Native America Calling – Holleman, associate professor of sociology and environmental studies, was interviewed as part of a Sept. 21 podcast episode focusing on the Dust Bowl, a period of destructive dust storms in the North American prairies during the 1930s.
“What I’ve shown in my research is that what was happening in the Southern Plains region here was also happening in many parts of the world where colonial expansion undermined or supplanted Indigenous land use and agricultural practices,” says Holleman during the interview (which begins just after the 26-minute mark of the episode). She describes how, in the United States, certain federal policies contributed to this colonial expansion and the resulting damage and displacement.
The professor, author of the 2018 book Dust Bowls of Empire: Imperialism, Environmental Politics, and the Injustice of “Green” Capitalism, points out how capitalistic and technological adjustments failed to adequately resolve the problems of the Dust Bowl, and draws parallels to the current climate crisis. She notes how Indigenous and Black communities did not have equitable “access to the same federal resources that were brought to bear on white farmers’ troubles.”