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Meet the Editors

Joni Adamson

Joni Adamson is Professor of Environmental Humanities in the Department of English and Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. She has lectured on the Environmental Humanities in Australia, China, France, Germany, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and across the US. She directs the Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHI) at the Wrigley Institute and ASU’s undergraduate Environmental Humanities Certificate. She is the author and/or co-editor of many books and volumes that helped to establish and expand the environmental humanities and environmental studies, including Humanities for the Environment (HfE): Integrating Knowledge, Forging New Constellations of Practice (2016, Routledge); Ecocriticism and Indigenous Studies—Conversations from Earth to Cosmos (2016, Routledge); Keywords for Environmental Studies (New York University Press, 2016); American Studies, Ecocriticism and Citizenship (Routledge 2013); and The Environmental Justice Reader (University of Arizona Press, 2002). Her groundbreaking monograph, American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice and Ecocriticism (University of Arizona Press, 2001) was published at the front edge of the environmental justice movement and helped shape transnational American Studies and the environmental humanities. Adamson has written over 70 articles, chapters and reviews on indigenous perspectives on environmental justice and cosmopolitics, citizenship and the commons, material ecocriticism, food justice, the arts of futurity, critical plant studies, and the eco-digital humanities. She is a Convener of the North American Observatory of the “Humanities for the Environment” (HfE) international networking project and Lead Developer for the HfE’s website.


Shauna Burnsilver

Dr. BurnSilver is an environmental anthropologist who studies how global climate and economic changes are transforming relationships between modern pastoral and hunter/fisher communities and the environments they depend on. At the core of her research is an examination of processes by which households and communities respond to these changes and associated effects on livelihoods, well-being and ecosystems. She frames theoretical questions from within Environmental Anthropology, but takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine dynamics of change, vulnerability and resilience at the scale of households and communities within social-ecological systems. Her work combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies, leveraging the strengths of ethnography and quantitative survey research and incorporating unique insights gained from social network analysis, traditional ecological knowledge, collaborative science, and social-ecological modeling to understand patterns of change – and their implications for people. She is interested in emergent definitions of “progress” and “well-being” in the midst of changes. How do different groups describe their relationships to Nature and landscapes? Do these cultural understandings shape livelihood decisions in the short and long terms, and if so – how?

Dr. BurnSilver works in the Alaskan Arctic with modern Iñupiaq and Gwich’in hunters/fishers and in East and West Africa, with Maasai (Kenya) and Tuareg (Mali) pastoralists. The responses of arctic hunters/fishers and savanna pastoral households to change are compelling to study and compare because while they represent iconic examples of groups who possess a highly-cohesive set of cultural and ecological adaptations to cope with extreme environments, people now face new sources of risk and uncertainty, such as climate change, market integration, and property rights transformations. Do traditional coping strategies, social structures and ideas about living on the land disappear under new sources of risk? Results of prior research indicate otherwise. Households diversify, mixed economies emerge, and social relationships of sharing and cooperation endure and change. Strong collaborations with local stakeholders and communities, who are also engaged with questions of well-being and sustainable livelihoods grounds my ongoing research activities.


Editorial board:

Christopher Boone, Arizona State University
sustainable urbanization, environmental justice, vulnerability, and global environmental change

Katrina Brown, Exeter
environmental change, development, vulnerability and resilience, how individuals and societies understand and respond to change, capacities for adaptation and transformation

Giovanna Di Chiro, Swarthmore College
intersections of environmental science and policy, with a focus on gender, social and economic disparities, and human rights

William A. Gleason, Princeton University
Eighteenth century to the present, with particular emphasis on the late 19th/early 20th century, and include American Studies, African American and multi-ethnic U.S. literatures, material culture, popular culture, children’s literature, architecture, literature and

David N. Pellow, University of California, Santa Barbara
environmental and social justice, race/class/gender and environmental conflict, human-animal conflicts, sustainability, and social change movements that confront our socioenvironmental crises and social inequality

Stephanie Pincetl, University of California, Los Angeles
environmental policies and governance, how institutional rules construct how natural resources and energy are used to support human activities, bringing together interdisciplinary teams across the biophysical and engineering sciences with the social sciences, problems of complex urban systems and environmental management, land use in California, environmental justice, habitat conservation efforts, urban metabolism, water and energy policy

Vernon Scarborough, Cincinnati
settlement, land use, water management in the context of the archaic state, ancient engineered water systems and landscapes, societal sustainability issues from a comparative ecological perspective, water and the engineered landscape at the Maya center of Tikal, Guatemala

Julie Sze, University of California, Davis
environmental justice and environmental inequality; culture and environment; race, gender and power; and urban/community health and activism

Christine Szuter, Executive Director, Amerind Foundation
anthropology, Southwest archaeology and zooarchaeology, food systems, indigenous studies, digital humanities, gender studies, scholarly publishing, and public history

Sander Van Der Leeuw, Arizona State University
the role of invention, sustainability, and innovation in societies around the world, how invention occurs, what the preconditions are, how the context influences it, and its role in society, ancient and modern land relationships, and complex systems theory

Kyle Powys Whyte, Michigan State University
moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and climate science organizations, Indigenous food sovereignty

Richard Wilk, Indiana University
social theory, how the world works, concerns and issues of the time that juxtapose otherwise seemly odd juxtapositions, such as modern beauty pageants and the spread of ancient Olmec society, the shortcomings of rational choice theory and the history of Belizean cuisine, or moral talk about television and the global branding of bottled water, commodity chains, development, political economy, globalization, history, narrative, and power; gender and sexuality

Norman Yoffee, University of Michigan, Emeritus
anthropology, heritage