Tema Milstein

Environment & Society; Convenor, Master of Environmental Management Program
Associate Professor

Tema Milstein's work tends to ways culture, society, and discourse inform – and are informed by – earthly relations. Her focus is on the cultural meaning systems that shape our ecological understandings, identities, and actions, and on ways we create a destructive status quo or regenerative ways of being. Her research interests include ecocultural communication, ecotourism and endangered wildlife, environmental activism, and ecoculture jamming. Her recently published Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (2020) (with co-editor José Castro-Sotomayor) gathers 40 international authors from across disciplines to bring the ecological turn to sociocultural understandings of the self. She is dedicated to transformative ecopedagogy, and is co-editor of Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice (Routledge, 2017) and served as her former institution's University Presidential Teaching Fellow. Milstein has taught at universities in Australia, the United States, Italy, China, and New Zealand. Before coming to UNSW, she was an associate professor of Geography & Environmental Studies and Environmental Communication at the University of New Mexico. In her previous professional life, she was a newspaper and public radio journalist.

Book Chapters
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Milstein T; Carr J; Castro Sotomayor J; Thomas M, 2021, 'Rewilding Environmental Communication through Transformative Teaching', in Takahashi B; Metag J; Thaker J; Evans Comfort S (ed.), ICA-Routledge Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communication, Routledge, London
2021
Carr J; Milstein T, 2021, 'Power plants as ecological saviors: Endangered species laws and rendering systemic environmental destruction invisible', in Freedman E; Shipley Hiles S; Sachsman D (ed.), Communicating Endangered Species
2021
Milstein T; Weder F, 2021, 'Revolutionaries needed! Environmental Communication as a Transformative Discipline', in Takahashi B; Metag J; Thaker J; Comfort SE (ed.), ICA-Routledge Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communication, Routledge, London, UK
2021
Milstein T, 2020, 'Ecocultural identity boundary patrol and transgression', in Routledge International Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Routledge, London, UK
2020
Abram D; Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J, 2020, 'Interbreathing ecocultural identity in the Humilocene', in Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Routledge, London, UK
2020
Carr J; Milstein T, 2020, 'Political Identity as Ecocultural Survival Strategy', in Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Routledge, London, https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-Ecocultural-Identity-1st-Edition/Milstein-Castro-Sotomayor/p/book/9781138478411
2020
Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J, 2020, 'Ecocultural Identity: An Introduction', in Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Routledge, London, UK
2020
Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J, 2020, 'Surviving and thriving: The ecocultural identity invitation', in Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Routledge, London, UK
2020
Cerulli T; Milstein T, 2018, '“Fellow hunters” and “humans of the ocean:” Identity and relations across species', in , Fairleigh Dickinson University, pp. 163 - 184
2018
Milstein T; Griego S, 2017, 'Environmental privilege walk: Unpacking the invisible knapsack', in Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice, pp. 212 - 216, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315562148
2017
Milstein T, 2017, 'From the Source (featured scholar)', in Littlejohn S; Foss K; Oetzel J (ed.), , Waveland Press, Long Grove, IL
2017
Milstein T; Pileggi M; Morgan E, 2017, 'Introducing environmental communication pedagogy and practice', in Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice, pp. 1 - 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315562148
2017
Milstein T; Alhinai M; Castro J; Griego S; Hoffmann J; Parks MM; Siebert M; Thomas M, 2017, 'Breathing life into learning: Ecocultural pedagogy and the inside-out classroom', in Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice, pp. 45 - 61, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315562148
2017
Milstein T, 2013, 'Banging on the divide: Cultural reflection and refraction at the zoo', in Perspectives on Human-Animal Communication: Internatural Communication, pp. 162 - 181, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203082935
2013
Milstein T, 2012, 'Greening communication', in Greening the Academy: Ecopedagogy Through the Liberal Arts, pp. 161 - 173, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6209-101-6_10
2012
Milstein T, 2009, 'Environmental communication theories', in Littlejohn S; Foss K (ed.), Encyclopedia of Communication Theory, SAGE, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 344 - 349
2009
Sprain L; Norton T; Milstein T, 2009, 'Step It Up! and image politics in the Pacific Northwest', in , Cambria Press, pp. 281 - 308
2009
Hall D; Bernacchi L; Milstein T; Peterson TR, 2009, 'Calling all artists: Moving climate change from my space to my place', in , Cambria Press, pp. 53 - 80
2009
Milstein T, 2007, 'Human communication’s effects on relationships with animals', in Bekoff M (ed.), , Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, CT, pp. 1044 - 1054
2007
Howard P; Milstein T, 2004, 'Spiders, spam, and spyware: New media and the market for political information', in , Peter Lang, pp. 18 - 26
2004
Conference Papers
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Milstein T, 2008, 'From pointing and naming to speaking for whales: A study of communicative acts as they inform human-nature relations', in Willard B; Green C (ed.), Communication at the intersection of nature and culture: Proceedings of the ninth biennial Conference on Communication and Environment, College of Communication, DePaul University, Chicago, IL. USA, pp. 238 - 252, presented at International Environmental Communication Association Conference on Communication and Environment, Chicago, IL. USA
2008
Edited Books
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Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J, (ed.), 2020, Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Routledge, London, UK, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781351068840
2020
Milstein T; Pileggi M; Morgan E, 2017, Environmental communication pedagogy and practice, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315562148
2017
Journal articles
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Milstein T; McGaurr L; Lester L, 2020, 'Make love, not war?: Radical environmental activism’s reconfigurative potential and pitfalls', Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, pp. 251484862090144 - 251484862090144, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2514848620901443
