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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Korina M. Jocson

Second Advisor

Fikile Nxumalo

Third Advisor

Enrique Suárez

Fourth Advisor

Shane Hammond

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Climate | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Elementary Education and Teaching | Environmental Education | Fresh Water Studies | Hydrology | Natural Resources and Conservation | Science and Mathematics Education | Water Resource Management


This study examines the limits of climate change education, reconsidering approaches to the topic as a problem of human form (or genre). By working across and in between disciplines, the dissertation argues that the dislodging of the current biocentric system of knowing is a critical and necessary process in rethinking the purpose of climate change in education. Drawing on material, theoretical, and conceptual anti-colonial spaces, places, and actions, the dissertation re-stories knowledge production through black creative texts and forms of historical and contemporary narratives. Place-based study offers methods for thinking together social and ecological concepts that are bifurcated within colonial imaginaries. Drawing attention to colonial foundations of racialized ecological concepts, the study draws on archival documents, maps, photos, and creative texts situated within the specificities of community and semi-tropical Louisiana ecologies. As such, in attunements with ecological rhythms of place, the study offers methods for thinking about the implications of rejecting militarized solutions to flood control and related forms of climate events. In this arrangement, the dissertation offers emerging praxis for conceiving place and revealing entanglements and pluralities of floodwaters and different and diverging engagements with ongoing catastrophe. Moving within erased ecologies, anti-colonial relationality with rivers, wetlands, and floods replaces existing perspectives for teaching and learning about place. While many scholars have discussed the importance of place-based and relational forms of climate change education, this study engages with the topic on a different set of terms: the study’s methods of engaging with the historical foundations of climate change (and climate change education) offer a foundational socio-ecological reorientation, focused on deciphering the racial-economic landscape. Following Sylvia Wynter’s (1992) methodological innovations, deciphering practices of analysis and attunement create openings that move toward possibilities for restorying the human. The dissertation offers specific examples of methodological deciphering practice through community oral history recordings that contest the origins of flooding of the neighborhood and in the historical fiction texts of Ernest Gaines (1971), moving toward temporal and spatial reorientation. Thinking with floodwater—rhythms, movements, and the sediments they carry—offers different lenses for addressing how communities living with wetland and river ecologies make place.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Friday, May 26, 2028