Decolonizing Climate Justice


Spring 2023
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 37
16 Credits per quarter
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'Climate justice' has become the dominant discourse among civil society groups and grassroots movements that have mobilized around and beyond U.N. climate talks over the lastthreedecades. But what exactly does it mean? What are its implications for ongoing climate politics,policy-making, and evolvingpower relations?How has colonialism shaped the conditions that have given rise to the climate crisis and how does it create the possibilities to address it?Whatdoes it mean todecolonize the contemporary climate justice discourse?

This program involves an in-depth analysis of the social dimensions of climate change, focused on notions of equity and justice at multiple scales, with a focus colonialism and Indigeneity. Students will unpack the complex and multifaceted discourse of climate justice by seeking to understand the context of Indigeneity in local, national, global contexts. We will critically evaluate justice claims embedded in a wide range of climate mitigation and adaptation proposals; past and present international treaties and climate policies; place-based climate justice movements, and arguments for structural transformations that are driven by Indigenous people and Native nations. A key goal for the program will be to examine the relationship between colonialism and the climate crisis and the possibilities of decolonizing climate justice.

The program will explore case studiesofNative nationsand other communitiesgrappling with various climate initiatives. Our inquiries will be informed by theoretical and conceptual frameworks in political ecology, environmental justice, andNative American and Indigenous Studies.Student work will be assessedon the basis ofaculminating writing assignment, as well as synthesis papers, participation in seminars and workshops, and presentations of work, including the final paper. Workshop activities will include debates and a mock UN climate negotiations activity.


Spring 2023 Registration

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

Education, Environmental Studies, Community-based Organizations, Government and Non-Governmental Agencies, Law, Indigenous Studies, Political Science, Political Ecology

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$20 for museum entrance fees


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In Person
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