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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Centring Racial Justice in Sustainability Transformations (PGGE11292)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAs the climate and ecological crises deepen, so too are the widening social inequalities on both a local and global scale. These social inequalities, such as unequal access to land and resources, have been driven by legacies of colonialism and empire which are still in force today. In this course we will begin by examining how racial and climate justice are not, and have never been, distinct projects but instead are two sides of the same coin. The course will explore the key pathways towards sustainable transformations and consider the implications of a racial justice lens in achieving these pathways. This will pave the way towards a more critical focus on imagining alternative futures where achieving racial justice becomes the system goal, drawing on movements such as reparations and abolitionism. The course will use the Environmental Justice Atlas as a resource to ground the learning in real world environmental conflicts. This course encourages students to think critically about using inter-disciplinary methods in sustainability research to not simply ¿include¿ but to centre a racial justice lens in order to contribute to building more just socio-ecological futures.
Course description There will be two main threads to the course: in-class activity and out of class activity. In class activity will consist of class themes each week, where class discussions will respond to certain prompts. All of these discussions will draw upon key concepts used in economics (specifically ecological economics), to critically reflect on the implications of understanding such concepts through a racial justice lens. The out of class activities will largely consist of individual self-reflection work as well as collaboration through teamwork on a group project which will revolve around case studies drawn from the Environmental Justice Atlas.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 18, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 8, Formative Assessment Hours 16, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 136 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Deepen understandings of intersections of racial and climate justice.
  2. Improve capacity for self-reflection skills in critical analysis.
  3. Interrogate responsibilities in centring racial justice in Ecological Economics analysis.
  4. Develop strong interpersonal skills through team-based learning.
  5. Practice anti-racism through research methods design and choices.
Reading List
Arora, S., & Stirling, A. (2021). Degrowth and the pluriverse: Continued coloniality or intercultural revolution. STEPS Centre Blog, Brighton UK.
Demaria, F., Kallis, G., & Bakker, K. (2019). Geographies of degrowth: Nowtopias, resurgences and the decolonization of imaginaries and places. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2(3), 431-450.
Ghosh, A. (2021). The Nutmeg's Curse. In The Nutmeg's Curse. University of Chicago Press.
Gibson-Graham, J. K., Cameron, J., & Healy, S. (2016). Commoning as a postcapitalist politics 1. In Releasing the commons (pp. 192-212). Routledge
Gilmore, R. W. (2022). Abolition geography: Essays towards liberation. Verso Books.
Gilmore, R. W. (2021). Change Everything: Racial Capitalism and the Case for Abolition. Haymarket Books.
Gopal, P. (2021). On decolonisation and the university. Textual Practice, 35(6), 873-899.
Gumbs, A. P. (2020). Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals (Vol. 2). AK Press.
Heynen, N., & Ybarra, M. (2021). On abolition ecologies and making freedom as a place. Antipode, 53(1), 21-35.
Hickel, J. (2021). The anti-colonial politics of degrowth. Political Geography, 88.
Kothari et al., (2019.) Pluriverse: a post-development dictionary. New Delhi, India, Tullika Books
Liboiron, M. (2021). Pollution is colonialism. In Pollution Is Colonialism. Duke University Press.
Loh, P., & Shear, B. W. (2022). Fight and build: solidarity economy as ontological politics. Sustainability Science, 17(4), 1207-1221.
Martinez-Alier, J. (2003). The Environmentalism of the poor: a study of ecological conflicts and valuation. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Perry, K. K. (2021). The New Bond-age, climate crisis and the case for climate reparations: unpicking old/new colonialities of finance for development within the SDGs. Geoforum, 126, 361-371.
Ramcilovic-Suominen, S. (2022). Envisioning just transformations in and beyond the EU bioeconomy: inspirations from decolonial environmental justice and degrowth. Sustainability Science, 1-16.
Sovacool, B. K., Bell, S. E., Daggett, C., Labuski, C., Lennon, M., Naylor, L., ... & Firestone, J. (2023). Pluralizing energy justice: Incorporating feminist, anti-racist, Indigenous, and postcolonial perspectives. Energy Research & Social Science, 97, 102996.
Sealey-Huggins, L. (2018). The climate crisis is a racist crisis: Structural racism, inequality and climate change. In Johnson, Joseph-Salisbury, Kamunge, (2018). The fire now: Anti-racist scholarship in times of explicit racial violence. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Sultana, F. (2022). Critical climate justice. The Geographical Journal, 188(1), 118-124.
Táíwò, O. O. (2022). Reconsidering reparations. Oxford University Press.
Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W. (2021). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Tabula Rasa, (38), 61-111.
Yusoff, K. (2018). A billion black Anthropocenes or none. U of Minnesota Press.
Zografos, C., & Robbins, P. (2020). Green sacrifice zones, or why a green new deal cannot ignore the cost shifts of just transitions. One Earth, 3(5), 543-546.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills After completing this module students will have developed deeper critical analysis skills to apply to a range of sustainability problems across the globe. This course will offer vital and engaged ethical understandings of when and how to apply certain methods or tools in ways that centre racial justice. This is increasingly important in sustainability science.
KeywordsRacial Justice,Decolonising Economics,Degrowth,Reparations,Abolitionism,Decolonising research
Course organiserMr Sebastian O'Connor
Course secretaryMiss Lydia Hall
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