Title: Bridging the interdisciplinary divide: co-advancing the pedagogy of environmental justice through a digital commons initiative

Authors: Robin Evans-Agnew; Jane Compson; Chris Scott Lower

Addresses: Nursing and Healthcare Leadership, University of Washington Tacoma, Box 358421, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, Washington 98402, USA ' Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, Washington 98402, USA ' (Providence Regional Cancer System) 5109 41st Ave SE, Lacey WA 98503, USA

Abstract: Opportunities to advance environmental justice and sustainability pedagogy in academic settings are challenged by: 1) the balkanisation of such conceptions into different academic discourses, and 2) the exclusion of community discourses outside academia. Two dominant academic discourses in environmental justice originate from either anthropocentric (human) or ecocentric (non-human) conceptualisations. An interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching project that sought to integrate such discourses and privilege the voice of the community is described. In the course of an environmental ethics class, two faculty from philosophy and nursing initiated an assignment to produce short documentary interviews and transcripts (n = 18) with community members in a US City 'Defining environmental justice' for archiving as open-source material in a University Library. Of the video-transcripts produced, most (n = 16) explored anthropocentric positions. In this presentation, the dominance of anthropocentric discourses is explored as both an opportunity and a challenge for advancing the pedagogy of environmental justice and sustainability.

Keywords: environmental justice; sustainability; undergraduate education; ecocentrism; anthropocentrism; human health; deep ecology; USA; United States; open source; digital interviewing; community perspectives; interdisciplinary divide; pedagogy; digital commons; higher education; sustainable development; environmental ethics; philosophy; nursing.

DOI: 10.1504/IER.2015.071017

Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 2015 Vol.16 No.2/3/4, pp.158 - 174

Received: 06 Oct 2014
Accepted: 25 Apr 2015

Published online: 05 Aug 2015 *

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