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avatar for Robin Broad

Robin Broad

American University
Professor of Environment & Development
Washington, D.C.
I am attending this conference on the advice of friend and writing-mentor Adam Hochschild. I am an academic, currently on leave thanks to a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (environmental studies & geography, 2018). The Guggenheim is to write a book about an extraordinary environmental struggle that I have been involved with since 2009: how El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban gold mining to save its water. Along the way, the country prevailed over a lawsuit by a global mining company which claimed El Salvador did not have the right to put environment over corporate profits. Tentatively titled Water Protectors: How Ordinary People Save a Country from Big Gold, the book will be co-authored with my husband and frequent co-author John Cavanagh (director of the Institute for Policy Studies). We are experienced (but not professional) writers and have co-authored three books, but this is our first real venture into book-length narrative nonfiction. So, I’d love to get advice and pep-talks from others trying to make a similar transition, as well as from experienced authors.
Other things: I teach classes also on the global economy (trade, investment) and its challenges to environmentally, socially and economically “good” development. And I have lived in the Philippines and would love to talk about that country too.