2020
Milstein T; Thomas M; Hoffmann J, 2019, 'Dams and Flows: Immersing in Western Meaning Systems in Search of Ecocultural Reflexivity', Environmental Communication, vol. 13, pp. 104 - 117, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2018.1423626
2019
Alhinai M; Milstein T, 2019, 'From kin to commodity: ecocultural relations in transition in Oman', Local Environment, vol. 24, pp. 1078 - 1096, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2019.1672635
2019
Castro-Sotomayor J; Hoffmann J; Parks M; Siebert M; Thomas M; Milstein T, 2018, 'Embodying education: Performing environmental meanings, knowledges, and transformations', Journal of Sustainability Education
2018
Carr J; Milstein T, 2018, 'Keep Burning Coal or the Manatee Gets It: Rendering the Carbon Economy Invisible through Endangered Species Protection', Antipode, vol. 50, pp. 82 - 100, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/anti.12355
2018
Debelo AR; Legesse A; Milstein T; Oda O, 2017, '“Tree Is Life”: The Rising of Dualism and the Declining of Mutualism among the Gedeo of Southern Ethiopia', Frontiers in Communication, vol. 2, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2017.00007
2017
Milstein T, 2016, 'The Performer Metaphor: Mother Nature Never Gives Us the Same Show Twice', Environmental Communication, vol. 10, pp. 227 - 248, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2015.1018295
2016
Milstein T; Pulos A, 2015, 'Culture Jam Pedagogy and Practice: Relocating Culture by Staying on One's Toes', Communication, Culture and Critique, vol. 8, pp. 395 - 413, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cccr.12090
2015
Milstein T, 2013, 'Communicating 'normalcy' in Israel: Intra/intercultural paradox and interceptions in tourism discourse', Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, vol. 11, pp. 73 - 91, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14766825.2013.797987
2013
Milstein T, 2013, 'Animals Erased: Discourse, Ecology, and Reconnection with the Natural World', DISCOURSE & SOCIETY, vol. 24, pp. 504 - 506, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0957926513486580
2013
Milstein T, 2012, 'Survive, critique, and create: Guiding radical pedagogy and critical public scholarship with the discursive guideposts of ecopedagogy', Green Theory and Praxis Journal, vol. 6, pp. 3 - 16
2012
Milstein T; Dickinson E, 2012, 'Gynocentric Greenwashing: The Discursive Gendering of Nature', Communication, Culture & Critique, vol. 5, pp. 510 - 532, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-9137.2012.01144.x
2012
Chen YW; Milstein T; Anguiano C; Sandoval J; Knudsen L, 2012, 'Challenges and benefits of community-based participatory research for environmental justice: A case of collaboratively examining ecocultural struggles', Environmental Communication, vol. 6, pp. 403 - 421, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2012.698291
2012
Milstein T; Kroløkke C, 2012, 'Transcorporeal tourism: Whales, fetuses, and the rupturing and reinscribing of cultural constraints', Environmental Communication, vol. 6, pp. 82 - 100, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2011.642079
2012
Anguiano C; Milstein T; de Larkin I; Chen YW; Sandoval J, 2012, 'Connecting Community Voices: Using a Latino/a Critical Race Theory Lens on Environmental Justice Advocacy', Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, vol. 5, pp. 124 - 143, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2012.661445
2012
Peterson JC; Milstein T; Chen YW; Nakazawa M, 2011, 'Self-Efficacy in Intercultural Communication: The Development and Validation of a Sojourners' Scale', Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, vol. 4, pp. 290 - 309, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2011.602476
2011
Milstein T, 2011, 'Nature identification: The power of pointing and naming', Environmental Communication, vol. 5, pp. 3 - 24, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2010.535836
2011
Milstein T; Anguiano C; Sandoval J; Chen YW; Dickinson E, 2011, 'Communicating a "new" environmental vernacular: A sense of relations-in-place', Communication Monographs, vol. 78, pp. 486 - 510, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2011.618139
2011
Milstein T, 2009, '"Somethin' Tells Me It's All Happening at the Zoo": Discourse, Power, and Conservationism', ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION-A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE, vol. 3, pp. 25 - 48, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524030802674174
2009
Milstein T; Manusov V, 2009, 'Oppositional Discourse in Israeli Media: Reflections of Multiple Cultural Identities in Coverage of the Rabin-Arafat Handshake', HOWARD JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATIONS, vol. 20, pp. 353 - 369, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10646170903300796
2009
Milstein T, 2008, 'The nature inside our heads: Exploring possibilities for widespread cultural paradigm shifts about nature', Drain: Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture
2008
Milstein T, 2008, 'When Whales "Speak for Themselves'': Communication as a Mediating force in Wildlife Tourism', ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION-A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE, vol. 2, pp. 173 - 192, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524030802141745
2008
Milstein T, 2005, 'Transformation abroad: Sojourning and the perceived enhancement of self-efficacy', International Journal of Intercultural Relations, vol. 29, pp. 217 - 238, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2005.05.005
2005
Manusov V; Milstein T, 2005, 'Interpreting nonverbal behavior: Representation and transformation frames in Israeli and Palestinian media coverage of the 1993 Rabin-Arafat handshake', Western Journal of Communication, vol. 69, pp. 183 - 201, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10570310500202322
2005
Howard PN; Carr JN; Milstein TJ, 2005, 'Digital technology and the market for political surveillance', Surveillance and Society, vol. 3, pp. 59 - 73
2005
Milstein T, 2004, 'Book Review: Howard Williams, The ethics of diet: A catena of authorities deprecatory of the practice of flesh-eating', Ethics, Place and Environment, pp. 216 - 219, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1366879042000332998
2004
Reports
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Milstein T; Anguiano C; Chen YW; Sandoval J, 2010, Hispanic environmental meanings and messages: Report to Conservation Voters of New Mexico and The Wilderness Society on research findings of the Connecting Community Voices study, Albuquerque, New Mexico
2010
Milstein T; Anguiano C; Chen Y-W; Sandoval J, 2010, Hispanic environmental meanings and messages: Report to Conservation Voters of New Mexico and The Wilderness Society on research findings of the Connecting Community Voices study
2010

