ND-ECI Seminar: Finis Dunaway


Location: Zoom

Please join the Environmental Change Initiative and the Environmental Humanities Initiative for a virtual seminar presented by Finis Dunaway, Professor of History, Trent University. 

His talk is on "Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice."


Defending the Arctic Refuge

Finis Dunaway is the author of Natural Visions: The Power of Images in American Environmental Reform (2005) and Seeing Green: The Use and Abuse of American Environmental Images (2015). Seeing Green received the John G. Cawelti Award from the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and the History Division Book Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. His writings have also appeared in American Quarterly, Environmental History, and other scholarly journals and in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Hill, Truthout, and the Globe and Mail.

This talk will focus on his recent book, Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice (2021). Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most contested lands in all of North America. Considered sacred by Indigenous peoples in Alaska and Canada and treasured by environmentalists, the refuge provides life-sustaining habitat for caribou, polar bears, migratory birds, and other species. For decades, though, the fossil fuel industry and powerful politicians have sought to turn this unique ecosystem into an oil field.

Defending the Arctic Refuge reveals how unlikely activists, diverse alliances, and grassroots visual culture helped build a political movement that transformed the issue into a struggle for environmental justice. The talk will share stories from the book, feature images from Arctic lands and communities, and trace the history of a movement that is still alive today.