Professor Catriona Sandilands’ Trudeau Fellowship project inspires new anthology

Professor Catriona Sandilands of York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) has published a new anthology titled Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times, which is the outcome of her prestigious research fellowship by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, granted in September 2016.

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Catriona Sandilands

The fellowship recognizes intellectuals in the humanities and human sciences for their commitment to seeking innovative solutions to major issues facing Canada and the world and communicating their findings to the public.

Through the fellowship, Sandilands led an innovative project – Storying Climate Change: Narrative, Imagination, Justice, Resilience – designed to create a significant public and collaborative process focused on listening to, creating and sharing stories about everyday experiences of climate change.

The anthology comes out of an intensive, place-based workshop held in March 2018 in Galiano Island, B.C., that brought expert scholars, creative writers, analysts and activists into an interdisciplinary conversation about climate change as a process in need of a public story. The workshop led to longer-term collaboration between the participants, which culminated in the publication of Rising Tides in September.

Rising TidesRising Tides is a collection of short fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir and poetry addressing the past, present and future of climate change. Bringing stories about climate change – both catastrophic and subtle – closer to home, this anthology inspires reflection, understanding, conversation and action. With more than 40 purposefully written pieces, Rising Tides emphasizes the need for intimate stories and thoughtful attention, and also for a view of climate justice that is grounded in ongoing histories of colonialism and other forms of environmental and social devastation. These stories parallel the critical issues facing the planet, and imagine equitable responses for all Canadians, moving beyond denial and apocalypse and toward shared meaning and action.

The book will serve as the basis of wider public conversations about people’s responses to the stories and essays in the collection, and as a model for the generation of new stories to ground and orient meaningful personal understandings and actions.

Contributors to the anthology include established writers, climate change experts from different backgrounds and front-line activists: Carleigh Baker, Stephen Collis, Ashlee Cunsolo, Ann Eriksson, Rosemary Georgeson, Hiromi Goto, Laurie D. Graham, David Huebert, Sonnet L’Abbé, Timothy Leduc, Christine Lowther, Kyo Maclear, Emily McGiffin, Deborah McGregor, Philip Kevin Paul, Richard Pickard, Holly Schofield, Betsy Warland, Evelyn White, Rita Wong and many more.

In addition to Rising Tides, Sandilands is currently working on a book about plants and environmental philosophy (Cultivating Feminism) and a memoir about her journey to write a book about Jane Rule (The Jane Book).