US Fulbright Scholar/Fulbright New Zealand. Senior Scholar. Kaikoura & Auckland, New Zealand. 2012.

University of Tasmania Visiting Fellow. Hobart, Australia. 2016.

Journal Article Awards: 
National Communication Association. For Outstanding Environmental Scholarship.
2017. Sole author
2009. Sole author

Book Awards:
American Educational Studies Association. Critics Choice Award.
2013. Chapter author

National Communication Association. For Outstanding Environmental Scholarship.
2017. Co-editor
2013. Chapter author
2010. Chapter author

Top Conference Papers:
International Communication Association. Environmental Division:  2017,  2012.

National Communication Association. Environmental Division:  2010,  2006.

Western States Communication Association. Environmental Division:  2011.

Research Social Impact Award:
Dean's Research Award for Society Impact. University of New South Wales. 2020.

Teaching Awards:
Presidential Teaching Fellow. University of New Mexico. 2015-2017. 

Outstanding Teacher of the Year. University of New Mexico. 2011. 

United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Principal investigator. Developing the university campus as an urban wildlife refuge. August 2018-July 2020.
Principal investigator. Conservation management audio-visual public messaging. August 2018-May 2019.
Principal investigator. Conservation management social media outreach. August 2017-May 2018.
Principal investigator. Wildlife and pollinator habitat via campus community garden pedagogy. August 2017-July 2018.

Mandela Washington Fellowship Academic and Leadership Institute (flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative).  Faculty co-investigator/instructor. 25 young African leaders, six-week institute. US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, International Research and Exchanges Board. 2017.

McCune Foundation. Faculty co-investigator. MediaDesk NM capacity building for non-profit sector in sustainability innovation. 2013-2014.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Co-investigator. Collaborative for Sustainable Foodshed Development. 2010-2013.

 

Yildiz D; Milstein T; Castro-Sotomayor J; Carr J, 2020, The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-routledge-handbook-of-ecocultural-identity/id1476323427?i=1000483708356
2020
Milstein T; Yajman V; Hinchliffe J; Baxter E; Spencer M, 2020, Nancy Hillier Lecture | Climate Justice — new community activism, https://www.climactic.fm/99
2020
Milstein T; Yildiz D, 2019, “We feel like it’s all over, and it’s absolutely not all over", https://anchor.fm/custodians-of-the-planet/episodes/We-feel-like-its-all-over--and-its-absolutely-not-all-over-e4t9o2
2019
Milstein T; Siebert M, 2018, Icelandic ecocultural methodologies: Interviewing in hot pots and kitchens, gleaning environmental perceptions and practices, https://www.icelandia.org/storied-seas-journal/
2018
Siebert M; Milstein T, 2017, Internatural wayfinding: Embodied ecocultural research through yogic postures in place, https://www.icelandia.org/storied-seas-journal/
2017
Milstein T, 2016, Is nature really the greatest show on Earth?, Center for Humans & Nature, https://www.humansandnature.org/is-nature-really-the-greatest-show-on-earth
2016
Milstein T, 2015, From SeaWorld to the wild, a nature-as-performer metaphor holds sway, International Environmental Communication Association/Taylor & Francis, https://theieca.org/blogs/alison-anderson/2015/11/17/seaworld-wild-nature-performer-metaphor-holds-sway
2015
Milstein T, 2007, Learning in the field: Engaging students via experience and application, International Environmental Communication Association
2007
Subject areas