Skip to main

No Empires, No Wastelands: The Necessity of Forging a Real Ecological Solidarity for the 21st Century


Hannah Holleman

Please join the Climate Change, Decolonization, and Global Blackness Lab (CCDGBL) at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute for our 2022-23 speaker series. CCDGBL is part of The Entanglement Project, a new FHI initiative focused on the intersections of race, health, and climate. More info: All talks are hybrid: - In-person registration (w/ COVID safety info): - Zoom registration: Hannah Holleman is Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Amherst College and author of Dust Bowls of Empire: Imperialism, Environmental Politics, and the Injustice of "Green" Capitalism (Yale 2018). She is a director of the Monthly Review Foundation, a member of the editorial board for the Journal of World-Systems Research, and recently joined the editorial board for The Journal of Peasant Studies. She also currently serves as an exhibit scholar-advisor at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In this lecture, Prof. Holleman will discuss the vital lessons we can learn from one of the first global environmental problems of modern capitalism, which reached its apogee in the "dust-bowlification" of agricultural lands in the 1920s and 1930s. Based on award-winning research, Prof. Holleman explains that the regional crises of soil erosion in this period as dramatic and foreseeable manifestations of a global social and ecological emergency generated by the racialized political economy and ecology of white settler colonialism and the new imperialism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She establishes key antecedents to present-day ecological developments and brings the narrative forward to today, explaining the persistent consequences and important lessons of this era for our current struggles to address the planetary challenges of climate change, environmental injustice and racism, and new threats of dust-bowlification. In the end, Prof. Holleman argues, we are confronted with the necessity of breaking with the white man's burden version of environmentalism and building a deeper ecological solidarity in order to heal the life-threatening, interrelated social and ecological rifts of our day.


Climate, Humanities, Lecture/Talk, United States Focus