Brian Walter’s research explores how the impacts of climate-change-driven sea-level rise are racialized and compounded by infrastructure and heritage preservation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The Lowcountry is a region constituted by slavery and the tidal flow of water. With four consecutive years of hurricanes and 89 days of tidal flooding in Charleston in 2019, the Lowcountry’s relationship with the ebb and flow of tides remains central, though it now figures as a harbinger of future destruction. However, as local governments forge new tidal relations by building and adapting infrastructure, enduring racial geographies are revealed in the preservation of antebellum heritage landscapes and the everyday flooding of Black communities, many of whom are located on low lying former plantation lands.
Brian’s dissertation offers new formulations of coastal resiliency, while laying out empirical information backing activists and environmental justice organizations in the Lowcountry and their urgent and valid claims for reparative flood mitigation for their communities.
He is collaborating with South Carolina flood activists and environmental justice advocates. Brian received his BA in Anthropology and Philosophy from the Honors College at University of Georgia, and his MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz