Environmental Humanities Symposium

This post was written by BYU Professor George Handley, who helped organize the symposium.

Thanks to the support of the Humanities Center, the newly formed Environmental Humanities research group is co-sponsoring with the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities program a symposium on September 24-27 on “The Future of the Environmental Humanities: Art, Thought, and Action in the Anthropocene.” This symposium explores the possible futures for the environmental humanities and builds on the successful 2013 Future of the Environmental Humanities symposium hosted by the Humanities Center at the University of Washington. That symposium spurred a conversation in the region that will be taken up again by twenty scholars from the western United States who will join together in intensive conversation on both campuses. Papers address either implicitly or explicitly the idea of the Anthropocene (the era of human-caused climate change) and interrogate its utility for scholarship today. What does it mean, for example, to identify an unprecedented human role in natural history for the various disciplines of the humanities? Are current distinctions and assumptions about nature and culture that inform the various fields of literary studies, art history, philosophy, history, religious studies, and other disciplines, as well as the assumed distinctions between the sciences and the humanities, suitable for addressing the Anthropocene?

BYU will host an afternoon keynote address by William Jordan, author of The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and the New Communion With Nature, and a panel of papers on “The Challenges of Tracing the Anthropocene” that includes BYU’s Chip Oscarson, Elizabeth DeLoughrey from UCLA, and Gillen D’Arcy Wood of University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The rest of the symposium will take place on the University of Utah campus. More information will be forthcoming. All events are free and open to the public.

Photo by Normality Relief

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