March CEAH Seminars

The Geography and English departments at the Penryn Campus will be hosting two international seminar speakers in March, as part of the activities of the Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities.

On Wednesday 5 March Dr Lynn Keller, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will present a talk titled: Contemporary American Poetry and the Scalar Challenges of the Anthropocene. Lynn’s seminar is part of the Geography Seminar Series, and will take place at 4pm in Peter Lanyon Lecture Theatre 4.

Abstract: Recognizing that we live in a new era of the earth’s history– one in which the composition of the atmosphere, the acidity of the oceans, and the fate of innumerable species are being determined in large part by human activity– has profound consequences for the human imagination. Poets, who have traditionally celebrated nature as awe-inspiringly apart from the human, are now grappling with the challenges of thinking of nature as something that humans significantly determine. This talk will explore some experiments contemporary U.S. poets are undertaking in their attempts to imagine our responsibilities for the planet and its biosphere at nearly incomprehensible scales, both vast and minute.

On Thursday 20 March Dr Lesa Scholl, from the University of Queensland, will present a talk titled:  ‘Th’ food stuck in their throats when they thought o’ them at home’: Hunger, Mobility, and Community in Harriet Martineau’s Illustrations of Political Economy (1832-34) and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton (1848). Lesa’s seminar is part of the Penryn Seminar Series, and will talk place at 5pm in Peter Lanyon Lecture Theatre 1.  There will be a drinks reception in the staff common room in Peter Lanyon after the talk.

Biography: Dr Lesa Scholl is the Dean of Academic Studies at Emmanuel College, University of Queensland, and was awarded her PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2008. Her monograph, Translation, Authorship and the Victorian Professional Woman: Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Martineau and George Eliot, was published by Ashgate (2011). Her other publications include articles and chapters on Harriet Martineau, George Eliot, Christina Rossetti, Henry Mayhew and pedagogical approaches to translation theory and literature. Her research interests extend to literature as cultural history and economic fictions, and she is currently writing a monograph on literary representations of hunger and mobility 1832-1867.

Environmental Futures

The Nelson Institute’s Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) and the Center for German and European Studies (CGES) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are pleased to be partnering with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) in Munich and the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory (EHL) in Stockholm to host an international workshop that invites artists and writers, scientists and humanists, scholars and activists, to participate in “The Anthropocene, Cabinet of Curiosities Slam.” The workshop will take place in Madison, Wisconsin from Nov. 8-10, 2014. In the spirit of poetry/spoken word slams, contributors will be asked to pitch in a public fishbowl setting an object for the Anthropocene that asks us to rethink humanity’s relationship to time, place, and the agency of things that shape planetary change. How is the appearance and impact of Homo sapiens as a geomorphic force registered in the sediments of history, the objects around us, and the things yet to be? What emotionally layered Anthropocene objects can surprise, disturb, startle, or delight us into new ways of thinking and feeling? What objects speak to resilience or adaptation, to vanishing biota or emerging morphologies? Based on the audience response at the slam, contributors will be invited to participate in the design of an Anthropocene cabinet of curiosities as part of a larger exhibit on the Anthropocene being planned by the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Presentations will also form the basis of a collected series of short essays to be published as part of the CHE, RCC, EHL collaborative project on Environmental Futures. More details here.