1st Edition

Race, Nature, and the Environment

Edited By Katie Meehan Copyright 2025
    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    What might it mean to “unsettle” our disciplinary understanding of race, nature, and the environment? This book assembles diverse voices and approaches in geographic thinking on race and racialization during an era of climate crisis, toxic legacies, state violence, mass extinctions, carceral logics, and racial injustices that shape—and are shaped by—the (re)production of nature.

    The volume advances new critical scholarship on race and racialization in Anglo-American geography; reflects on its uneven diffusion and unmet challenges; and notes the unstoppable force of insurgent thinking, abolition geography, critical race theory, Black and Indigenous geographies, scholar activism, and environmental justice praxis in taking hold and transforming the discipline. Together, the authors work across the vibrant fields of political ecology and human–environment geography; grapple with timely questions of land, water, territory, and place-making; render visible the spatial and socioecological reproduction of power and violence by capital and the state; and make space for the enduring politics of struggle on multiple registers—body, home, classroom, park, city, community, region, and world.

    Race, Nature, and the Environment will interest students, academics, and researchers in Geography who are keen to learn about disciplinary approaches and debates in relation to race, racialization, environmental justice, and the politics of nature in world marked by white supremacy. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers.


    Introduction: Unsettling Race, Nature, and Environment in Geography

    Katie Meehan, Mabel Denzin Gergan, Sharlene Mollett and Laura Pulido


    Part I: Afterlife and Abolition Ecologies


    1. Ecological Memory in the Biophysical Afterlife of Slavery

    Tianna Bruno


    2. Unfixing Space: Toward Anti-Caste Philosophies of Nature

    Thomas Crowley


    Part II: Of Land, Life, and Struggle


    3. Toward “Total Freedom”: Black Ecologies of Land, Labor, and Livelihoods in the Mississippi Delta

    Carrie Freshour and Brian Williams



    4. Nature, Agriculture, and Black Space-Making in Serra dos Tapes, Brazil

    Gabriela Rodrigues Gois


    5. Black Towns and (Legal) Marronage

    Danielle Purifoy


    Part III: Uneven Green Development


    6. Making the City of Lakes: Whiteness, Nature, and Urban Development in Minneapolis

    Rebecca H. Walker, Hannah Ramer, Kate D. Derickson and Bonnie L. Keeler


    7. Birds, Dogs, and Racism: Conflicts over Care in New York’s Central Park

    Anne Bonds and Ryan Holifield


    Part IV: Unruly Waters


    8. Water Infrastructure as Intrusion: Race, Exclusion, and Nostalgic Futures in North Carolina

    Cassandra L. Workman and Sameer H. Shah


    9. Regulating Improvement: Industrial Water Pollution, White Settler Authority, and Capitalist Reproduction in the St. Clair–Detroit River Corridor, 1945–1972

    Nicole Van Lier


    10. Articulating Indigenous Law as “Environmental Protection”? The Piikani Nation and the Oldman River Dam Environmental Assessment Review Process

    Michael Fabris


    11. On Swampification: Black Ecologies, Moral Geographies, and Racialized Swampland Destruction

    Morgan P. Vickers


    Part V: Making Thriving Worlds


    12. At Home: Black Women’s Collective Claims to Environmentally Just Rental Housing

    Carrie Chennault and Lynn Sutton


    13. Toward a World Where We Can Breathe: Abolitionist Environmental Justice Praxis

    Ki’Amber Thompson


    Part VI: A Manifesto for Who We May Become


    14. A Pedagogy of Unbecoming for Geoscience Otherwise

    Christopher Reimer, Sarah-Louise Ruder, Michele Koppes and Juanita Sundberg


    15. Storytelling Earth and Body

    Pavithra Vasudevan, Margaret Marietta Ramírez, Yolanda González Mendoza and Michelle Daigle



    Katie Meehan is a geographer at King’s College London, Co-Director of King’s Water Centre, and Editor (Nature and Society) for the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. She has published widely on infrastructural geographies, household water insecurity, political ecology, and environmental justice. Her most recent book is Water: A Critical Introduction.