In Noxious New York, Julie Sze analyses the culture, politics and history of environmental justice activism in New York City within the larger context of privatization, deregulation and globalization. She tracks urban planning and environmental health activism in four gritty New York neighborhoods; Brooklynlrs"s Sunset Park and Williamsburg sections, West Harlem and the South Bronx.
Julie Sze was born and raised in Chinatown. Her upbringing in Chinatown, a place that few associated with nature, influenced her interest in environmental justice. Sze explains, “I think that is why environmental justice was appealing. It critiqued natural narratives of wilderness. The idea that the environment can be an urban environment was pretty mind-blowing.”
Julie Sze is an Associate Professor of American Studies at UC Davis. She is also the founding director of the Environmental Justice Project for UC Davis. Sze’s book, Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice, won the 2008 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize, awarded annually to the best published book in American Studies.
Julie Sze, professor in American Studies at U.C.-Davis, is a born-and-bred New Yorker, despite her current residence in Sacramento -- she's at work on a book about the history of the environmental-justice movement in New York City. She answers Grist's questions, discussing her childhood in Chinatown, her environmental awakening in college, and her route from community activism through graduate school and into academe, in InterActivist -- today on the Grist Magazine website. Send her a question of your own by noon PST on Wednesday: email@example.com