exploring environmental media, messaging, and justice

Hunter Vaughan is a writer and professor focusing on screen media, the environment, and the ethics of visual culture. His current projects include a forthcoming book on the environmental impact of film practices (Hollywood's Dirtiest Secret, Columbia University Press); an ecosystem study & production ethnography of South Florida's underwater cinematography culture; and a communications study of environmental messaging form. He is an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Oakland University, and lives between Detroit and Coconut Grove.


The Green Fuse explores the cradle-to-cradle relationship between media and the environment.  Occasionally meandering through political tirades and fanciful musings, this blog focuses on the way in which our increasingly ubiquitous screen media practices--from daily routines to collective infrastructures--shape, define, and articulate our place within, alongside, and apart from the natural world. An extension of my own research and teaching on environmental media, messaging, and justice, The Green Fuse aims to engage readers in an ecocentric reevaluation of the personal choices and cultural values at the heart of our technological lives.  From mainstream films to experimental virtualities, from Instagram activisms to BASS fishing monitors, from unethical resource mining to imperialist hardware disposal strategies--from the handheld to the local to the global to the galactic--let us consider the philosophical ramifications and material impact of our environmental mediations.



Environmental Media = digital and screen technologies that are used to mediate our relationship with the natural world. This ranges from to mainstream films about the environment to Nest thermostat apps, from augmented reality and carbon footprint trackers to BASS fishing monitors, from Nat Geo photography to remote-controlled cameras and  on underwater oil drills and interplanetary rovers.

Environmental Messaging = communication strategies, structures, and practices used to disseminate information and rhetoric about environmental issues, including all forms of environmental communication from prime time television news weatherpersons to governmental censorship of what language the EPA uses on its website, from complex data visualizations to 30-second spreadable videos that Greenpeace puts on YouTube.

Environmental Justice = Local, national, regional, and global issues of social justice that result from the inequality by which different social communities are impacted by environmental problems.  This will utilize methods and language from areas such as ecofeminism and environmental racism in order to address how class, gender, and race/ethnicity are integrally connected to people's exposure--and ability to adapt --to environmental threats like air pollution, sea level rise, and unclean water.