Archive

Archive for the ‘Publications’ Category

If I am Troy Davis, I Failed Troy Davis: Abolishing the Death Penalty through an Antiracist People’s Geography

December 14, 2015 Comments off

My Troy Davis paper was officially published in ACME:

Heynen, N. (2015) “If I am Troy Davis, I Failed Troy Davis: Abolishing the Death Penalty through an Antiracist People’s Geography.” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 14(4): 1066-1082.

Abstract In the wake of Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis, the importance of antiracist geographic thought has become ever more pertinent for clarifying how democratic politics and a people’s geography can help to bring about the abolition of the death penalty in the U.S. This paper seeks to engage the painful historicalgeographical legacies of white supremacism and the ways it has enabled capital punishment with an eye to moving toward a less violent and less dehumanizing state. More specifically, I imagine my historical-geographical engagement to provide a foundation from which to discuss putting into motion more deliberately what W.E.B. DuBois referred to as “Abolition Democracy”. In realizing the potential of DuBois’ notion of abolition democracy though, I will suggest more geographical attention to the ways racialized geographies have not been as explicitly connected to the notion of a people’s geography. 

Categories: Publications

Urban political ecology II: The abolitionist century in Progress in Human Geography

November 26, 2015 Comments off

My second UPE review titled “Urban political ecology II: The abolitionist century” in now on Progress in Human Geography’s on-line first page.

Heynen, N. (on-line first) “Urban Political Ecology II: The Abolitionist Century” Progress Report for Progress in Human Geography.

Abstract
Attention to the urban and metropolitan growth of nature can no longer be denied. Nor can the intense scrutiny of racialized, postcolonial and indigenous perspectives on the press and pulse of uneven development
across the planet’s urban political ecology be deferred any longer. There is sufficient research ranging across antiracist and postcolonial perspectives to constitute a need to discuss what is referred to here as ‘abolition ecology’. Abolition ecology represents an approach to studying urban natures more informed by antiracist, postcolonial and indigenous theory. The goal of abolition ecology is to elucidate and extrapolate the interconnected white supremacist and racialized processes that lead to uneven develop within urban environments.

Keywords: abolition ecology, antiracism, cities, environmental justice, political ecology, postcolonial, urban geography, urban political ecology (UPE)

Categories: Publications

Knowing Climate Change, Embodying Climate Praxis: Experiential Knowledge in Southern Appalachia

March 4, 2015 Comments off

We’re all excited that several years of fieldwork through the Coweeta Listening Project (CLP) is starting to yield some publications.  Here is another new paper that is coming out in a special issue of the Annals of the Association of the American Geographers on Imagining Socio-Ecological Transformation.

Rice, J.L., B.J. Burke, N. Heynen (2015) “Knowing Climate Change, Embodying Climate Praxis: Experiential Knowledge in Southern Appalachia.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 105(2)

Abstract: Whether used to support or impede action, scientific knowledge is now, more than ever, the primary framework for political discourse on climate change. As a consequence, science has become a hegemonic way of knowing climate change by mainstream climate politics, which not only limits the actors and actions deemed legitimate in climate politics but also silences vulnerable communities and reinforces historical patterns of cultural and political marginalization. To combat this “post-political” condition, we seek to democratize climate knowledge and imagine the possibilities of climate praxis through an engagement with Gramscian political ecology and feminist science studies. This framework emphasizes how antihierarchical and experiential forms of knowledge can work to destabilize technocratic modes of governing. We illustrate the potential of our approach through ethnographic research with people in southern Appalachia whose knowledge of climate change is based in the perceptible effects of weather, landscape change due to exurbanization, and the potential impacts of new migrants they call “climate refugees.” Valuing this knowledge builds more diverse communities of action, resists the extraction of climate change from its complex society–nature entanglements, and reveals the intimate connections between climate justice and distinct cultural lifeways. We argue that only by opening up these new forms of climate praxis, which allow people to take action using the knowledge they already have, can more just socioecological transformations be brought into being.

KeyWords: climate governance, democratization, politics of knowledge, praxis.

 

Can Science Writing Collectives Overcome Barriers to More Democratic Communication and Collaboration? Lessons from Environmental Communication Praxis in Southern Appalachia

February 23, 2015 Comments off

As some of my other posts show, I have been interested in how writing collectives can operate and say different things than single or multi-authored writing projects.  This new paper reflects of efforts out of the Coweeta Listening Project’s (CLP) experience having written many newspaper essays under the moniker of “Science, Public Policy, Community”, but under the shared authorship of the Coweeta Listening Project Writing Collective.

Burke, B. J., M. Welch-Devine, S. Gustafson, N. Heynen, J. L. Rice, T.L. Gragson, S.Evans, D. R. Nelson. (forthcoming) “Can science writing collectives overcome barriers to more democratic communication and collaboration? Lessons from environmental communication praxis in southern Appalachia.” Environmental Communication

Abstract: Despite compelling reasons to involve nonscientists in the production of ecological
knowledge, cultural and institutional factors often dis-incentivize engagement between
scientists and nonscientists. This paper details our efforts to develop a biweekly
newspaper column to increase communication between ecological scientists, social
scientists, and the communities within which they work. Addressing community generated
topics and written by a collective of social and natural scientists, the column
is meant to foster public dialog about socio-environmental issues and to lay the
groundwork for the coproduction of environmental knowledge. Our collective approach
to writing addresses some major barriers to public engagement by scientists, but the
need to insert ourselves as intermediaries limits these gains. Overall, our efforts at
environmental communication praxis have not generated significant public debate, but
they have supported future coproduction by making scientists a more visible presence
in the community and providing easy pathways for them to begin engaging the public.
Finally, this research highlights an underappreciated barrier to public engagement:
scientists are not merely disconnected from the public, but also connected in ways that
may be functional for their research. Many field scientists, for example, seek out neutral
and narrowly defined connections that permit research access but are largely
incompatible with efforts to address controversial issues of environmental governance.

Keywords: science writing; democratization; public engagement; journalism;
coproduction

 

If I am Troy Davis, I Failed Troy Davis: Abolishing the Death Penalty through an Antiracist People’s Geography

February 13, 2015 Comments off

When Troy Davis was executed in Georgia on the 21st of September 2011 many folks had a range of different responses.  While until that moment I had not written about the Death Penalty, I had thought a great deal about about, especially after I moved to Georgia which has played such an important role in Death Penalty history within the U.S.   When the opportunity presented itself via an invitation from Jim Tyner and Josh Inwood to participate in a special issue on Davis’ execution I did not feel like I could say no, as difficult a paper as it was for me to write.

Here is the forthcoming paper from these efforts:

Heynen, N. (forthcoming) “If I am Troy Davis, I Failed Troy Davis: Abolishing the Death Penalty through an Antiracist People’s Geography.” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies.

Just a special note that this will be the third paper that I have published in ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies and I want to say what an absolute pleasure it has been working with the editorial team there over these occasions.  Lawrence Berg, and the rest of the team at ACME, over the years have worked tirelessly with limited resources because they believe in the politics of open access publishing and I think they deserve wide ranging support and recognition for their efforts.

 

 

Transforming Participatory Science into Socioecological Praxis: Valuing Marginalized Environmental Knowledges in the Face of the Neoliberalization of Nature and Science

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Over the last several years I’ve worked with the Coweeta Listening Project (CLP) which is an ethnographically oriented action-research collective trying to better integrate social science within the Coweeta Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Project.  Especially important has been work inspired through conversations with my colleague Brian Burke who initially came in as a postdoc to the CLP and through his efforts allowed us to drastically expand the project.  This week a paper Brian and I wrote for a special issue of Environment and Society titled “Transforming Participatory Science into Socioecological Praxis Valuing Marginalized Environmental Knowledges in the Face of the Neoliberalization of Nature and Science” has been published.

Burke, B.J. and N. Heynen (2014) “Transforming Participatory Science into Socio-Ecological Praxis: Valuing Marginalized Environmental Knowledges in the Face of the Neoliberalization of Nature and Science.’ Environment and Society. 5: 7–27

ABSTRACT: Citizen science and sustainability science promise the more just and democratic
production of environmental knowledge and politics. In this review, we evaluate
these participatory traditions within the context of (a) our theorization of how the
valuation and devaluation of nature, knowledge, and people help to produce socioecological
hierarchies, the uneven distribution of harms and benefi ts, and inequitable
engagement within environmental politics, and (b) our analysis of how neoliberalism is
reworking science and environmental governance. We fi nd that citizen and sustainability
science oft en fall short of their transformative potential because they do not directly
confront the production of environmental injustice and political exclusion, including
the knowledge hierarchies that shape how the environment is understood and acted
upon, by whom, and for what ends. To deepen participatory practice, we propose a
heterodox ethicopolitical praxis based in Gramscian, feminist, and postcolonial theory
and describe how we have pursued transformative praxis in southern Appalachia
through the Coweeta Listening Project.
KEYWORDS: citizen science, democratization, Gramsci, participation, science studies,
sustainability science

 

Megapolitan Political Ecology and Urban Metabolism in Southern Appalachia

September 3, 2014 Comments off

For several years I have been directing something called the Coweeta Listening Project (CLP).  A subset of this group has just published a first-cut effort to think through the rapid exurbanization within southern Appalachia through megapolitan geographies, urban political ecology, and notions of urban metabolism.

Gustafson, S., N. Heynen, J.L. Rice, T. Gragson, J. M. Shepherd, C.Strother (forthcoming; on-line) “Megapolitan Political Ecology and Urban Metabolism in Southern Appalachia.” Professional Geographer.

Abstract

Drawing on megapolitan geographies, urban political ecology, and urban metabolism as theoretical frameworks, this article theoretically and empirically explores megapolitan political ecology. First, we elucidate a theoretical framework in the context of southern Appalachia and, in particular, the Piedmont megapolitan region, suggesting that the megapolitan region is a useful scale through which to understand urban metabolic connections that constitute this rapidly urbanizing area. We also push the environmental history and geography literature of the U.S. South and southern Appalachia to consider the central role urban metabolic connections play in the region’s pressing social and environmental crises. Second, we empirically illuminate these human and nonhuman urban metabolisms across the Piedmont megapolitan region using data from the Coweeta Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, especially highlighting a growing “ring of asphalt” that epitomizes several developing changes to patterns of metabolism. The conclusion suggests that changing urban metabolisms indicated by Coweeta LTER data, ranging from flows of people to flows of water, pose a complicated problem for regional governance and vitality in the future.