Disaster Capitalism, Ecofascism, and Ecoauthoritarianism

Panel Discussion with Katia R. Avilés Vázquez, Rajani Bhatia & John Aloysius Zinda

March 4, 6pm

The gravity of climate change and the environmental emergency demands not just attention but concerted action. But what form will that action take? Will states exercise more authority to impose solutions without democratic process? Will corporations seize opportunities to rebuild devastated communities, privatizing land and infrastructure in the process? Will political movements tap climate fears to promote exclusionary immigration policies and enact violent attacks on scapegoats? Historically and today, ecological crisis has produced numerous such cases. The speakers on this panel will explore examples from China, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. that open a wider discussion of the threats to, and continued possibilities for, democratic action on climate change.

This event will be held in person if circumstances permit + live and recorded on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube. Spanish interpretation and closed captioning will be available.


More info: feinberg@history.umass.edu

Rajani Bhatia is associate professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University at Albany (SUNY). Through engagement as a scholar-activist within women’s health and reproductive justice movements, Rajani Bhatia has contributed to feminist analysis of global population control, right-wing environmentalism, coercive practices and unethical testing related to contraceptive and sterilization technologies both inside and outside the U.S.  She is co-editor of a themed section of Gender, Place and Culture (2019) challenging scholarship that links population reduction with climate change adaptation and mitigation and the survival of the planet and author of Gender before Birth: Sex Selection in a Transnational Context (University of Washington Press, 2018).  Topically, she has focused on issues that lie at the intersection of reproductive technologies, health, bioethics and biomedicine. She teaches diverse courses on health, the environment, and feminist science and technology studies.

John Aloysius Zinda is assistant professor in the Department of Global Development at Cornell University. An environmental sociologist, he studies how people create, struggle over, and sometimes resolve environmental concerns. Much of his work has examined how people and landscapes in rural China respond to developmental and environmental interventions around new national parks, afforestation, and agricultural livelihoods. He also examines how people respond to changing flood risk in the United States. His work has appeared in World Development, The China Quarterly, Society & Natural Resources, Geoforum, Rural Sociology, Human Ecology, and The Journal of Peasant Studies.

Katia R. Avilés-Vázquez holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied the Cultural and Political Ecology of small-scale farmers in Puerto Rico. Her research highlights community-based adaptations and engages the topic from a grassroots activism perspective. She attempts to balance her research and activism, though currently activism is winning, continually testing her work by applying alternative engagement theories, and helping document activists’ work. She has co-authored articles, book chapters and technical reports, as part of her belief, and commitment to knowledge being a collective endeavor. After Hurricane María she has focused her work on local capacity building and the distribution of resources for local entities securing more than $11M for projects by and for Puerto Rico residents. Her work and activism has been highlighted in local and international news outlets, including Democracy Now and the Guardian, she has received the EPA Environmental Champion Award, the ESF Graduate of Distinction Award, and directs the Institute for Agroecology in PR.Director, Institute for Research and Action in Agroecology


To Register

Events can be viewed live on Facebook and YouTube without pre-registering.

Registration is required to participate by Zoom. Complete the form below to receive the zoom link by email.

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The Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible thanks to the generosity of UMass Amherst history department alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg ’67 and associates. The series is co-sponsored by more than 3 dozen university and community organizations.