2021 Environmental Humanities Grant Recipients

The Yale Environmental Humanities Program is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2021 Environmental Humanities Grants. Please see below to learn more about the supported projects. Congratulations, all!

Talking Story: How Hawaii’s Modern Aquaculturists Discovered a Solution to the Future in the Past
Grace Cajski, Yale College
Talking Story will include an essay and a series of profiles on Hawaiian aquaculturists who are harnessing ancient fishponds to restore the islands’ ecological balance. The project aims to capture and preserve the knowledge of the aging aquaculturists, which may otherwise be lost. In addition to written work, Talking Story will include photographs and video interviews, which will be compiled on a website, accessible to broad, interested audiences. These interviews also will contribute to a growing archive at the Center for Oral History at the University of Hawaii. In addition to its documentary mission, this project aims to offer solutions, illuminate challenges, and celebrate Hawaiian culture.
Design + Decay
Katie Colford, Yale School of Architecture
Design + Decay takes the form of a website that will be used to document and address decay in architecture. The website will present case studies that demonstrate the productive opportunities decay may offer for design. In addition to the website, the project includes a podcast created from a series of related interviews conducted by Katie Colford. Across these media, Design + Decay aims to recover decay from being seen as a sign of building failure and ruin. Instead, mutability and deterioration may be—and indeed, must be—reclaimed as productive potentials for architecture facing ever-pressing ecological, climatic and social demands.
Dwight Healthy and Just Neighborhood Web Pilot Project
Andrei Harwell, Yale School of Architecture
The Dwight Healthy and Just Neighborhood Pilot is a collaboration between the Yale Urban Design Workshop, community leaders in New Haven’s Dwight neighborhood, and Yale faculty and students. The project will research, design and deploy a pilot Dwight Healthy and Just Neighborhood web portal, which will provide a “thick” multimedia environmental-justice-history based portrait of the neighborhood. The historical portrait will be paired with contemporary, real-time environmental monitoring data at the neighborhood scale, accessible to community members, local educators, school children, and researchers, as a tool for community-based advocacy. This web portal is envisioned as the pilot for a larger smart and adaptive neighborhood monitoring and planning interface, one that can support ongoing, grass-roots planning and organizing efforts promoting environmental and racial justice, sustainability and resilience in Dwight.
Cedar Point Park: An Experiment in Graphic Narrative
Anna Hill, Graduate School of Art and Sciencess 
Cedar Point Park is a hand-drawn graphic narrative that explores a deep history of a small place: Cedar Point Park, a compact sitting park located in West Philadelphia. With the help of local historians, residents, community groups, botanists, and geologists, the project presents a multifaceted set of stories about how the space has changed over long spans of time. It also investigates the variety of interpersonal and interspecies relationships that the park affords today. The project experiments with graphic storytelling techniques in order to communicate environmental issues with a wide range of audiences in creative and accessible ways.
Dreaming Animals 
Meredith Miller and MJ Millington, Beinecke Library
Dreaming Animals is the result of an award-winning collaboration begun during COVID-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020. Miller prints images of endangered animals from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s digital collections, and then re-photographs them in scenes she creates with household objects. Millington then uses the photograph to write a poem exploring the relationship between animals and humans. Text and image are joined together to create the Dreaming Animals series of broadsides. This project will be presented as an installation at the Yale Health Center. Large-format prints will be tied together through the addition of decals featuring repeated motifs such as animals, text, and patterns. The project will also welcome audience participation, providing children visiting the exhibit with their own decal to adhere with the images.
Mapping Grounds for Reparations in the Jaraguá Indigenous land, São Paulo, Brazil
Laura Pappalardo (Yale School of Architecture), Flávia Assumpção de Godoy Bueno (FAU-USP), Miguel Gaydosh (Yale School of Art), and Nick Massarelli (Yale School of Art) 
Mapping Grounds for Reparations proposes a collaboration with Guarani communities in the Jaraguá Peak, in São Paulo, Brazil. The Guarani people have been articulating several initiatives that increase environmental security in São Paulo. This project will create instruments that contribute to Guarani initiatives to increase public awareness about Guarani land rights in the Jaraguá landscape and to preserve the remaining Atlantic Forest within the region. The project team will produce a website and a publication articulating debates surrounding case studies on State Parks shared governance and awareness of infrastructural constructions’ impacts that have historically encroached upon Atlantic Forest and Guarani territory in São Paulo. 
Restorative Radio
Sylvia Ryerson, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Central Appalachia today is one of the most concentrated regions of rural prison growth nationwide. Many of these facilities are built on land formerly mined for coal. For over two decades, the Calls from Home radio show at the Appalshop media arts center has been broadcasting messages from family members to their loved ones incarcerated far from home. In an intimate portrait of rural prison expansion, this short documentary demonstrates how families are using public airwaves to transcend prison walls and forge solidarities between the urban and rural communities most impacted by the overlapping processes of incarceration, extraction, toxicity and abandonment.
Environmental Performances in Russia and Eastern Europe
Aniko Szucs, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Program
Environmental Performances in Eastern Europe and Russia will be part of the online platform, Cultures of Resistance, currently under construction, that both builds a digital archive and fosters a virtual network of scholars, artists, and activists whose work centers on protest performances and political movements in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. The Environmental Humanities Grant will support the development of a section of this platform that will center specifically on environmental and ecological performances. On this site, we will showcase works by artists and activists that critique the East European illiberal states’ aggressive anti-environmental ideologies and policies and envision an environmentally conscious society for the future.
The Yale Undergraduate Review of Sustainability and the Environment
Andy Xie, Yale College
The Yale Undergraduate Review of Sustainability and the Environment is an undergraduate publication centered on sustainability and environmental topics, broadly defined. The review engages with student writing ranging from long-form essays and analytical opinion pieces to environmental poetry and nature photography. With the Environmental Humanities Grant, the editorial team will develop a podcast on sustainability and environmental literature, in order to further promote environmental discourse on campus. This podcast will feature the work of current staff writers, and will provide opportunities for students to share their experiences volunteering with local environmental service organizations.