Tara Jo Holmberg, Ph.D., is a 2022 graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Environmental Studies at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Elizabeth McCann, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Jason Rhoades, PhD, Committee Member
  • Tania Schusler, PhD, Committee Member


slow environmental violence, phenomenological autoethnography, toxicological disaster, environmental justice, slow violence

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Impacts of disasters on individuals are dependent on numerous factors: local to international political dynamics, socioeconomics, geography, educational background, and outside support among others. Currently, much of disaster research focuses on those of natural origin, acute and large-scale environmental events, emergency management, and the ability of individuals, communities, and societies to prepare for, and recover from, likely known disasters in their region. However, there is a lack of data about individual experiences through ‘invisible’ anthropogenic disasters, especially those that fall under the umbrella of slow environmental violence (Davies, 2019; Rice, 2016). Through critical phenomenological autoethnography, I examine an individual experience of a preventable toxicological disaster to identify political, cultural, socioeconomic, and historical forces that precipitated the events beginning April 3rd, 2014. These same forces were examined to identify how they sustained a slow, nonchalant, response to this anthropogenic disaster in a residential neighborhood. Additionally, personal impacts of slow environmental violence including those involving health, relationships, property, biophilia, financial, and legal were examined, as well as the ongoing process of resilience and recovery.


Tara Jo Holmberg

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-4319-3792