "natural," and reveals underlying patterns of assumption about power and agency.
Merchant, Carolyn. Death of Nature. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1980.
--. Ecological Revolutions: Gender, Nature and Science in New England. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.
Merchant's two classic studies bring questions of gender and race to bear on the conceptualization of "Nature" in American thought and social practice.
Milton, Kay. Environmentalism and Cultural Theory: Exploring the Role of Anthropology in Environmental Discourse. New York: Routledge, 1996.
Useful systematic study of current and possible future uses of anthropological theory and cultural theory in general in analyzing relations between peoples and environments.
Mitman, Greg. Reel Nature: America's Romance With Wildlife on Film. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.
Important, wide-ranging study of nature documentaries in film and television.
Mortimer-Sandilands, Catriona. The Good-Natured Feminist: Ecofeminism and the Quest for Democracy. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1999.
Brilliant study of the relations between radical democracy and environmental gender justice.
--. Unnatural Passions?: Notes Toward a Queer Ecology. Invisible Culture (2005)
Major work on the negotiation of sexualities and natures.
Mortimer-Sandilands, Catriona, and Bruce Erikson, eds. Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2010.
Brilliant, pathbreaking collection of essays at the intersections of sexuality and environmental studies, including topics ranging from animal sexuality, species politics, environmental justice, pink-green environmentalism, AIDS literatures, and a host of other issues..
Myers, Jeffrey. Converging Stories Race, Ecology, and Environmental Justice in American Literature. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2005.
Extends environmental justice literature to the 19th century US to writers including Thoreau, Charles Chesnut, Zitkala-sa, and Willa Cather.
Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind. New Haven: Yale U P, 1967.
Classic long-range study of how Americans have understood and used the concept of "wilderness."
Neuzil, Mark, and William Kovarik. Mass Media and Environmental Conflict: America's Green Crusades. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 1996.
Analyzes mainstream (and some alternative) framing of environmental issues by the media.
Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2011.
The violence wrought by climate change, toxic drift, deforestation, oil spills, and the environmental aftermath of war takes place gradually and often invisibly. Using the innovative concept of “slow violence” to describe these threats, Nixon focuses on the inattention we have paid to the attritional lethality of many environmental crises, in contrast with the sensational, spectacle-driven messaging that impels public activism today. Slow violence, because it is so readily ignored by a hard-charging capitalism, exacerbates the vulnerability of ecosystems and of people who are poor, disempowered, and often involuntarily displaced, while fueling social conflicts that arise from desperation as life-sustaining conditions erode.
Novak, Barbara. Nature and Culture: American Landscape Painting, 1825-1875. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
The standard work on landscape painting in the US.
Oelschlaeger, Max. The Idea of Wilderness from Prehistory to the Age of Ecology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.
Long range view of this key concept in nature studies.
O'Meara, Bridget. "The Ecological Politics of Silko's Alamanac of the Dead." Wicazo Sa Review 15.2 (2000): 63-73.
Insightful study of the links between environmental and social justice in Silko's monumental novel.
Outka, Paul. Race and Nature from the Transcendentalists to the Harlem Renaissance. NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008.
Rich corrective to the "normative whiteness" of much eco-crit, tracing the relations among sublimity, trauma and the naturalization of race and racism during the era of slavery and Jim Crow.
Pedelty, Mark. Ecomusicology: Rock, Folk, and the Environment. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2012.
Surveys the neglected force of music as environmental terrain, looking not only at musical texts but also at the music industry's ecological impact.
Peet, Richard, and Michael Watts, eds. Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development, Social Movements. New York: Routledge, 1996.
Collection of essays arguing various versions of a "discursive materialist" environmentalism that examines relationships between the "social construction of nature" and the "natural construction of society" mediated through various local-regional "environmental imaginaries." Especially strong in articulating complex Third and Fourth World critiques of and social movements against Western, capitalist environmentally and socially destructive forms of so-called "development."
Pellow, David, and Lisa Sun-Hee Park. The Silicon Valley of Dreams" Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Economy. New York: NYU Press, 2002.
Important study extending analysis of the impact of environmental racism and injustice to immigrant workers of color in the high tech industries of places like Silicon Valley. Also assesses the implications of this wider definition of environmental racism with regard to relations between immigrants of color and long-time US citizens of color.
Peña, Devon, ed. Chicano Culture, Ecology, Politics: Subversive Kin. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998.
