Research day to highlight environmental studies PhD students

Panoramic photo a hand clasping miniature globe with view of arid mountain range behind in the distance

On Nov. 14, the PhD Environmental Studies Association (PhESSA), with the support of the Environmental Studies (ES) PhD Program and the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change (EUC), is curating an in-person research day that will engage the exciting and provocative work of ES PhD students.

The event, titled “On Fire,” will take place in N120 of the Ross Building from 9 a.m to 4 p.m, with the aim to celebrate the work of ES PhD students working for social and environmental justice, while bringing them together with faculty members and larger communities of scholarship, activism and practice.

The event’s theme – “On Fire” – is drawn from how the day’s event will focus attention on the many fires involved in the students’ work: material, political, inspirational. As the event’s description explains: “On Fire because the world is burning, literally and politically. On Fire because inspirational people and movements are working for social and environmental justice.”

Following arrival and coffee, attendees will be welcomed to the days-worth of panels by Melvin Chan, a graduate teaching assistant representing PhESSA, and Philip Kelly, associate dean of EUC.

Each panel – all chaired by Phyllis Novack, director of Maloca Living Labs, and made up of three to four speakers – is organized by theme.

  • Panel I: Multispecies Research “On Fire”;
  • Panel II: No Extraction Between the Branches: Epistolary in the Ruins of Fossil Capitalism;
  • Panel III: Burning Political Questions; and
  • Panel IV: Setting Creative Fires.

At noon, a special keynote presentation will also be given by Camille Turner, an artist who recently completed her PhD in environmental studies at York, titled “UnMapping: An Afronautic Journey.”

Closing thoughts will be provided by Alice Hovorka, dean of EUC.

The event is open to all York community members. For further information contact Novak at