MIT Press News

Engaging the Everyday wins first annual Clay Morgan Award for the Best Book in Environmental Political Theory

We’re very pleased to announce that John Meyer’s Engaging the Everyday is the recipient of the first annual Clay Morgan Award for the Best Book in Environmental Political Theory, sponsored by the ­­­­­­­­­Western Political Science Association (WPSA). This award was named in honor of Clay Morgan, who retired from his position as the Environmental Studies Acquisition Editor at The MIT Press in 2014. This new award was established to honor his legacy in the field of environmental political theory, and Engaging the Everyday is one of the last books acquired before his retirement. We recognize that this award is an incredible honor. 

The jury showered priase on Meyer’s book: 

In a book that synthesizes decades of environmentally oriented scholarship and activism, John Meyer builds a framework for addressing one of the most significant questions facing contemporary environmentalists: how might we channel broad but shallow public support into meaningful collective action to address the socio-ecological crisis at hand? Advocating an approach that situates environmental problems in everyday life, Meyer looks to reintroduce everyday material practices and spaces – the car, the home – into environmental thought. Material practice, he argues, is where we can develop “resonance” between the way we live and what we know about the urgency of environmental problems. 

Engaging the Everyday offers an approach to environmentalism that is inclusive of diverse constituencies, and relevant for ordinary citizens – while pushing the field in new and productive directions. Meyer himself engages the everyday, and brilliantly demonstrates how such a shift can prompt meaningful conversations about sustainability, freedom, and citizenship that may drive productive, democratic action. Innovative while pragmatic, and accessible while probing, Meyer’s work helps us to understand how a focus on the kinds of practices used in everyday life can help environmental theorists engage in embedded and constructive critique.

The news was formally announced at the American Political Science Association annual meeting in San Francisco earlier this month. Additionally, the EPT Section of the WPSA will feature the award winner at the next WPSA annual meeting, in 2018.

Congratulations John!