The 2023 Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment - Urban Ecologies: Imagining the Environmentally Just City

When and Where

Friday, May 05, 2023 9:00 am to Saturday, May 06, 2023 5:00 pm


Save the Date: May 5 & 6, 2023

Hosted by the University of Toronto’s School of the Environment, the Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment offers annually a multidisciplinary series of public-facing events on science, policy, social justice, and system change, blending together keynote talks, panel discussions, and interactive workshops. The 2023 Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment is a collaboration with Critical Zones, an initiative dedicated to promoting the environmental humanities at U of T and across the bioregion. The event will explore anthropogenic impacts on the earth, using a broad range of approaches from the environmental humanities, decolonial studies, Indigenous studies, and more.

The 2023 Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment will take place across two days of events: a first day of panels and talks, headed by the keynote lecture, and a second day of guided “field trips” into Toronto’s urban ecologies and its intertwined environmental, cultural and colonial histories.

Scope and Theme

Despite the IPCC’s repeated warnings of verging systemic collapse as we pass crucial tipping points, and although policy makers and technology experts have detailed the necessary steps to protect the biosphere, we still lack the critical mass to mobilize for a planetary transformation. This year’s Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium explores the possible contributions of humanistic, artistic, cultural and social ways of knowing to help catalyze a shift in consciousness to imagine this transformation.

We are particularly interested in city ecologies, and how we can draw from humanistic and decolonial approaches to help us know the city in ways that entrenched disciplinary formations cannot. We invite contributions that explore the nexus of culture, the arts, and sustainability in urban contexts, and that consider questions such as: What does the ecologically just city look like? What historical examples of urban environmental justice might we draw from? What actions or relations must emerge to make the urban zone a model of eco-justice? What cultures of thought, behavior, and imagination make city ecologies thrive or falter?

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ingrid Waldron is Professor & HOPE Chair in Peace & Health, Global Peace & Social Justice Program in the Department of History at McMaster University. She is the Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project) and co-founder of the National Anti-Environmental Racism Coalition. Professor Waldron is the author of There's Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities (2018), which was the basis of the eponymous documentary that premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Contact Information