Research / Teaching Area
PhD: Geography, University of Kentucky
MA: Geography, University of Kentucky
BA: International Studies and Latin American Studies, Miami University
- Cultural Studies
- WRDS (Writing Studies)
Otto J, 2019, “Precarious Participation: Assessing Inequality and Risk in the Carbon Credit Commodity Chain,” Annals of the American Association of Geographers: 1-15.
Otto J, 2017, “Finding common ground: exploring synergies between degrowth and environmental justice in Chiapas, Mexico,” Journal of Political Ecology 24: 491-503.
Otto J, 2016, “Participation Constrained: Generating Buy-in and Rationalizing Carbon Forestry Labor through Participatory Mapping in Southern Mexico,” Geoforum 76: 28-37
Contributions to Edited Volumes
Otto J, 2018, “State-building and Roads in Post-Revolutionary Chiapas and at the Turn of the 21st Century.” In The Oxford Research of Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. Ed. William Beezley. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
Otto J, Mutersbaugh T, 2015, “Certification Regimes”, in The Routledge Handbook of Political Ecology Eds T Perrault, G Bridge and J McCarthy (Routledge: New York, New York) pp 418-429
Exploring Sustainability (WRDS 150A & WRDS 150B)
Designed to introduce you to the world of scholarly research and writing, this section of WRDS 150 will do so with a focus on the concept of “sustainability.” As a concept, “sustainability” gained international popularity following discussions about “sustainable development” at the 1992 United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Twenty-three years later, the UN created the “Sustainable Development Goals,” consisting of a broad set of principles aimed at guiding the sustainability efforts of member countries. The popularization of the concept has inspired significant “sustainability”-related work by inter-governmental organizations, governments, and non-governmental actors, including researchers, businesses and universities. In order to understand the influence “sustainability” as a concept, it is important to review its origins, explore the diverse ways individuals, governments and other actors use it, and to assess how it inspires these actors’ relationships with the natural environment.
In this course, we will do so by reading sustainability research from scholars in multiple academic disciplines within the Faculty of Arts and in fields within other faculties like engineering and the natural sciences. Given their diverse training, scholars within these disciplines understand “sustainability” to mean different things, analyze it in different ways, and write about it in genres that are unique to their disciplinary communities. We will examine how knowledge about “sustainability” is produced and communicated in each of these disciplinary contexts and highlight commonalities and differences across them. We will also draw on scholarly research to consider alternative ways of conceptualizing human-environment relations that extend beyond the concept of “sustainability.” In addition to reading scholarly research, you will have the opportunity to conduct your own research on “sustainability” and to communicate your findings in scholarly genres. In doing so, you will be able cultivate a critical understanding of the concept of “sustainability” and to develop your own identity as a novice researcher and member of the university.