Marian Miner Cook

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Asian American Environments and Justice: Conversation with the Authors of Nature Unfurled

Fri, October 7, 2022
Lunch Program
Connie Chiang, Ashanti Shih, Tamara Venit-Shelton, and Sarah Wald; panelists

Nature Unfurled asks how Asian Americans have engaged with non-human nature over time. The panelists—Connie Chiang, Ashanti Shih, Tamara Venit-Shelton, and Sarah Wald—will discuss research on Asian Americans in the intertwined movements for racial and environmental justice. By the 1970s, activists recognized that racial oppression was inextricably linked to the environment. To combat exclusion from certain natural resources and amenities or exposure to toxic environments, they forged alliances with other people of color and campaigned for environmental justice.

This panel discussion is a featured program of the Gould Center and EnviroLab Asia's mini-conference on Asian American Environmental Visions and Activism.

Connie Chiang
Connie Chiang is the director of Environmental Studies Program and professor of history and environmental studies at Bowdoin College. She is the author of Shaping the Shoreline: Fisheries and Tourism on the Monterey Coast and has published articles in many journals, including the Journal of American History and Environmental History. Her latest book, Nature Behind Barbed Wire: An Environmental History of the Japanese American Incarceration, explores how the environment shaped the confinement of over 110,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. 

Ashanti Shih
Ashanti Shih is an assistant professor of history at Vassar College. She earned a B.A. in history and art practice at the University of California, Berkeley (2011) and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University (2019). Her research focuses on Asian American environmental knowledges, Asian settler colonialism, and the history of environmental sciences in the twentieth-century Pacific and American West. She is the author of  "'The Most Perfect Natural Laboratory in the World’: Making and Knowing Hawaii National Park," History of Science (May 2019) and forthcoming book on the same topic.

Tamara Venit-Shelton
Tamara Venit-Shelton is a professor of history at Claremont McKenna College where she teaches classes on race/ethnicity, environment, and health. She is the author of two books including the award-winning Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace. She has also published research in both scholarly and popular journals and newspapers.

Sarah Wald
Sarah Wald is associate professor of environmental Studies and English at University of Oregon. She is the author of  The Nature of California; Race, Citizenship, and Farming since the Dust Bowl and co-editor of  Latinx Environmentalisms: Place, Justice, and the Decolonial. Her current research focuses on the Outdoor Equity Movement. 

This panel discussion is a featured program of the Gould Center and EnviroLab Asia's mini-conference on Asian American Environmental Visions and Activism.



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Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

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