Faculty of Environmental Studies

Faculty of Environmental Studies


Sheridan, Joseph William

Sheridan, Joseph William
Associate Professor
BIS (American History and Sociology) - Waterloo
MA (Folklore and Mythology) - California at Los Angeles
EdM (Reading and Language) - Harvard
PhD (Intercultural/International Education) - Alberta


"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." - Dan Quayle

Areas of Academic Interest

  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental thought and First Nations tradition
  • Folk culture
  • Media technology and oral cultures
  • Educational reform on environmental models

I joined the Faculties of Environmental Studies and Education at York University in 1994. I was previously Associate Artistic Director, Winnipeg Folk Festival and Winnipeg Folklore Center, a log builder in the Mountain West and a migrant laborer and occasional folklorist who taught in urban and rural First Nations contexts from inner city Winnipeg to Los Angeles, New York, Boston and the Yukon. During my 20s and 30s I organized for the Industrial Workers of the World, rode freight trains and collected interviews for an oral history of tramp traditions on freedom, geographical lore and travel. I am currently working on a major research study on the role of mythopoetics in indigenous knowledge and settler identity in environmental thought and education. The research includes a comprehensive study of petroglyphs as a medium for communication consistent with oral tradition across vast periods of time and as symmetrical with prophecies of Indigenous peoples in their traditional territories.

Other positions/affiliations

  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Indigenous Studies, Trent University

Select prizes and awards

  • Honorary Member, First Nations and Aboriginal Students' Association, York University, 2001-
  • Traditional Kaska Honouring Ceremony, Dena Cho Kanadi, Ross River Dena Council, Yukon Territory, 2000-2001

Select publications

Sheridan, J. W. and Longboat, D. 2006. "The Haudenosaunee Imagination and the Ecology of the Sacred." Space and Culture. Volume 9, No. 4.

Sheridan, J. W. 2002. ‚ "The Rains Wept Time in the Badlands: Anthems of Liquid Movement." Space and Culture, Vol. 5, No. 2.

Sheridan, J. W. 2002. "My Name is Walker." Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, Vol. 7, No. 2.

Sheridan, J. W. 2002. "Alienation and Integration: Environmental education and American First Nations," Ayaangwaamizin: The International Journal of Indigenous Philosophy.

Sheridan, J. W. 2001. "When first unto this country, a stranger I came: Grey Owl, indigenous lessons of place, and post-colonial theory." In J. Scott and P. Simpson-Housely (eds.), Mapping the Sacred: Religion, Geography, and Post-Colonial Literatures. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Editions Rodopi BV, pp. 419-439.

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