ISLE Responds to the Call for Social and Environmental Justice
Editor-in-Chief Scott Slovic and incoming Editors-in-Chief Jennifer Westerman and Christina Gerhardt have curated a collection of articles responding to the call for social and environmental justice. These articles are freely available to read and download through the end of the year (December 31, 2020) via Oxford University Press:
Since its inception in the early 1990s, ISLE has sought to provide a forum for the representation and analysis of vital issues of social and environmental justice. Equity, diversity, and fairness are also among the core values that have long guided our editorial process. In his 2001 article “From Wide Open Spaces to Metropolitan Places: The Urban Challenge to Ecocriticism” (ISLE 8.1, Winter 2001), Michael Bennett argued, “It is important that the ecocritical movement not replicate the larger environmental movement’s marginalization of the ecological plight of communities of color. Rather, we should learn from the more recent efforts to bring the civil rights and environmental movements together in theory and practice” (39). A few years later, in her 2006 “transformative vision,” legal scholar Robin Morris Collin brought her exhortation “What We Do for the Earth We must Do for the People of the Earth” to the pages of ISLE, calling out the legacy of environmental racism in her essay “The Apocalyptic Vision, Environmentalism, and a Wider Embrace” (ISLE 13.1, Winter 2006). Increasingly, over time, the pages of ISLE have included special clusters and individual articles devoted to postcolonial critiques of environmental injustice, the environmental causes of refugeeism, gender equity and inequity, and the unique and profound ecological visions of specific cultural communities, including communities of color. The scourge of racism has frequently come under scrutiny and critique in ISLE. In response to the current social crisis in the United States, we have decided to make available ten recent articles from ISLE that provide eloquent insight into the racial tensions and inequities that exist in America and in many other countries. Many ASLE members and ISLE contributors have been marching in the streets this month, shouting “Black Lives Matter!” These same colleagues and many others contribute profoundly to the understanding and solving of such problems through their teaching, scholarship, and creative work. ISLE has provided a forum for such thinking for more than a quarter-century and will continue to do so in the future.
Editor-in-Chief, ISLE (July 1995 – June 2020)
As incoming Editors-in-Chief of ISLE, we are committed to publishing cutting-edge scholarly and creative works engaged with the intersection of environmental, social, and racial justice. We are dedicated to working actively to ensure and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion. We commit to taking deliberate action and making consistent efforts to include a diversity of scholars, practitioners, and writers in ISLE’s pages.
Critical examinations of literary and cultural representations of racism and anti-racism, the disparate impact of environmental hazards on communities of color, and historical, ongoing, and rising inequalities in income, access to resources, and public health will continue to engage ISLE readers in thinking about and in working to address structural inequities and uneven development. Creative expressions will engage these topics as well and encourage ISLE readers to consider the necessary daily work of confronting all forms of racism and injustice. We begin our work as Editors understanding that we must confront institutionalized racism in order to enact positive ecological and social change. The two issues are intertwined.
Jennifer Westerman & Christina Gerhardt
Incoming Editors-in-Chief, ISLE