Outstanding collection of essays detailing interrelations between Chicano cultural/political struggles, and environmental struggles around pesticides, pollution, toxics, land stewardship and other concerns.
--. Terror of the Machine: Technology, Work, Gender and Ecology of the U.S.-Mexico Border. Austin: CMAS Books, 1997.
Superb exploration of the social and environmental costs of the maquiladoras, embedded in an auto-ethnography of the culture(s) of Mexican and Chicana women workers.
Pezzulo, Phaedra. Toxic Tourism: Rhetorics of Travel, Pollution, and Environmental Justice. University of Alabama Press, 2007.
Examines the mode of environmental justice advocacy in which the often questionable forms of aesthetically pleasing tourism (including much eco-tourism) that cover over or evade environmental concerns, is replaced by informed visits to sites of environmental degradation.
Pezzulo, Phaedra, ed. Cultural Studies and the Environment, Revisited. NY: Routledge, 2010.
Updated version of the influential collection of essays that sought to bring cultural studies practitioners into closer contact with environmental analysis.
Picolotti, Romina and Jorge Daniel Taillant, eds. Linking Human Rights and the Environment. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003.
Collections of wide-ranging essay examining legal, legislative and cultural issues entailed in using human rights discourses to seek solutions to environmental issues, and vice versa.
Platt, Kamala. "Chicana Strategies of Success and Survival: Cultural Poetics of Environmental Justice from the Mothers of East Los Angeles." Frontiers 18.2 (1997): 48-72.
Develops the concept of "cultural poetics" to analyze the race, gender and class dynamics of a key Chicana environmental justice organization.
--. "Ecocritical Chicana Literature: Ana Castillo's 'Virtual Realism.'" Isle 3.1 (Summer 1996): 67-96.
Explores the centrality of environmental justice themes in Castillo's So Far From God.
Pulido, Laura. Environmentalism and Economic Justice. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996.
Rich reading of Chicano and hispano environmental/economic justice movements in terms of positionality, material processes and culture.
Reed, T.V. "Toward an Environmental Justice Eco-Criticism," in Joni Adamson, et al., eds. Environmental Justice: Politics/Poetics/Pedagogy. Tucson:: U of Arizona P, 2002.
Originally published online in 1997, this is a founding text of environmental justice cultural criticism, laying an early map of what is now a flourishing field. Cited by Lawrence Buell as announcing the next wave of eco-cultural work.
--. “Toxic Colonialism, Environmental Justice and Cultural Resistance in Silko’s Almanac of the Dead." MELUS: Multiethnic Literatures of the United States 34.2 (Summer 2009) 25-42.
Reed reads Silko's novel as a foundational text of environmental justice cultural studies avant la lettre.
Robertson, George, et al., eds. Futurenatural: Nature, Science, Culture. London: Routledge, 1996.
Intriguing collection of essays on nature and postmodernity. See especially the pieces by Smith and Ross.
Ross, Andrew. Strange Weather: Culture, Science and Technology in the Age of Limits. London: Verso, 1991.
Collection of essays analyzing New Age science and other dimensions of popular environmentalism.
Sandilands, Catriona (see Mortimer-Sandilands).
Slack, Jennifer, and Laurie Anne Whit."Ethics and Cultural Studies." Cultural Studies. Eds. Lawrence Grossberg, et al. New York: Routledge, 1992: 571-91.
Influential essay calling for "ecocultural" ethics as a ground for cultural studies work.
Smith, Kimberly. African American Environmental Thought.Lawrence: U of Kansas P, 2007.
Rich studies that both reexamines figures like Douglass, DuBois and Locke but also uncovers a long history of connections between freedom and environmental care that predate the EJ movement by generations.
Smith, Neil. Uneven Development: Nature, Capital and the Production of Space. Oxford: Blackwell, 1984.
The locus classicus for the important Marxist concept of the "production of nature," an argument that capitalism has all but wholly subsumed and commodified the natural environment.
Sofia, Zoe. "Exterminating Fetuses: Abortion, Disarmament, and the Sexo-Semiotics of Extraterrestrialism." Diacritics: A Review of Contemporary Criticism 14: 2 (Summer 1984). 47-59.
Brilliant analysis of "techno-fetishism" and waste phobia in popular film discourse.
Solnit, Rebecca. Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Landscape Wars of the American West. Berkeley: U of California P, 2000.
Brilliantly evocative accounts of the tragic connections between the decimation of Native peoples and the lands of the western U.S. from the mid-19th to the 21st century.
