Climate Justice and Problems of Scale

This project is in association with 2021 CHCI Global Humanities Institute.

The proposed Global Humanities Institute on “Climate Justice and Problems of Scale” will explore climate change as a social, historical, and cultural force that transforms all lives but does so in an uneven and often unequal fashion. Underpinning the Institute is the premise that problems of scale make it difficult to understand the differing ways in which climate change affects individual lives, specific communities, and the earth. Comprehending climate change and acting to mitigate its damages demands a major cognitive stretch in several dimensions.

Accordingly, “Climate Justice and Problems of Scale” is designed to develop what Zach Horton refers to as “scale literacy” (Horton 2019, 2). By building on the interdisciplinary scalar turn to cultivate scale literacy, the nstitute will generate more nuanced and holistic understandings of the relationship between the effects of climate change and the intensification of injustices in the social, political, and cultural spheres.

The Institute will consider the following research questions, among others:

a) How do matters of scale fundamentally shape understandings of climate change and its effects at specific times and places?

b) How can we build scale literacy to identify the sources and attributes of climate injustice?

c) What new narratives, activist frameworks, and planning strategies might promote collective action to mitigate climate change, uproot the sociocultural sources of climate injustice, more evenly distribute the impacts of climate disruption, and work towards climate justice?

In partnership with:

The Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes
University of Texas
Arizona State University
Carnegie Mellon University
American University Beirut
University of Pretoria