Huxley Speaker Series: Fall 2020
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Western Washington University's James Miller, an assistant professor of Canadian-American Studies, Salish Sea Studies, and Environmental Studies, will present "Placemaking and Climate Change Migration" Thursday, Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom as the first installment of the 2020-2021 Huxley Speaker Series.
Climate change forced displacement and resettlement is becoming a pressing topic as the impacts of sea level rise, drought, and severe tropical storms increasingly impact communities’ livelihoods. As communities and entire nations are forced to resettle, how will basic social and cultural structures be maintained? The transportation of resilient socio- cultural patterns becomes essential for maintaining the health and well-being of a community. Thus, the investigation of the dialectic relationship between culture and the built- environment helps understand how to support displaced communities through migration. Miller will discuss how knowledge systems are applied in placemaking and the barriers that hinder the continuity of these patterns within receiving communities will help lead toward more inclusive urbanism and more sustainable community development.
James Miller is a Kanaka Maoli scholar, architect, and urbanist, and runs a design lab, ’Ike Honua, centering Indigenous knowledge in building resilient communities through architectural and planning frameworks. Under the lens of climate change adaptation, James Miller’s research investigates the role of Indigenous Design Knowledge in the creation of culturally supportive environments through climate migration. Currently, James is investigating the transboundary placemaking of Indigenous communities from the Marshall Islands and the intersection of Oceanic Indigenous knowledge in building community resilience. Miller’s scholarship provides a space for Indigenous knowledge systems tied to the production of the built-environment to be recognized within fields dominated by western-centric world views. He holds a doctorate in Sustainable Architecture from the University of Oregon with specializations in cultural sustainability and Indigenous design knowledge.
This talk is co-sponsored by the WWU Center for Canadian-American Studies, the WWU Salish Sea Institute, and the Huxley College of the Environment.