2021-23 Theme

Human and Environmental Crises in the Americas

The climate crisis is intimately connected to human behavior, creating related local, national, and global crises. Ongoing large scale resource extraction, deforestation, river and oceanic water pollution, air contamination, land degradation, among other activities, impact the day to day lives of people across the Americas and the world.  Under the two-year theme Human and Environmental Crises in the Americas,we will address the most pressing issues of our time–human movement, displacement of peoples, deepening hunger, failing foreign and development policies, and threats to democracy and participatory governance in relation to different forms of climate crises. Here are some questions we will explore:

  • What can we learn from Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples confronting the ongoing environmental crises?
  • How are the urban poor and other marginalized populations coping with environmental disasters across the Americas?
  • Is it possible to live sustainably and in harmony with nature and other species while societies are immersed in neoliberal and capitalistic systems?
  • What changes are needed to immigration and refugee policies in the 21st century as the world faces massive humane movements and displacements due to environmental and political crises?
  • What is the role of local and national governments in improving or worsening human and environmental crises?

These and other related questions will be addressed over the next two years through a series of activities sponsored by CLLAS in collaboration with interested affiliated faculty and possibly their respective units.

The launching of CLLAS’ two-year theme was a one-day symposium titled Air, Water, Land: Native/Indigenous, Black, and Afro-Descendent Relationalities and Activism. The symposium was developed in conjunction with Native American and Indigenous Studies, Anthropology, Black Studies, the Global Justice Initiative, and the Common Reading program of the University of Oregon, and many other supporters. The symposium fostered critical conversations from Indigenous and Black/Afro-descendant communities across the Americas, with a committed focus to environmental justice, food sovereignty, and issues affecting local communities.

CLLAS aims to pay careful attention to deep and varied knowledges about how to care for all species and the planet as an integrated whole. We welcome your ideas for events, activities, symposiums, and conferences related to the theme Human and Environmental Crises in the Americas. We encourage you to think across borders and build bridges across disciplines in your proposals.