For Alice Birch’s play Revolt. She said. Revolt again. we have invited knowledgable experts in an array of fields to watch the play and then deliver their own manifesto on the theme – ‘What is revolution?’
Our first speaker was the environmental investigative journalist and scholar Christian Parenti (author of the book Tropic of Chaos) from NYU. Christian gave a fascinating talk about the environment, carbon emissions, divestment, and what true change would look like from within the green movement.
Birch’s play looks at climate change in an oblique and mysterious way – it was a great moment to have a true expert speak about the struggles of change and what a (gradual) revolution might look like.
Christian Parenti has a PhD in sociology (co-supervised in geography) from the London School of Economics and is a professor in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. His latest book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011), explores how climate change is already causing violence as it interacts with the legacies of economic neoliberalism and cold-war militarism. The book involved several years of travel and research in conflict zones of the Global South.
Christian completed a series of post-doctoral research fellowships at the City University of New York Graduate Center where he worked closely with the geographers Neil Smith and David Harvey; and has held fellowships from the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.
Christian’s current research focuses on the environmental history of state involvement in American economic development, from the earliest days of the republic onward.
As a journalist, he has reported extensively from Afghanistan, Iraq, and various parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His articles have appeared in Fortune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Middle East Report, London Review of Books, Mother Jones, and The Nation (where he is a contributing editor). He has also helped make several documentaries and has won numerous journalistic awards, including the 2009 Lange-Tailor Prize and “Best Magazine Writing 2008” from the Society for Professional Journalists. He also received a 2009 Emmy nomination for the documentary Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi.