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Publication-Ready Author Bio

Marisol Cortez, Ph.D. occupies the space between activist, academic, and artistic worlds. Originally from San Antonio, she got her start as an activist in local environmental justice campaigns, which informed her doctoral research at the University of California at Davis. After graduating in 2009 with her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, she returned to San Antonio, where she worked as the climate justice organizer at Southwest Workers Union. In 2010, she received the American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellowship, which enabled her to teach for two years in the American Studies Department at the University of Kansas, after which she returned home to San Antonio to write and teach as a community-based scholar. She has previously worked at Esperanza Peace and Justice Center as coordinator for the Puentes de Poder community school, a popular education program aiming to support local organizing efforts. She currently works by day at URBAN-15, a grassroots cultural arts organization, and by night continues her work as a creative writer and community-based scholar, all in service of collective efforts to protect la madre tierra and create alternatives to parasitic forms of urban “development.” Alongside environmental journalist Greg Harman, she co-edits Deceleration, an online journal of environmental justice thought and practice. For more on her previous publications and current projects, visit marisolcortez.wordpress.com.

Abstract

Originally published in Deceleration and presented at the 2017 meeting of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, this short essay details the vision and praxis behind an online journal of environmental justice co-edited by the author alongside environmental journalist Gregory Harman. In this essay, I situate the evolution of this project in relation to our precarious institutional positions as writers with disabilities who consequently work in the spaces between academia, journalism, activism, and creative writing. This positionality has in turn placed Deceleration in conversation with degrowth and allied movements around the world, which challenge the disabling productivism that regulates the temporal rhythms of not only academia and everyday life but also our modes of activist resistance. Inspired by these challenges, Deceleration envisions new ways of responding to environmental and political crises, grounding writing, thinking, and acting in a reinhabitation of biological time.

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