Theses Master's

Body and Earth Autonomy: How Spirituality & Urban Agriculture Can Help Transmute the Effects of Displacement in NYC

JeanAime, Yvesnee

The history of displacement in New York City spans four centuries. This thesis discusses historical and contemporary displacement in NYC from the 1500s to 2010s. While human beings are the primary subject matter in the discussion of displacement, this thesis recognizes the land as a subject who is also experiencing the negative effects of displacement as well. JeanAime argues that displacement has three significant effects. Displacement dominates, commodifies, and profanes urbanites and urban land. The literature on displacement and eco-justice tends to be two different bodies of work. However, JeanAime puts the two disciplines in conversation with each other through an ecowomanist framework. JeanAime discusses nativity and Native and African cosmologies. They also discuss the history of urban agriculture and how it can be a tool for social and spiritual activism. Finally, chapter 4 discusses how spirituality and agriculture can help urbanites transmute the effects of domination, commodification, and profanation into freedom, de-commodification, and sanctity respectively. This transmutation completes the circle of healing and allows the sovereignty of Creation and God to be uplifted. Prominent thinkers and leaders that have influenced this work are Melanie L. Harris, Leah Penniman, B. Anderson, Evan Pritchard, Karen M. Rose, and Robin Kimmerer.

Keywords: displacement, nativity, ecowomanism, profanity, urban agriculture, urban gardening, gentrification, Indigenous New Yorkers, African New Yorkers, African Spirituality, Christianity, Lenape

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Copy of Displacement in the City (3).pdf Copy of Displacement in the City (3).pdf application/pdf 377 KB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Union Theological Seminary
Thesis Advisors
Cruz, Samuel
M.A., Union Theological Seminary
Published Here
May 17, 2023