Teaching & Advising
At OU, I teach undergraduate classes and graduate seminars on global environmental politics, urban environmental issues, and human-environment relations, with a particular focus on the social, cultural and political dimensions of environmental processes and climate change. I take seriously my role in helping my students to prepare for their lives and careers beyond their college years.
Teaching at UCLA during my graduate studies was a formative experience for me as an educator and scholar. From 2014 to 2018, I was a Teaching Assistant or Instructor of Record for ten classes, and worked with more than 450 undergraduates from highly diverse backgrounds. I have taught classes across a range of topics including urban geography, economic geography, cultural geography, and political ecology. Teaching is a central part of my practice as a scholar, and I have enjoyed working with undergraduate students both inside and outside of the classroom. In recognition of my commitment to my students, I was awarded the 2017 Department of Geography Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.
Meagan Harding, International and Area Studies & Social Work - MA Committee Member
Kylen Huffman, International and Area Studies - Honors Research Advisor
Chris Progler, International and Area Studies - Honors Research Advisor
Ian Thom, Environmental Engineering - PhD Committee Member
I encourage prospective graduate students interested in researching climate/environmental governance, environmental applications of emerging technologies, and/or urban environmental politics in the global South to contact me.
IAS 3863 Global Environment (3000 level, writing intensive class, Fall semester)
This course examines the relationship between space, power, and the environment. In a rapidly changing global environment, new imaginaries and discourses have emerged for thinking about the “global” scale of environmental change. However, global environmental processes are not universal. Rather, they are highly uneven, effecting people and places in different ways. With this in mind, this course explores the spatialities and multi-scalar dimensions of environmental policy, governance and politics, with an explicit focus on dimensions of social and environmental justice. Drawing on a diverse range of case studies and informed by interdisciplinary perspectives, we will explore how axes of social difference (such as race/ethnicity, class, gender and religion) shape our relationship to the environment and investigate how environmental inequalities at a range of scales are produced by, and perpetuate structures such as racism, patriarchy and capitalism. Turning to questions of governance, we will interrogate how globalized discourses of environmental sustainability are operationalized at the local scale, and critically examine the transnational networks of expertise that have emerged to respond to environmental threats.
Environmental Justice & Global Cities (3000 level, Spring semester)
Defining “cities” and “the environment” in the broadest possible sense, this class investigates the historical production of environmental injustice in particular geographical contexts. We will interrogate how structural forces (such as capitalism, racism, and white privilege) contribute to producing environmental injustice, and how dimensions of race, gender, class, and other axes of socio-spatial difference shapes experiences of the environment. We will also examine the city as a site and object of environmental activism, critically analyzing grassroots organizing and forms of resistance. This class takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on the work of anthropologists, geographers, sociologists, and urban planners, among others. Resisting dystopian representations of ‘Southern’ mega-cities as sites of unrestrained environmental degradation and uncontrolled urbanization, this class maintains a particular focus on cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Environmental Justice Capstone (4000 level, Spring semester)
Global Environmental Politics
This seminar intends to equip graduate students with a firm understanding of a range of theoretical approaches and methodologies through which to investigate topics relating to environmental politics. Focusing largely on the socio-ecological landscapes of South and South East Asia, Africa and Latin America, we will examine the spatialities of environmental governance, degradation, and change, with attention to how these are shaped by multi-scalar processes from the local to the transnational. Through a discussion of different lenses and theoretical approaches and lenses through which to study environmental politics (such as abolition ecologies, critical race theory; feminist political ecology; Indigenous studies; queer ecology; postcolonial theory; settler-colonialism; and urban political ecology), we will explore how the environment and people’s relationship to it are shaped by relations of power. Questions of social and environmental justice will therefore be central to our discussions.
To investigate the co-constitution of nature and society, and how the environment is a product of socio-ecological processes;
To examine the role of power structures (such as capitalism, geopolitics, racism, white privilege, and patriarchy) in shaping different communities relationships' to the environment, and their positioning within global environmental politics;
To examine how the environment is the subject and object of contestation and environmental activism;
To become knowledgeable about different theoretical approaches to analyzing environmental politics, and to achieve proficiency in mobilizing these;
To survey and critically evaluate different methodologies to investigate topics relating to environmental politics;
We will read 8 books (TBC) over the course of the semester, paying attention to (i) research design/methodology; (ii) theoretical approaches; and (iii) intellectual contributions. The week before the discussion of each book, we will read and discuss the body of scholarship the author situates their work within, and the theoretical approaches that inform their research.