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Environmental Humanities Lecture Series begins Oct. 4

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Jeff Tyson

Heidi Hutner

Can science alone deliver us from environmental catastrophe? Purely scientific-, economic- and incentive-driven management solutions to problems like climate change, water security and environmental justice no longer seem adequate, giving rise to a new interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities. 

The 2017-18 Environmental Humanities Lecture Series will bring to campus four pioneering scholars in the environmental humanities, beginning with Heidi Hutner of Stony Brook University. Her talk, “Mothers, Children and Nuclear Stories,” Oct. 4 at 4:30 p.m. in Goldwin Smith’s Lewis Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

“In the new geological era called the Anthropocene, the future of life and pathways to sustainability cannot be imagined without close attention to the very human agents whose imaginations and activities have profoundly transformed every element of the planet,” says series co-organizer Anindita Banerjee, associate professor of comparative literature.

“Cornell is uniquely positioned to take part in the growth of the environmental humanities, between its reputation in humanities and in the agricultural and life sciences, as well as series co-sponsors the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and the Society for the Humanities,” says series co-organizer George Hutchinson, the Newton C. Farr Professor of American Culture in the Department of English.

Hutner is director of sustainability studies, associate dean in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and associate professor of sustainability and English at Stony Brook University. She teaches and writes about ecofeminism, environmental justice and sustainability. Her current book project is “Accidents Can Happen: Mothers, Gender, and Nuclear Stories,” and she has chapters on nuclear issues and gender forthcoming in anthologies. Hutner has published numerous articles and chapters on environmental issues in academic and popular news publications and hosts a sustainability web series, “Coffee with Hx2,” on which she interviews sustainability scholars, writers, activists, artists and scientists.

The 2017-18 Environmental Humanities Lecture Series is also sponsored by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Departments of English, Comparative Literature, and Science and Technology Studies, and the American Studies Program.

Three lectures in the series will be held in the spring:

  • March 20, 2018: Stephanie LeMenager, the Moore Endowed Professor of Environmental Studies and English, University of Oregon.
  • April 12, 2018: Lawrence Buell, the Powell M. Cabot Research Professor of American Literature, Harvard University.
  • May 1, 2018: Rob Nixon, the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor in the Humanities and the Environment, Princeton University.

Linda B. Glaser is a staff writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.


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