In this instalment of Grounded Conversations, political theorist Alyssa Battistoni joins Sydney Environment Institute researcher Anna Sturman to discuss the practical transformation of unjust systems in relation to climate change and critical scholarship. They will reflect on the role of care and multispecies justice in climate movements, and the different social and political contexts the USA and Australia present for organising towards more just futures.
This conversation will engage with exciting possibilities for our rapidly changing world and what the pathways to transformation might require of us—as academics and as members of society. Alyssa and Anna will draw from their experiences organising Green New Deals and share reflections on how academic work can inform and be informed by movements fighting for our collective futures.
SEI’s Grounded Conversations Series highlights the potential of low-carbon academic networking and creates an environment where early career researchers can meet influential and impactful climate and sustainability scholars. The conversations are quite literally ‘grounded’ with invited scholars remaining in place and limiting travel emissions, but also thematically ‘grounded’ in experienced research.
Alyssa Battistoni is a political theorist and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. She works and teaches on climate and environmental politics, capitalism, Marxism, feminism, and other topics in contemporary social and political thought. Alyssa’s academic work has been published in Political Theory, Perspectives on Politics, and Contemporary Political Theory. She also writes essays and book reviews about the politics of climate, labor, and capitalism for The Nation, Dissent, the New Left Review, n+1, the New Statesman, Boston Review, Jacobin, and elsewhere. Alyssa’s first book is A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal, co-authored with Kate Aronoff, Daniel Aldana Cohen, and Thea Riofrancos, and with a foreword from Naomi Klein. Alyssa is currently writing I’m now a book about capitalism and the value of nature, titled Free Gifts: Capitalism and the Politics of Nature.
Anna Sturman is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Australian Government-funded Developing systems and capacities to protect animals in catastrophic fires project (2022-2024), working with partner organisation the Shoalhaven City Council. Anna completed her PhD in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney in 2021. Her research focus is bringing historical materialist critiques of nature and value, and the role of the state, to bear on contemporary climate change discussions, particularly with regards to agrarian and rural transformations. Drawing from Marxian political economy, economic geography and political ecology, Anna’s work is situated within an emerging network of scholars building an internationalist, ecosocialist perspective in the Pacific; concerned not only with the critical elaboration of existing capitalist natures but their transcendence.