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2015 Environmental Humanities Symposium

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Join us for an Environmental Humanities Symposium September 24-27, 2015

The symposium, free and open to the public, is titled, "The Future of the Environmental Humanities: Art, Thought, and Action in the Anthropocene." It is hosted by the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities graduate program in partnership with the BYU Humanities Center and sponsored by the Humanities Center, the Environmental Ethics Initiative at Brigham Young University, and the University of Utah College of Humanities. The full schedule of events between the U and BYU is below.

This symposium measures the possible futures for the environmental humanities and builds on the successful 2013 Future of the Environmental Humanities symposium hosted by the University of Washington. That symposium spurred a conversation in the region that will be taken up again by a partnership between the Environmental Humanities program at the University of Utah and the Humanities Center at Brigham Young University.

The symposium will take place September 24-27, 2015.

Our 2015 symposium aims to strengthen the community of scholars working to advance this new field of Environmental Humanities and to diversify its voices and ideas. Our conversations will address the idea of the Anthropocene and interrogate its utility for scholarship today. We look for thinking that maps interdisciplinary directions in the humanities, especially those necessitated by other dimensions of the current environmental crisis such as animal rights, air quality, environmental justice, toxicity, and others. We are ambitious to bridge the gap between imagining a new planetary ethic and the worldly work of living that ethic.

Railroad tracksSchedule of Events

Thursday, September 24 (@University of Utah)

5:30 p.m.                             Reception [Officers’ Club, Fort Douglas]

7:00 p.m.                             Keynote Address - Joni Adamson, Arizona State University [CTIHB Auditorium]

Friday, September 25 (morning @ University of Utah, afternoon @BYU)

8:30 a.m                              Welcome [Officers’ Club, Fort Douglas]

8:45-10:30 a.m.                  Landscape and Art History in the Anthropocene [Officers’ Club, Fort Douglas]

  • Sarah Ray, Humboldt State University: “The Anthropo-scenic Sublime: Corporeality and Environmental Justice in the Landscape Photography of Andrew Brodhead and Edward Burtynksy”
  • Kate Albers, University of Arizona: “Moving Mountains and Crowd-Sourced Masters: Landscape Aesthetics Today”
  • Sabine Wilke, University of Washington: “Portraits of A Sick Earth: Figurations of the Anthropocene as Aesthetic Idea in Literary and Art History”

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.       Pedagogies of Environmental Humanities [Officers’ Club, Fort Douglas]

  • Richard Watts, University of Washington: “Teaching the Water Crisis”
  • Samantha Harvey, Boise State University: “Ideas of Nature: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Environmental Humanities”

12:15-1:45 p.m.                  Bag Lunch and drive to BYU

2:00-3:15 p.m.                    Keynote Address - Bill Jordan, New Academy for Nature and Culture [EIZ auditorium]

3:45-5:30 p.m.                    The Challenges of Tracing the Anthropocene [EIZ auditorium]

  • Elizabeth DeLoughrey, UCLA: “Maritime Futures of the Anthropocene”
  • Chip Oscarson, BYU: “Toxicity and Melting Ice: The Challenge of the Anthropocene in Nordic Cinema”
  • Gillen D’Arcy Wood, University of Illinois: “Versed in Country Things": Robert Frost, Sustainability, and the End of Elegy”

6:15 p.m.                             Dinner at Tree Room at Sundance

Saturday, September 26 (@University of Utah)

9:00-10:45 a.m.                  Temporality and the Challenges of Representation [Commander’s House, Fort Douglas]

  • Bill Handley, USC: “Pre-history and the Accelerated Present.”
  • Jennifer Ladino, University of Idaho: “Affect in the Anthropocene: What is Missing?”
  • Sonya Lee, USC: “The Art of Re-decorating Nature: Restoration Practices at Cave Temples in Southwest China”

11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.         Free Time/Lunch      

2:30-3:45 p.m.                     Defining the Anthropocene [Commander’s House, Fort Douglas]

  • Sally Kitch, Arizona State University: “Gender, Feminism, and the Anthropocene”
  • Mike Ziser, UC Davis: “Fossil Humanity”
  • Greg Garrard, University of British Columbia: “The Environmental Humanities: A Manifesto”

4:00-5:30 p.m.                     Panel Discussion: “The Sciences and the Humanities: Future Directions” [Commander’s House, Fort Douglas]

  • Clint Whipple (BYU), Nalini Nadkarni (Utah), and Summer Rupper (Utah); George Handley, moderator

6:00 p.m.                              Dinner - Video presentation by Utah EH graduate Alisha Anderson [Commander’s House, Fort Douglas]

TrainSunday, September 27 (@University of Utah)

9:00-10:15 a.m.                   Climate Justice and Alternative Modernities [Commander’s House, Fort Douglas]

  • Kyle Powys Whyte, Michigan State University: “Déjà Vu? Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Justice and the Anthropocene”
  • Eric Prieto, UC Santa Barbara: “Informal Urbanization in the Anthropocene”

10:30-11:45 a.m.                 Narrative and Extinction [Commander’s House, Fort Douglas]

  • Gordon Sayre, University of Oregon: "The Library of Life"
  • Erin James, University of Idaho: “The Anthropocene in Narrative, Narrative in the Anthropocene”

12:00-1:30 p.m.                   Lunch and Group Discussion [Commander’s House, Fort Douglas]


Questions? Comments?

Jeffrey Mathes McCarthy, PhD
Director of Environmental Humanities, University of Utah
Last Updated: 10/4/17