Dr. Leah Horowitz joined the Holtz Center last fall from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies (School of Human Ecology). She has been an Assistant Professor on the UW-Madison campus since Fall 2015. Prior to arriving in Madison and embracing the Wisconsin Idea, she was engaged in communities all over the world, including New Caledonia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and Madagascar.
Horowitz, a critical cultural geographer, uses ethnographic methods to examine grassroots engagements with environmental issues. She explores the cultural complexities and power dynamics surrounding the management and exploitation of natural resources.
Her research supports the understanding and importance of social relationships and networks – and the crucial role that emotions play within these – enabling and shaping various modes of environmental governance.
She has examined Indigenous communities’ negotiations with and resistance to environmentally-risky industrial expansion, as well as both rural and urban biodiversity conservation within the communities which she has engaged within her global studies and research.
Becoming a member of the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies was a natural, professional fit with her research focus. Professor Horowitz’s research contributes to Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies (STS), which she states is a new and rapidly expanding field. “Among other areas of investigation, it interrogates the roles that science and technology plays in reinforcing and discursively justifying environmental injustice”, she states. “However, to date postcolonial STS has inadequately investigated ways that people of color, and particularly Indigenous people, are not only experiencing, but actively resisting technologically-facilitated oppression”.
Horowitz’s current research pushes forward the cutting-edge of STS by examining Native-led grassroots responses to several pipelines transporting fossil fuels through Indian reservations and treaty lands. The Holtz Center is so honored to include Professor Horowitz and her cutting-edge contributions to science and technology studies within our gathering place for STS scholars.