Jonathan Damery will be defending his MFA Thesis, "Plainlands: How to See Nothing." Drinks and snacks will be provided.
This interactive discussion with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and Elder Carlie Towne of the Gullah/Geechee Angel Network will focus on the components of cultural continuation that are often left out of the discussions of sustainability and adaptation. The traditional knowledge and collective consciousness of the Gullah/Geechee and how they are incorporating this in methods to protect tangible resources and their cultural heritage for future generations will be central to the dialogue.
Professor and Chair of English at the University of Toronto, Dr. Bewell will argue that colonial natural history is best understood as a translational activity, which made natures accessible, comparable, and exchangable by recasting them in new mobilized forms. By seeing colonial natures as products of translation, we can begin to recognize what was gained and lost through this encompassing activity. This topic will be examined with reference to Audubon's Birds of America and Keats's Lamia. Dr. Bewell this year published Natures in Translation: Romanticism and Colonial Natural History (Johns Hopkins University Press). Presented by the 18th- and 19th-Century Subfield and the Zabel fund of the Department of English.
Examining a range of short films, this workshop explores how industry-produced documentaries from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s depict the materiality of petroleum and its by-products. Whether the wavering psychedelic shimmer of an oil slick on water, the abyss of blackness in a puddle of crude, or the antics of a four-armed anthropomorphic animated character representing a molecule of gasoline, these films manifest a surprising ambivalence about the precise nature of the twentieth’s century’s most infamous fuel. Looking at the qualities made visible by these films is essential for understanding the political nature of a petroleum-based economy and cultures of the years of supposed post-war plenitude in the North Atlantic—i.e, the US, Canada, and Western Europe. In the images of these films, a fascinating set of formal relationships manifest an ambivalence around the materiality of petroleum and surface tensions fester that would be otherwise unavailable in the official discourses of “big oil”.
Even after the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, popular discourse on nuclear energy was positive. Why did this positive image of the nuclear reign despite the catastrophic experiences of 1945? This talk explores this paradox with a new perspective that challenges the conventional victim narrative of Japan to show how scientists, media, and the public were all involved in the production of the “atomic utopia.”
Dr. Maika Nakao is a visiting scholar at Columbia University and senior researcher at Ritsumeikan University
A presentation by and interdisciplinary conversation with John Sitter, Professor of English, University of Notre Dame. John Sitter specializes in eighteenth-century literature and contemporary ecological literature and theory, teaches poetry, satire, and fiction from the Renaissance to the present, and team teaches in the undergraduate Minor in Sustainability. He is author of The Poetry of Pope's "Dunciad,” Literary Loneliness in Mid-Eighteenth-Century England, which won the Louis Gottschalk Prize awarded by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Arguments of Augustan Wit, and The Cambridge Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Poetry, which was named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2011 by Choice magazine. He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry and two volumes of The Dictionary of Literary Biography. Other recent work includes a chapter on poetry from 1740 to 1790 for the revised Cambridge History of English Literature, a chapter on the "poetry of melancholy" for the Blackwell Companion to British Literature, and articles on Samuel Johnson, climate change, and academic responsibility. He received the 2014 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award given by UND's College of Arts & Letters.
Grad students will give brief presentations about their research and its applicability to the Environmental Humanities Initiative.