CALL FOR ABSTRACTS – Creating a Climate for Change; University of Kansas

Creating a Climate for Change: Activism Within and Beyond the Borders of the Classroom

May 28-June 1
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

This panel explores the ways in which scholars within the Environmental Humanities contribute to the fight for earth sustainability and justice through activist approaches in criticism and teaching that transform human behavior and shape societal attitudes. In the humanities we are too often accused of “navel-gazing,” of being removed from “real world” issues, but the growing field of the Environmental Humanities itself challenges this misconceived notion. Comprised of teachers and critics from a range of academic institutions, humanist disciplines, and cultural backgrounds, this panel collectively raises questions about how humanist study translates into activism and creates change. We are interested in how scholars employ activism in their work—by pushing back on the limits set by the publishing industry about genre and audience; by bringing humanist work to the sciences and demanding to be heard; by engaging critical questions of human behavior and cultural values; by encouraging students to become active citizens. Papers are welcome from any facet of the Environmental Humanities, including (but not limited to) Environmental Justice, Animal Studies, Ecofeminism, the Rhetoric of Science and Technology, Indigenous Ecologies, Ecocriticism, Eco-semantics or Eco-poetics, Environmental History or Anthropology, Visual or Performance Art.

Please send a 250-word abstract to Chiyo Crawford at ccrawfor@mtholyoke.edu by Oct. 20. Deadlines for other panel proposals vary. For more information about the conference please visit the official conference website or see the full call for papers.

Panel co-chairs:

Dr. Brianna Burke
Professor of Environmental Humanities
English Department
Iowa State University
brburke@iastate.edu

Dr. Chiyo Crawford
Holyoke Fellow & Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Mount Holyoke College
ccrawfor@mtholyoke.edu

PODCAST – CoHearence Podcast #5: Literature and Politics at the Green Words/Green Worlds Conference (Part 2)

(Photo: Edie Steiner, Text 2: from the series Material Remains, 2003)

In the second part of CoHearence’s look at the 2011 conference, Green Words/Green Worlds: Environmental Literatures and Politics in Canada, we continue our investigation of the relationship between the cultivation of an environmental reading (and writing) practice and engaged eco-politics. Featuring excerpts from the Green Words/Green Worlds opening public poetry panel which included keynote presenters Brian Bartlett, Armand Garnett Ruffo and Rita Wong, we build on our discussion with conference organizers Catriona Sandilands and Ella Soper about why literature is important for environmental thought and action. We explore how and why Canadian ecocritics and poets are engaging with the challenging environmental questions of our time and provide perspectives for rethinking the way we imagine our environment.

Web Resources

Works Cited

  • Bartlett, Brian. “From Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar.” The Goose 9 (Summer 2011): 6-8 [PDF].
  • Bartlett, Brian. The Watchmaker’s Table. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2008.
  • Dickinson, Adam. “Call to Arms.” The Polymers. Scarborough ON: House of Anansi Press, 2013.
  • Momaday, N. Scott. The Way to Rainy Mountain. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1969.
  • Oman Lela Kiana. The Epic of Qayaq: The Longest Story Ever Told by My People. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1995.
  • Robinson, Harry. Write it on your Heart. Ed. Wendy Wickwire. Vancouver: Talonbooks/Theytus,1989.
  • Rule, Jane. The Desert of the Heart. Toronto: Macmillan, 1964.
  • Sandilands, Catriona. “Queering Ecocultural Studies.” Cultural Studies 22:3 (2008): 455-476.
  • White, E.B. “E. B. White: Notes and Comment by Author.” By Israel Shenker, The New York Times 11 Jul. 1969.
  • Wong, Rita. “offering.” Forage. Gibsons Landing, B.C. Nightwood Editions, 2007. 12

Music Credits

Other Contributors

  • Brian Bartlett
  • Adam Dickinson
  • Ben Geherls
  • Kathryn Komorowski
  • Augustine Nchujie
  • Armand Garnett Ruffo
  • Catriona Sandilands
  • Ella Soper
  • Edie Steiner
  • Peter Timmerman
  • Rita Wong

Citation: Di Battista, Amanda and Andrew Mark, “Poetic Nature(s): Literature and Politics at the Green Words/Green Worlds Conference Part 2” CoHearence. 12 June 2012.

