Thinking the Anthropocene with Oil and Water. Stephanie LeMenager, Nov. 10, 2015
Thinking the Anthropocene with Oil and Water
Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at 2:30-4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room, 2nd Floor East Side, 240 Northrop
Free and open to the public
The idea of the Anthropocene that describes the epoch of global climate change and mass extinction forgets modernity even as it inscribes it in stone. This talk will be about living in the Everyday Anthropocene with oil and water, shale boomtowns, oil and coal trains, inadequately retrofitted pipelines, diminished labor rights, and dying rivers. In part, I am asking the question of whether climate change, and the Anthropocene, obscure the kinds of regulatory desire and action that animated the mainstream environmental movement of the Seventies and are direly needed for the continuation of life. In part, I am asking what water can teach us about oil culture, what water and oil tell us about the value of work and love. Oil and water continue to fashion a productive opposition through which to imagine the value of the Humanities’ contributions to imaginative labor, cultural critique, and social action.
Stephanie LeMenager is Barbara and Carlisle Moore Professor of English and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon, where she thinks and writes about energy, climate, culture, and the role of the arts and humanities in an era of mass extinction. Professor LeMenager has written three books: Manifest and Other Destinies (2005), winner of the Thomas J. Lyon Prize for Best Book in Western American Literary Studies, Living Oil: Petroleum Culture and the American Century (Oxford, 2014), and Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, which she co-edited with Teresa Shewry and Ken Hiltner. She is a founding editor of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities and is currently at work on a book about the ecological value of literature, titled Weathering.
This event is organized by the IAS Environmental Humanities Collaborative and cosponsored by the Depts. of German, Scandinavian and Dutch and English and the Center for German and European Studies.