Quietism in the Face of Injustice: A Cultural Mennonite’s Reflection on Pride and Shame in Science and Environmental Education

  • Hannah K. MillerEmail author
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 17)


This autoethnographic account uses the frame of interest convergence from Critical Race Theory to examine the evolution of my own competing commitments to pacifism and activism as a scholar. As a cultural Mennonite, pacifism is a central tenet of my moral core. In my narrative of my own history, I have used this pacifist foundation as a means of justifying conflict avoidance. As a lesbian, cultural activist, and action researcher, however, these pacifist values contradict what I know is necessary for social change for LGBTQ rights, environmental sustainability, and transformation in science education research. Through the process of conducting my dissertation research in an undergraduate sustainability education program in a Mennonite college, various conflicts emerged that forced me to reconcile this contradiction: I used my own cultural pacifism as a crutch for avoiding conflict when the potential confrontation posed a threat to my own interests and privilege. This chapter examines three of these conflicts: (1) Facing my own Mennonite heritage, (2) facing my own pacifist support of systemic heterosexism, (3) facing my support of systemic racism in science education. I examine my own pacifist and activist selves, reflect on sources of pride and shame, and use this examination and reflection as a call for critical scholars to openly embrace their own battles with pacifism and activism in their endeavors towards justice in science and environmental education and their scholarly communities.


Anabaptists Autoethnography Interest convergence Pacifism Shanghai pride 



I would like to thank Dr. Django Paris for his thoughtful counsel during the preparation of this manuscript.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northern Vermont UniversityJohnsonUSA

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