About this Call for Participants

The Climate Action Lab (CAL) from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY seeks graduate student participants for a series of two-hour sessions during the 2018-2019 academic year.

The Climate Action Lab will focus on the practices of New York City-based grassroots social movements to address climate change. CAL will put interested CUNY faculty and graduate students in dialogue with activists, artists, journalists, and other academics working on diverse, dynamic, self-organized responses to climate change-related loss and damage, and will look at various experiments with bottom-up carbon mitigation and climate adaptation.  

Climate Action encompasses the myriad changes in urban infrastructures necessary to cut carbon emissions dramatically and to adapt cities to the many stresses that climate change will inflict on them. Climate action therefore can include everything from detailed plans for a rapid transition to a fossil free society to local restoration of wetlands. Whatever shape and scale it takes, however, climate action should be inspired by a justice-based vision in which all members of urban communities live good lives by being in just and fair relationships with one another within healthy, interdependent ecosystems. Climate action thus recognizes that struggles against climate chaos and social inequality are intimately intertwined.

The Climate Action Lab is being developed through a collaboration between the Art, Activism, and the Environment research group from the Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at the Center for the Humanities (CUNY Graduate Center), the Occupy Climate Change! Project of the Environmental Humanities Lab at the Royal Technology Institute of Sweden, and the Climate Action Research Cluster of the Social Text Collective.  

Monthly meetings of the Climate Action Lab will focus on the following topics: 

Fall 2018

Spring 2019 (dates TBD) 

Lunch will be served. At each of these meetings there will be several invited guest speakers who will present on some aspect of the proposed topic. The goal will be to approach the issues under consideration from a variety of different disciplinary angles. Together, we will develop a range of public projects and interventions. These will include the collective creation of brief broadsheets (1 page or so) to be posted on the CAL website; drafting of a Climate Action Plan for New York City during a culminating, weekend-long research sprint, a plan that will be published in short book format; and publication of discrete scholarly essays in an academic journal such as Social Text. 

Expectations and Compensation:

Participants are expected to commit to attending at least 5 of the 6 monthly CAL meetings, as well as the concluding book sprint in spring.  

Selected graduate student participants (2-4) will receive acknowledgement on the Center for the Humanities website as well as a $500 award in recognition for their contribution to CAL and its outcroppings.  

Priority will be given to applicants with demonstrated engagement with environmental science and environmental humanities issues, urban planning, and grassroots organizing.  

How to Apply:

To apply, please send a CV and a short statement of interest (with “Application to Climate Action Lab” in the subject line) to Ashley.Dawson@csi.cuny.edu by Friday, July 6th, 2018.      

Co-sponsored by the Art, Activism, and the Environment research group as part of the Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY; the Occupy Climate Change! Project of the Environmental Humanities Lab at the Royal Technology Institute of Sweden; and the Climate Action Research Cluster of the Social Text Collective.  

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