Stein, Rachel. Shifting the Ground: American Women Writers' Revision of Nature, Gender and Race. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1997.
Excellent study focusing on ways in which Emily Dickinson, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Leslie Silko, negotiated the intersections of race, gender, and notions of nature.
Stein, Rachel. "'To Make the Visible World Your Conscience': Adrienne Rich as Revolutionary Nature Writer." Reading Under the Sign of Nature: New Essays in Ecocriticism. Ed. John Tallmadge and Henry Harrington. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2000. 198-207.
Rereads Rich as a poet concerned with the intersections of gender, race and the natural environment.
Sturgeon, Noël. Ecofeminist Natures: Race, Gender, Feminist Theory and Political Action. New York: Routledge, 1997.
Brilliant interpretation of the problem essentialism in US environmentalisms that offers an alternative racial and gender politics, and a concept of "direct theorizing" of use for cultural environmental analysis and social movement action.
Sturgeon, Noël, guest ed. "Intersections of Feminisms and Environmentalisms." special issue of Frontiers 18.2 (1997).
In addition to essays by Comer, Kirk, Kollin, and Platt, cited elsewhere in this bibliography, see the pieces by Sandilands, Carden, and Di Chiro, and the interesting works of visual art in this volume.
Szasz, Andrew. Ecopopulism: Toxic Waste and the Movement for Environmental Justice. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.
Crucial study of the politics and culture of the EJ movement.
--. Shopping Our Way to Safety: How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves.
Searing critique of the "reverse quarantine" by which the privileged seek to insulate themselves from environmental hazards.
Sze, Julie. Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.
Sze brilliantly analyzes the culture, politics, and history of environmental justice activism in New York City within the larger context of privatization, deregulation, and globalization. She tracks urban planning and environmental health activism in four economically poor ethno-racially divided New York neighborhoods: Brooklyn's Sunset Park and Williamsburg sections, West Harlem, and the South Bronx.
Tifflin, Helen, and Graham Huggan. Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment. NY: Routledge, 2010.
Using a range of authors, including J.M. Coetzee, Joseph Conrad, Daniel Defoe, Jamaica Kincaid and V.S. Naipaul, and treating a range of issues from postcolonial development narratives to the politics of cannibalism.
Walton, John. Western Times and Water Wars. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
Explores the strategies of Owen Valley residents who, over seventy years, resisted the bid by the city of Los Angeles to export their water resources.
Weintraub, Linda. To Life! Eco-Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet. University of California Press,
2013.
Broad survey of visual/fine eco-arts, including some ej work, mostly under the category of "social practice" art.
White, Evelyn C. "Black Women and the Wilderness." In Teresa Jordan and James Hepworth, eds. Stories that Shape Us: Contemporary Women Write about the West. New York: Norton, 1995.
Tells the story of a black woman haunted by bone-deep memories of slave catchers, the KKK and the death of Emmett Till, who finds a way past her fear of wildnerness to take her rightful place there.
White, Richard. "Are You an Environmentalist or Do You Work for a Living?: Work and Nature." Uncommon Ground. Ed. William Cronon. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1995. 171-85.
Perceptive and witty analysis of the ways in which certain environmentalist rhetorics exclude the knowledges and rights of those who work the land, and a sharp critique of the deadend environmentalist strategy that seemingly pits work against wilderness.
--. The Organic Machine. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995.
Examines the entanglement of built and natural environments by studying the Columbia River system with its dams, its vat-grown salmon, and the computerized monitoring system (CRiSP) used to predict environmental outcomes.
Wilson, Alexander. The Culture of Nature: North American Landscape from Disney to the Exxon Valdez. London: Blackwell, 1992.
Pathbreaking work on the inextricable interrelation of so-called "natural" and "built" environments. Wilson traces the contrasting and interlinked responses of Canadian, U.S. and indigenous cultures to the land, and offers compelling anaylses of theme parks, forest preserves, wildlife conservation, scenic roadways, car, truck, train and air travel.
Worster, Donald. Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985, 1977.
Lucid and comprehensive historical analysis of ecology and ecological concepts.
--. Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the American West. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
A re-telling of the history of the US West as a struggle between native peoples and newcomers, fought partly through struggles around conflicting meanings and uses of the land.


Another Useful Bibliogaphic Link

ASLE Environmental Justice Bibliographies

Includes a number of interesting perspectives on environmental justice and culture.