Photo by Elizabeth Hennessy

Environmental Justice in Multispecies Worlds: Ethics, Science, and Power

Stay tuned

Stay tuned for news about the March 6-8, 2020 international graduate conference,Environmental Justice in Multispecies Worlds: Land, Water, Food with featured guests Marisol de la Cadena, Kyle Powys Whyte, and Cleo Woelfle-Erksine. Calls for papers and workshops to come in Fall 2019. We hope you’ll join us!

Environmental Justice in Multispecies Worlds” brings together researchers across multiple disciplines to carve out new terrain at the underexplored intersection of multispecies studies and political ecology. These fields share a broad concern about what kinds of life are able to thrive in the so-called Anthropocene, yet often speak past each other—political ecology focusing on institutional critique to promote social justice and multispecies scholars attending more to the ethics of encounters among human and nonhuman life. The workshop will build a conversation at the intersection of these two trajectories to consider the following questions: How should we and nonhuman others live together? How have entangled histories of colonial and capitalist exploitation shaped contemporary configurations among humans and other species? How do class, racial, gender, and other politics shape multispecies encounters? How can recognizing multiple forms of life reframe techno-scientific management? How might attention to multispecies ethics redefine the politics and structures of environmental justice?

In biweekly meetings, we discuss emerging literature across these fields and workshop research in progress. We also run a series of day-long writing workshops with external scholars. In addition to helping coalesce and sustain a campus conversation on these themes, this shared work will culminate in a jointly authored manuscript and a cross-institutional funding proposal that focuses on enacting the type of grounded research that can emerge from this productive theoretical intersection.

Environmental Justice in Multispecies Worlds
Writing Workshop with Paula Ungar
(Alexander von Humboldt Institute in Colombia)

Friday, November 8, 10:00-3:00, University Club 313

Please join us for all or some of the discussions!

Papers will be pre-circulated. Contact for papers and to RSVP for the catered lunch (lunch RSVPs by Tuesday 11/5)

Paula Ungar works at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute in Colombia, the national center for research on biodiversity, where she leads research on environmental conflicts. She has worked in the interface between academia and policy-making around conservation for more than fifteen years, with NGOs, National Parks, and the Institute. She has published analyses of conservation initiatives aimed at informing environmental policy, edited methodological guidelines for environmental practitioners, and more.

Schedule of events (all in University Club 313)

10:00-11:00 am: Marisa Lanker (Agroecology, UW-Madison), “As Indigenous Relationships with the Land Shift: Towards Decolonial Formations of Agrobiodiversity in Guatemala”

11:00-12:00 pm: Paula Ungar (Alexander von Humboldt Institute), work in progress

12:00-1:00 pm: Catered lunch (please RSVP and share dietary restrictions to

and discussion of “Just Preservation” (Biological Conservation 2019) with Adrian Treves of the UW–Madison Carnivore Coexistence Lab

1:00–2:00 pm: Ben Iuliano (Biology, UW-Madison) “Toward a Political Ecology of Insect Conservation”

2:00-3:00 pm: Christian Keeve (Geography, UW-Madison), “Keeping Seeds: The poetics of fugitivity”

Hosted by the Environmental Justice in Multispecies Worlds research group and supported by the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies, the Center for the Humanities Borghesi-Mellon Workshop, and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program.  Find out more and join the listserv at:

Elizabeth Hennessy, History and Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

Caroline Gottschalk Druschke, English

Sainath Suryanarayanan, Community and Environmental Sociology

Katarzyna Beilin, Spanish and Portuguese

Tony Goldberg, Pathobiological Sciences

Claudia Calderon, Horticulture

Stay in the loop about Environmental Justice in Multispecies Worlds events and meetings by subscribing to the listserv for occasional emails. To subscribe, send an email to: