I think every university should have a Center for Climate Justice where scholars from a range of disciplines & training are hired (or included) to teach students for the transformational changes we need globally. Strange that it's not a priority for every institution.
One would think my own uni (or some other place) would ask me to do this given my longstanding research & lived experiences in Global South & North, plus interdisciplinary teaching & scholarship on the issues. But only a few universities see climate justice as a critical concern.
It's not possible to teach everything students need to know in one semester-long course on climate justice, but I try to jam-pack mine with interdisciplinary material, bc they are starved for the info & there's not another course focused on climate justice in the curriculum now.
So if we had a Center for CJ, I'd want a range of campus courses, experiential learning, field courses & research opportunities for students. There would be interdisciplinary & intersectional hiring, retention, promotion bc that's essential for any equitable & just institution.
I emphasize feminist, anti-racist, decolonial, anti-colonial perspectives in my CJ course, so I'd envision a center that embodies that too in terms of its personnel, politics, pedagogy, etc would be more transformational & necessary for global reach & impact.
These are just random ruminations & wishful thinking on my part, completely organically derived on a stressed-out afternoon, but emerging from longstanding frustrations on the sluggishness in many universities to prioritize & value the concerns that CJ brings forth & embodies.
Funding politics in universities is often why we don't various important disciplines at every university. Geography departments (my discipline) were largely abolished in the US, thereby only harming it. CJ is an opportunity to bring back such emphasis on interdisciplinarity.
So a focus on interdisciplinarity, internationalization, collaboration, solidarity & praxis would be important in any CJ center IMO. Again, these are just random thoughts, I haven't actually sat down to think through what a CJ center would do (I could though when I'm free later).
The fact that several dozen institutions/faculty already use my CJ course syllabus as a resource is an indication of the growing importance of the topic & my approach to teaching it. Someone should give me $$ to start up a center. I'm no-nonsense about managing projects too.🙂
I'm sure some folks are wondering why I haven't jumped in to start a center at my own uni. First, you can't jump in to do this. You need financial, institutional, infrastructural & personnel support. There are a lot of politics at play at all universities, BoT control of $ is one
Some day, when I have more time (after the semester ends in June), I'll think through in greater detail what my ideal international, transdisciplinary, inclusive & transformational CJ center would be. But I have to get back to grading, so I'll end my daydreaming & ruminations now
P.S. Someone just asked me if they could use my ideas for their proposal for such a center. Please let me know if you do and please give due credit! You can screenshot tweets if you like, but please use my proper name: Dr. Farhana Sultana (not just the Twitter handle). Thanks! :)
These are my longstanding ideas & praxis that I've been developing over many years. I share them freely on twitter (even before I've published or developed them fully) bc I believe in democratizing & co-producing knowledge, but please don't abuse it. Thx!
Pinging back to note I’m being mansplained on what CJ is/isn’t.🤦🏽‍♀️ I don’t think you can teach CJ well w/o knowing a range of social theories/concepts + basic understanding of climate science. Interdisciplinary knowledge or training is important to teach CJ sufficiently well IMHO.
If we want transformational change that is sorely needed in the world, we need transformational education. That is what I aim for & why I do what I do in my own limited ways or why I even share ideas on here. But a collective of us is how we change education & impact the world.
For folks who clearly don’t know, climate justice is not only about climate.🤦🏽‍♀️ It’s about ecology, water, land, species, politics, institutions, colonialism, imperialism, patriarchy, racism & other things. Massive misunderstandings is literally making my case why we need CJ edu.
Hilarious how folks think I don’t know what I’m talking about. Feel free to take a look at my website for credentials, publications, talks, etc. People who look like me, are from the Global South, or different in other ways generally have to work twice as hard to get anywhere.😐
Last point for now: Transdisciplinary education & collaboration is what’s really needed. Embodied lived experiences of inequitable climate breakdown (e.g. my family’s reality & that of other frontline communities globally) & BIPOC knowledge needs to be included & valued more.
Overnight this thread seems to have resonated with many folks. Clearly there is growing interest on an issue that’s needed action for decades (if not centuries). A collective of folks can do more than one person. Solidarity praxis is how we move forward. This gives me hope.🤞🏼
You can follow @Prof_FSultana.
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