Call for Papers, Special Topic: Rurality as a Dimension of Environmental Injustice

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  • January 22, 2014 at 1:21 am
  • “Rurality as a Dimension of Environmental Injustice”

    2014 Rural Sociological Society Annual Conference: “Equity, Democracy, and the Commons: Counter-Narratives for Rural Transformation.”

    Location: New Orleans, Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Hotel

    Date: July 30th to August 3, 2014

    Paper Abstracts due: March 3

    Submission: Email abstracts (up to 300-words) to Loka Ashwood (, and Kate Mactavish (

    (NOTE: Do not submit abstracts online)

    Changing community and production dynamics in rural America make it a state-sanctioned site for some of the most hazardous and toxic industries of our time. From its production treadmill, industrial agriculture has cast onto rural America a plethora of negative externalities: mounting levels of air and water pollution, farm consolidation, and depopulation. A range of extractive and other risky industries justify the siting of facilities in rural areas because of easy access to ample natural resources, sparse populations that reduce exposure risk, and the possibility of economic revitalization. State and federal statutes (e.g., Right To Farm laws, the Federal Code of Regulations for Nuclear Operations) often permit these industries to target rural America based on past practice and low population levels

    On an international level, cities serve as powerful hubs for the global economy, pulling away resources from less prominent urban and rural areas. The growing periphery within core countries, as well as continued resource extraction of rural places abroad, calls for increased attention to the rural facets of injustice in developed and developing countries.

    We invite paper submissions that explore facets of rurality that help explain rural places’ vulnerability to environmental injustices from interdisciplinary perspectives, including (but not limited to) sociology, geography, law, anthropology, public health, and the environmental sciences. We are especially keen to receive papers from scholars working broadly on issues of environmental justice in order to foster conversation between those scholars and scholars whose focus is on rurality more generally.

    Select papers from the proceedings and a wider call will be reviewed for potential publication in a special issue being considered by the Journal of Rural Studies.

    Confirmed Panelist: Steve Wing, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.