End Times and Beginnings: A Retrospective and Relaunch


  • Amanda Di Battista
  • Michael Classens




In the Beginning...

In 1988, a group of intrepid graduate students in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, at York University in Toronto, Canada, conceived and launched UnderCurrents. The founders’ main objective was to provide a space for alternative, critical, and creative explorations of environmental issues, thinking, action, and scholarship. Although many of the theoretical and conceptual tools to enable such a project were only in embryonic form, the founding editors sought to destabilize the ontological and epistemological moorings of some stubbornly persistent signifiers, including “nature,” “wilderness,” and “environment.” Direct action environmentalism of previous decades, though visceral, corporeal, and essential, had proven insufficient in the heady days of Reagan’s culture wars. The founding editors understood this implicitly, and launched UnderCurrents as both a material and discursive salvo. This wasn’t their parents’ environmentalism.




How to Cite

Di Battista, A., & Classens, M. (2014). End Times and Beginnings: A Retrospective and Relaunch. UnderCurrents: Journal of Critical Environmental Studies, 18, 3–6. https://doi.org/10.25071/2292-4736/38535