Interstices and Engagements:
Notes from the Field, Part II
A discussion series hosted by the Environmental and Social Justice Action Research Group about the articulations between researchers and research communities at the intersection of activism and academia in the fields of social and environmental justice
Neutral Advocacy? Spaces between Academia and Activism
March 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm, Gellner Room
Pablo Prado Córdova, University of San Carlos, Guatemala
Alejandro Sanz, graduate of Autonomous University of Barcelona
Guntra Aistara, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Drawing on field experiences with anarchist activists in Spain, student researchers engaged in struggles against gold mining in Guatemala, and the multi-faceted dimensions of academic neutrality and engagement by university professors in a contested gold mining case in Costa Rica, three researchers will reflect on the the construction of scientific subjects in global peripheries, the possibilities and pitfalls in claims to academic neutrality, and the possibility of a counter-hegemonic academia. Discussion will center on questions such as:
How are ideology and political stakes embedded in claims of academic neutrality?
Where are the boundaries for environmental advocacy in academia?
What are the possibilities for engaged and responsible research on issues of social and environmental justice?
How does the application and choice of theoretical lenses help or hinder claims of researcher objectivity?