Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray - Coming of Age at the End of the World: An Existential Toolkit for the Climate (and COVID) Generation

About the Talk: 

Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray discusses her new book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet. The book threads together different aspects of the field of interdisciplinary environmental humanities, including social movement theory, environmental justice, climate psychology, mindfulness, and affect theory, to outline strategies for coping with anxiety, grief, despair, and other responses to the climate crisis and related crises, coronavirus and ongoing struggles for racial justice. Ray will talk about how a new generation of young activists is changing the climate movement and why it’s so important for them and for the planet that they cultivate intellectual and existential resilience. How can educators and community leaders help young people learn how to imagine, desire, and thrive in a climate-changed future, instead of fear it? How can taking an interdisciplinary approach to environmental problems help us rise to this occasion and honor this generation’s unique situation and capacities?

About the Speaker:

 Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray has been Program Leader of the Environmental Studies Program at Humboldt State University since 2013. She received her PhD in Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy, with a focal department of English, at the University of Oregon in 2009. She holds a BA in Religious Studies (Swarthmore College) and a MA in American Studies (UT-Austin). Her first book, The Ecological Other: Environmental Exclusion in American Culture (University of Arizona, 2013) explores the ways that environmental discourse often reinforces existing social hierarchies, drawing on a legacy of nativist, racial, and ableist exclusion in environmental history. Dr. Ray has co-edited three collections, including Critical Norths: Space, Nature, Theory (2017), Disability Studies & the Environmental Humanities: Toward an Eco-Crip Theory (2017), and Latinx Environmentalisms: Place, Justice, and the Decolonial (2019). Her second book, a A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet (California, 2020) is an existential toolkit for the climate generation.

*Recorded on 12/2/20 at the Common CAHSS: Beyond Sustainability conference at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Introduction and moderated by Dr. David Voelker.