Clean and White

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Carl Zimring wrote Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States to offer a historical lens to environmental racism in the United States while paying particular attention to race and hygiene. Zimring discloses a racial stereotype that describes White communities as clean and non-White communities as dirty. From the age of enslavement, a public health crisis of the early nineteenth century through the present day, ideas about race and waste have shaped where people live, where people have worked, and how American society manages waste. For instance, the United States leaves waste from its citizens in countries like Ghana because their environment is deemed less valuable. Zimring draws on historical evidence from politicians, scholars, sanitarians, novelists, and activists to reveal changing constructions of environmental racism.


Carl Zimring

Carl Zimring received a B.A., the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.A. from, University of Chicago, and an M.A., Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University. He is an environmental historian interested in how attitudes concerning waste shape society, culture, institutions, and inequalities. He is the author of several books that focus on aspects of the histories of technology and the environment, with particular attention to discards and the systems that create, classify, and manage discards. Zimring joined Pratt in 2012 to develop and coordinate the Institute’s sustainability studies minor.


Tarin Jones, Educator, The Branch Museum or Architecture and Design

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