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Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellows
in the Environmental Humanities, 2020-2021

The Center for Environmental Futures has awarded two dissertation fellowships in the Environmental Humanities that support a full academic year of dissertation writing in the final year for UO students.

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

Hayley Brazier is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History. Her dissertation focuses on marine environmental history, with a particular emphasis on the influence of the Pacific seafloor in North American society. Hayley has taught courses on race and ethnicity in US environmental history, the national parks, and most recently—at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, MA, on oceanic history. In addition to her research interests, she has a background in the digital humanities and public history

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

Tianna Bruno is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography. Her dissertation, “Environmental Injustice and Black Sense of Place in the Biophysical and Social Afterlife of Slavery,” 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.”

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar
in the Environmental Humanities, 2020-2021

The Center for Environmental Futures has awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in the Environmental Humanities to a scholar who earned a PhD within the last three years, with a preference for UO graduates.

Belén Noroña Belén Noroña is an Ecuadorian researcher, educator and activist working at the intersection of social science and rural development. A recipient of a Fulbright Hays Fellowship, Belén obtained a doctorate in Human Geography in 2019 from the University of Oregon. During her post-doctoral fellowship year, she will prepare several scholarly articles and develop a website to make these stories available to a wider public. That website will also showcase six paintings representing women’s narratives and dreams that portray oil and gold extraction from women’s perspectives.

In her scholarship, Belén seeks to legitimize female indigenous non-western ways of knowing and thinking. Her current research engages with women’s dreams and storytelling she collected between 2017 and 2018 in the Amazon of Ecuador. These narratives illustrate how marginalized communities living near oil extractive sites experience and cope with state and oil related violence. She argues that the participation of marginalized women is imperative to understand how extractive activities such as oil generate racism and gender discrimination in systemic ways.

In addition to producing academic publications, Belén will make her results available to a wider public by coordinating her efforts with the Pachaysana Foundation. Pachaysana, an Ecuadorian NGO that Belén cofounded in 2014, specializes in fair-trade and informal public education. Diverse publics in Ecuador and the U.S. will be able to engage with Belén’s research through community-based art works (such as paintings and experimental theater) produced by rural Ecuadorian communities working with Pachaysana.

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