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Announcing the 2020-21 CEF Dissertation Fellows

Posted in Featured People

The Center for Environmental Futures is proud to announce its 2020-2021 CEF/ Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellows in the Environmental Humanities.

With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center for Environmental Futures (CEF) offers two Mellon Dissertation Fellowships in partnership with the University of Oregon’s College of Arts and Sciences. These fellowships provide two University of Oregon graduate students working in the interdisciplinary field of the Environmental Humanities with one academic year of support in order to complete their dissertations.

The 2020-2021 awardees are Tianna Bruno (Geography) and Hayley Brazier (History). 

During their fellowship year, Bruno and Brazier will provide a Work-in-Progress talk during the Center’s “Interdisciplinary 101” workshop. See below to read more about their research.

Tianna Bruno (Geography) “Environmental Injustice and Black Sense of Place in the Biophysical and Social Afterlife of Slavery”

“Tianna Bruno’s dissertation examines how the afterlife of slavery takes shape in environmental justice (EJ) communities within the U.S. South, and how Black life, sense of place, and joy persist even within spaces of environmental degradation, high death rates, and long histories of anti-Black violence. This multi-method project includes archival analysis, tree ring analysis, and Photovoice to attend to the complexity of EJ landscapes, which are simultaneously constituted by social and biophysical processes. This project reframes how EJ communities have been categorized and essentialized as dying and degraded, toward a more nuanced analysis that considers relationship to place and sense of place to highlight Black life.”    

Hayley Brazier (History) “The Seafloor and Society: Technological Innovation on the Pacific Seabed Transformation of North America”

Hayley Brazier’s dissertation examines society’s historical and technological connection to the Pacific seafloor. In particular, the dissertation tracks the development of three types of seafloor industries that have become indispensable to large sectors of modern society: offshore oil drilling, which accounts for approximately 30% of the globe’s supply of oil; undersea cables, the technology that facilitates 95% of all Internet and international phone traffic; and seafloor observatories, scientific instruments at the forefront of collecting oceanic data. Brazier shows that North Americans mechanized the Pacific seafloor in a process similar to mechanization on land, forever changing global approaches to resource extraction, telecommunications, and marine science.



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