PODCAST – CoHearence Podcast #4: Poetic Nature(s): Literature and Politics at the Green Words/Green Worlds Conference

(Photo: Edie Steiner, Text 1: from the series Material Remains, 2003)

In the fall of 2011, ecocritics, writers, and poets from across Canada attended a conference at the Gladstone hotel in Toronto. This conference, entitled “Green Words/Green Worlds: Environmental Literatures and Politics in Canada,” focused on the relationship between the cultivation of an environmental reading (and writing) practice and engaged eco-politics. In this CoHearence episode, we’ll use recorded material collected at the conference as well as a follow-up interview with the conference organizers to explore the ways that Canadian ecocritics and poets are engaging with the challenging environmental questions of our time. Featuring conference organizers Catriona Sandilands and Ella Soper as well as keynote presenters Adam Dickinson, Anne, Milne, and Molly Wallace, we’ll ask the question: in a world increasingly characterized by climate change, environmental disasters, and technology, why does literature matter? How can an environmental writing practice be a political act?

Web Resources

Works Cited

Music Credits

  • Pants Productions

Other Contributors

  • Armand Garnett Ruffo
  • Janine McLeod
  • Catriona Sandilands
  • Ella Soper
  • Molly Wallace
  • Rita Wong
  • Anne Milne
  • Adam Dickinson

Citation: Di Battista, Amanda and Andrew Mark, “Poetic Nature(s): Literature and Politics at the Green Words/Green Worlds Conference” CoHearence. 24 May 2012.

PODCAST – CoHearence Podcast #3: Resistance for Breakfast: Hegemony, Arts, and Environment

(Photo: Edie Steiner, Industrial Ruins at Michipicoten Bay, 2010.)

“My name is this and that and I come from here and there and I practice I don’t know what and I am not myself because I am also my government and I am also my economy and I am very much my one-directional totalitarian culture which subdues me and misuses me and uses and misuses my work to the point where I don’t know where my work is itself or where my work is something other than itself or where my work is the opposite of itself and this one-directional culture uses and misuses not only my production but also my protest against these uses and misuses because my protest is part of its pluralistic glory which is part of its world governing economic order which presents itself as a religion and is as fervently believed in as a religion and extracts from its believers the fanaticism of a fervently believed in religion and the chief characteristic of this self-righteous world governing order is that it is marching on and on and on and on and this marching on and on and on and on has no opposition because it eats opposition for breakfast.”
– Peter Schumann, Bread and Puppet

The title of this episode, Resistance for Breakfast: Hegemony, Arts, and Environment, is a playful departure from Peter Schumann’s words, and suggests that, perhaps, we could all use a little more resistance in our diet. We will investigate how hegemonic power manifests itself in environmental art and how art practices can also expose and challenge such power. Hegemony is a social condition in which dominant groups exercise power in all aspects of social reality not through militarized violence but rather through implied means (Mayo, 35). The scholars, activists, and educators we speak with call for resistance to hegemonic power that is not only critical and subversive but also beautiful.

Featuring interviews with FES Professor Deborah Barndt, storyteller and FES contract faculty Chris Cavanagh, FES PhD candidate Heather McLean, and artist and FES PhD candidate Edie Steiner, we will discuss the ways ‘the arts’ reinforce common sense understandings of what constitutes ‘good art.’ We’ll also explore the problematic relationship between large art festivals and local arts movements and suggest ways in which critical environmental art practices can facilitate meaningful activism and create change.

CoHearence Contributor Websites/Blogs

Community Art and Arts Activist Web Resources

Works Cited

Music Credits

Other Contributors

  • Deborah Barndt
  • Chris Cavanagh
  • Heather McLean
  • Edie Steiner

Citation: Di Battista, Amanda and Andrew Mark, “Exploring the Intersections of Culture, History, and the Environment” CoHearence. 11 April 2012.