IBS Speaker Series: Jennifer Lawrence

Title:  Governing Disaster, Sustaining Accumulation: Extraction as Environmentality

Abstract: Alongside hastening climate emergency and global crises of governance, it is essential to develop a dynamic political ecology of disaster so that we might better understand the roots of these interconnected crises as well as the ways to build solidarities for justice. In this work, I challenge dominant discourses of disaster that articulate crisis as a discrete event – an oil spill, a flash flood, a pipeline explosion, a wildfire, a pandemic – in effort to show the rooted ways in which extractive governing rationalities set the preconditions for disaster. In other words, rearticulating disaster as a process that is foundational to extraction rather than a result of it. In this formulation, the global appetite for oil collides with social values, regulatory frameworks, and discursive constructions to shape and respond to disaster often resulting in second- and third-order disasters, while simultaneously reinscribing the veiled governing conditions that manufacture disaster. This reformulated articulation of political and ecological crisis advances an understanding of contemporary environmental governance as disastrous in and of itself and anticipates political possibilities and solidarities for cultivating just and flourishing futures.

Light lunch served at 1145, please RSVP.

Bio: Jennifer L. Lawrence is an Assistant Professor in the Urban + Environmental Planning program at University of Virginia. Combining critical and creative approaches, her scholarship examines contradictions within environmental governance, particularly with reference to petrochemical industries and geographies. Dr. Lawrence’s work interrogates the systemic production of crises to understand how extractive logics of governance impact lived experiences directly in frontline communities as well as through the protracted disaster of climate change.

Sponsored by: Natural Hazards Center

Dial-In Information

https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/95248394614 – email ibs-contact@colorado.edu for password.

Monday, October 24, 2022 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Institute of Behavioral Science, 155A
1440 15th Street, Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type



Development & Training, Environment & Sustainability, Research & Innovation


Students, Faculty, Alumni, Staff, Postdoc

Institute of Behavioral Science


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