Culture and Materiality: A Roundtable on the Environmental Humanities
Culture and Materiality:
A Roundtable on the Environmental Humanities
Wednesday, January 25, 4-5:30pm
Crosby Seminar Room, 240 Northrop
Free and open to the public
Discussion of current work in environmental humanities featuring University of Minnesota faculty Susan Jones (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; History of Science, Technology and Medicine), Christine Marran (Asian Languages and Literatures), Stuart McLean (Anthropology), and Dan Philippon (English), with Eben Kirksey (Environmental Humanities, University of New South Wales). Moderated by Charlotte Melin (German, Scandinavian and Dutch).
Each presenter works at the intersection of culture and materiality: Jones studies diseases common to wild and domestic animals, as well as humans, by integrating social, cultural and ecological evidence and concepts; Marran uses a new materialist approach to illustrate how ecocriticism can account for things smaller and greater than a selective humanist “we” only if it takes a critical position on cultural exceptionalism; McLean considers how humans have understood and articulated the relationship between their own acts of imagination, remembrance, and self-identification and the material processes giving form to their bodies, their material environments, and their worlds; Philippon examines how writers have shaped the sustainable food movement by creating utopian narratives that make material understandings of food central to place-based practice; and Kirksey studies the political dimensions of imagination, as well as the interplay of natural and cultural history, through multispecies ethnography. Melin uses a range of ecocritical approaches to interpret German poetry and is editing an essay collection on the role of the environmental humanities in higher education, Foreign Language Teaching and the Environment: Theory, Curricula, Institutional Structures.
Kirksey will also speak on Thursday, January 26, on Multispecies Families.