Prof. Phaedra C. Pezzullo: About me

Phaedra C. Pezzullo (BS, BA, MA, PhD) is an associate professor in the Department of Communication in the College of Media, Communication, & Information at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA, as well as an Associate Faculty of Environmental Studies and an Affiliate Faculty of Ethnic Studies and  Media Studies. She is an internationally known scholar with interdisciplinary expertise in the humanities and sciences, focusing on environmental communication, environmental and climate justice, the rhetoric of social movements, tourist studies, qualitative methods, cultural studies, and public advocacy. She has a book forthcoming with University of California Press in September 2023 titled: Beyond Straw Men: Plastic Pollution and Networked Cultures of Care .

Pezzullo is a founding Co-Director of C3BC (the Center for Creative Climate Communication and Behavior Change), which confronts the climate crisis through creative inspiration and social change, and the Just Transition Collaborative, which engages in pedagogy and public engagement about the necessary global transformation from a carbon-based extractive economy to a sustainable, living culture. In 2018, she also became a co-director of Inside the Greenhouse, which fosters creative climate communication for decision-makers, youth, & frontline communities. Committed to public service, Pezzullo has consulted, trained, and worked with many organizations and partners, including the American Bar Association, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, University Cooperation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), The Pulitzer Center, the Sierra Club, and local government planning departments. She recently has been quoted in The Guardian, TIME, the Los Angeles Times, Open Canada, and CNN Travel.

Pezzullo authored the highly-regarded book, Toxic Tourism: Rhetorics of Travel, Pollution, and Environmental Justice (University of Alabama Press, 2007), which examines how communities use noncommercial tours to map counter-geographies and to raise awareness about the impacts of toxic pollution and environmental injustices more broadly. Her innovative argument and fieldwork was recognized with four awards: Book of the Year Award in Critical and Cultural Studies; the Christine L. Oravec Research Award in Environmental Communication; the James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric/Public Address; and the Jane Jacobs Book Award from the Urban Communication Foundation. Perhaps most unexpectedly, an indie-rock song, Toxic Tour, was inspired by reading and drawing lyrics from Pezzullo’s book (The Holland Dutch, 2008).

Pezzullo has coauthored and/or (co)edited seven additional books, including three editions of Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere, 6th Ed. (Sage,  2021, coauthored with Prof. Robert Cox), and Green Communication and China (MSU Press, 2020, coedited with Prof. Jingfang Liu).

Among other research focused on environmental media, food justice, and just transitions, Pezzullo co-edits a University of California book series, Environmental Communication, Power, and Culture, with Prof. Salma Monani. Pezzullo has published in and currently serves on the editorial boards of over a half dozen journals and has published widely (see Vita). She also has given talks throughout the US and internationally, including at the Communication University of China (Beijing), Fudan University (Shanghai, China), and the Grand amphithéâtre de la Sorbonne, Université de Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France. Most recently, in April 2023, she gave talks at DePaul University and Northwestern University in Chicago, USA.

Her name is pronounced: Fay-dra Car-men Pet-zull-o
Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers