A recap from the Philadelphia Science Festival’s Science Carnival, which brought hundreds of families, educators, and passersby in conversation with PPEH and Data Refuge fellows at the specially-designed “Is it Science or is it Art” booth on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The Eastwick Oral History Project documents the rich history and complex cultural life of Eastwick — a vibrant community in Southwest Philadelphia. The neighborhood’s history is marked by deep connections to the landscape and waterways, as well as experiences of displacement and environmental injustice.
PPEH welcomes two new scholars to our intellectual community at the University of Pennsylvania: Kristina Lyons (Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Humanities) and Ben Mendelsohn (2018-2019 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities). Each comes to the program with exciting scholarly projects, excellence in teaching, innovative research approaches, and visions for public engagement in Philadelphia and beyond.
MEET THE DATA STORYTELLERS
As part of Penn's first Teach-In since 1969, organized by the Faculty Senate, PPEH and Data Refuge Stories set up Stories Hubs across campus at central locations of interdisciplinary knowledge production and circulation. These sites included Penn Nursing, Annenberg School of Communication, Van Pelt Library, David Rittenhouse Labs. At each hub, teams comprised of PPEH student fellows gathered stories about data, research, and evidence-based practice, all of which will be entered into the Data Refuge storybank. Who are the people that generously gathered stories? Meet some of them here:
Sabrina Elkassas grew in DuBois, PA, and studies Earth and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in geology at Penn. She loves how Data Refuge Stories brings together science and art. She cares most about geomicrobiology data, in the form of her cultures. Stories Hub: David Rittenhouse Labs. MOOD: mellow.
From New Delhi, India, Ayodh Kamath is a PhD Candidate in Architecture. Ayodh believes that storytelling helps to relate seemingly disparate parts of the world to each other. He wonders about what stories might look like if they aren't "told," and thinks that data is about making practices. Stories Hub: Van Pelt Library. MOOD: learning and absorbing.
Sam Sanders studies German at Penn, and is originally from Bullhead City, AZ, part of the Colorado River Watershed. Sam believes that storytelling is the bridge we need between knowledge and meaningful action when it comes to public engagement, climate change, and everyday interactions. He wishes that he had more indoor and air quality data in cities like Philadelphia, and cares about information regarding public transit utilization and infrastructure spending. Stories Hub: David Rittenhouse Lab. MOOD: looking forward.
(Photographs by Patricia Eunji Kim)
Last week, we announced the five 2018 Ecotopian Toolkit artists and teams, each of whom will produce projects with PPEH that engage floating on/ sinking in/ and otherwise living with urban waters; and explore what it might mean to face contemporary ecological challenges with critically attuned and creatively oriented tools. Over the next two weeks, we will introduce the Toolkit recipients and share glimpses of their work, ahead of the expanded launch of their projects over the next several months.
Bri Barton is an artist, witch, plant grower and organizer. Paired with artist Meg Lemieur, Bri lead an interactive art workshop on story-telling and activism using their shared work, Waterways, as a point of reference. Bri will also be involved in the 10-day Schuylkill Corps On-Water Intensive being held in June.
Throughout the course of the spring semester, PPEH Fellows and students enrolled in our "Public Environmental Humanities" course engaged local partners in short-term research residencies with local environmental organizations, public humanities projects, and municipal/civic entities. In this blog series, fellows and students reflect on the following prompt: “How has your research residency shaped your own research project?”