RESEARCH: My research, teaching,
and service primarily engage environmental communication, environmental
justice studies, tourist studies, and social movement studies.
My perspective is informed by an interdisciplinary training in
the humanities and the sciences and is motivated by pressing issues
of democracy and sustainability raised by contemporary environmental and environmental justice
movements, as well as ecological crises. I draw upon ethnographic participant observation fieldwork,
qualitative interviews, my own activism, popular texts across media, news archives, government documents,
and contemporary critical theoretical perspectives.
My first book, Toxic Tourism: Rhetorics of Travel, Pollution, and Environmental Justice, focuses on environmental
justice movement's use of noncommercial advocacy tours, called
"toxic tours" by those that organize them. Toxic tours
rhetorically function to publicize persistent residential segregation,
environmental racism, environmental classism, reproductive and
gendered politics, public health concerns, local definitions of
place, and the impacts of the ongoing toxification of our world.
They reveal a great deal about environmental injustices in North
America, as well as ways that tourist studies could benefit from
studying nonprofit tours in the future. For more information about
my book and on-line examples of toxic tours, click
My first co-edited
book focuses on the relationship between the environmental and
environmental justice movements in the new millennium. The volume
includes scholars from a range of disciplines, including: communication
studies, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, public policy, and
natural resource sciences. Overall, we illustrate how the two
movements have successfully worked together and, at times, have
compelling reasons to remain two distinct movements. For more
special environmental issue of the journal, Cultural Studies,
which I edited, was published in May 2008 and republished as a book (2010, Routledge). My introduction is
a brief overture about the politics and poetics of the "environment,"
which Raymond Williams called "the most complicated word"
in the English language. Despite the rich possibilities the future
holds, I argue cultural studies has been slow to engage environmental
issues and, when it does, it tends to be for reasons that attempt
to undercut environmental social movements (with notable exceptions,
particularly from outside the American-Anglo-Australian tradition ).
For a PDF of the introduction, click
here. This is a list of the Table of Contents:
Currently, my primary research project is about corporate, state, and social movement discourses surrounding out-of-date U.S. toxic legislation. I believe it is timely to resist abusive chemical pollution and romantic posthuman narratives, as well as to consider how we might choose to adapt to ongoing chemical transformation that are transforming what it means to be human. This has led me to a renewed interest in resilience studies from a rhetorical perspective.
I have made many of my essays available at my academia.edu page, including work on "dark tourism," tourism in southern Louisiana pre- and post-Katrina, the birthplace of the environmental justice movement (Warren County, North Carolina), the banality of nuclear pollution, and more.
Website last updated: 2014.
site and all contents © Copyright Phaedra C. Pezzullo 2005, All
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