Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Environmentalism has always mirrored social anxieties. The environment gets wielded both materially and discursively in expressions of identity, national or otherwise. I trace the presence of the production of crisis, specifically an immigrant crisis, in mainstream environmentalism over three periods spanning 1900-2022. Specifically, this crisis refers to the imaginary in which racialized immigrants, forever multiplying and immigration, destroy the environment and threaten the security of white Americans. In this imagined crisis, the fortification of national borders and the expulsion of immigrants figures as a type of environmental action that responds to the immigrant crisis. This crisis gets intensified and amplified in the third period, with the emergence of the internet. The three periods provide the historical context for our present day in which white male teenage individuals embark on mass shootings, attacking communities of color they imagine to be responsible for environmental degradation. I then utilize a rhetorical analysis of the shooters' manifestos to examine the strategies by which they produce crisis. My thesis seeks to emphasize the importance of identifying the motivations behind environmental action.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Sonja Pieck

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.