Green Infrastructure? A Symposium on the Technologies of Nature and the Natures of Technology
May
10
9:30 AM09:30

Green Infrastructure? A Symposium on the Technologies of Nature and the Natures of Technology

Green Infrastructure? A Symposium on the Technologies of Nature and the Natures of Technology

Convened by Allison Lassiter & Nikhil Anand

Sponsored by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

Cosponsored by the Department of Anthropology, SAS and Department of City and Regional Planning, PennDesign


Schedule:

9:30-10:00: Introductory remarks- Allison Lassiter and Nikhil Anand, Penn

10:00-10:45 : James Wescoat, MIT. “Blue-Green Infrastructure in Boston and Bombay: An Initial Exploration of Long-Term Comparative Methods.”

Discussant: Nikhil Anand, Penn

10:45-11:00: Coffee

11:00-11:45: Franco Montalto, Drexel. “Enhancing Urban Communities Through Applied, Multifunctional Green Water Infrastructure Research- From Science to Practice.”

Discussant: Stephanie Chiorean, Penn Water Center

11:45-12:30: Kessie Alexandre, Princeton. “When It Rains: Resilience, Redevelopment, Stormwater Infrastructure in the Postindustrial Cityscape”

Discussant: Billy Fleming, Penn

12:30-1:30: Lunch

1:30-2:15: Daniel Brent, Penn State. “An economic perspective on green infrastructure”

Discussant: Allison Lassiter, Penn

2:15-3:00: Sasha Eisenman, Temple. “The ups and downs of green infrastructure: Topographic variation in plant health within bioswales along I-95”

Discussant: Nick Pevzner, Penn

3:00-3:15: Coffee

3:15-4:00: Edgar Westerhof, Arcadis. “Preparing for the Flood – Meeting Global Climate Challenges with Co-Benefits”-

Discussant: Kim Thomas, Penn State

4:00-5:00: Closing Discussion

5:00-6:00: Reception

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River Research Seminar at Glen Foerd: John Brady, "Local and Historical Boats of the Delaware River and Bay" + Boating on the Poquessing Creek
Apr
27
12:00 PM12:00

River Research Seminar at Glen Foerd: John Brady, "Local and Historical Boats of the Delaware River and Bay" + Boating on the Poquessing Creek

River Research Seminar at Glen Foerd

  • John Brady, President and CEO, Independence Seaport Museum
  • Boating on the Poquessing Creek to Follow
     

John Brady, "Local and Historical Boats of the Delaware River and Bay" 

The Seaport Museum houses a collection of boats built in the time period between the end of the Civil War until the introduction of fiberglass as a building material in the mid 20th century. They are all rowing and sailing boats so when the internal combustion engine took over the work boats many of these became the foundation of boats built for sport or recreation under sail as well as the basis for the development of new forms suited to the internal combustion engine. This varied collection tells us a great deal about the society that created the individual boats as well as the natural environment and the craft of boat building itself, topics well worth exploring. 

John Brady has worked in maritime preservation for 35 years, building and restoring traditional craft at Independence Seaport Museum, South Street Seaport, Philadelphia Maritime Museum and the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild. John was appointed President and CEO of the Seaport Museum in 2011 and has expanded the Museum’s history-focused mission to include science education and on-water programming. John serves as an authority on boat and ship construction on the Delaware River and along the New Jersey coast. He continues to sail a wide variety of traditional boats, as he has for 48 years.


Founded in April 2016, the Schuylkill River and Urban Waters Corps is an informal collective of academic, non-profit, civic and community organizations. Based in Philadelphia, we are devoted to exploring and stewarding urban waters past and present. The Corps is currently fostering collaborations in other cities in the U.S., including Mumbai and New York, and we are building a digital archive for our members' varied work: contributing, collecting, and curating oral histories; developing a variety of tours, both on-line and in-person; measuring air and water quality; and designing and building an array of citizen science and public humanities projects to discover and document the waters--and invite considerations of how they will exist in the future.

@SchuylkillCorps

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Faculty Working Group – Paul Saint-Amour, University of Pennsylvania
Apr
26
8:45 AM08:45

Faculty Working Group – Paul Saint-Amour, University of Pennsylvania

Faculty Working Group – Breakfast Meeting

To Face the Fossil
Paul K. Saint-Amour, Walter H. and Leonore C. Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania

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Emmanuel Levinas, theorist of the face-to-face as the central ethical encounter, famously said “I don’t know if a snake has a face.” If not even a snake is possessed of ethical faciality, what about the fossil of a snake? Or the fossil of a trilobite? Yet as little as one might imagine being in a face-to-face ethical encounter with the permineralized remains of a millennia-dead member of an extinct species of Arthropod, such encounters have happened. This talk explores two such encounters in nineteenth-century Britain, one in a painting by a minor Pre-Raphaelite named William Dyce, the other in an early Thomas Hardy novel. How, I’ll ask, might fossils not only open a portal to deep time but also prompt, in the beholder, a profound ethical disorientation in the present?

 


Paul K. Saint-Amour is Walter H. and Leonore C. Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature. He wrote The Copywrights: Intellectual Property and the Literary Imagination (2003), which won the MLA Prize for a First Book. He edited the collection Modernism and Copyright (2011) and co-edits, with Jessica Berman, the Modernist Latitudes series at Columbia University Press. His latest book, Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form(2015), won the Modernist Studies Book Prize and the MLA’s Matei Calinescu Award. His teaching and scholarship are now taking up questions of conflict, temporality, and scale in the environmental humanities.

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Center for Media at Risk – Launch Symposium
Apr
19
to Apr 29

Center for Media at Risk – Launch Symposium

"What is Media at Risk?" is a cross-disciplinary conference bringing together media practitioners, media scholars and media assist organizations to define what "media at risk" means globally in circumstances of political intimidation and what can be done to resist it.

Given the proliferating nature of creeping authoritarianism around the world, these efforts will help highlight Penn’s mission to explain more fully what political intimidation in the media – in documentary, journalism, entertainment and the digital environment – looks like worldwide. Additional information and registration details to come.

 


Center for Media at Risk

Towards a Free and Critical Media Environment

The Center for Media at Risk is devoted to fostering free and critical media practice and scholarship. Political intimidation threatens media practitioners worldwide, while disinformation campaigns destabilize public trust in an unprecedented fashion. The Center will provide a global hub for practical and scholarly strategizing in response to the threatening political conditions that currently undermine the global media environment. Understanding how media practitioners work under threatening political conditions—from explicit totalitarian regimes to circumstances of creeping authoritarianism—rests at the core of the university’s mission.

The Center for Media at Risk will provide the educational tools necessary for identifying the changing parameters of political intimidation across the global media landscape.

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Rising Waters: A Workshop on Urban Waterscapes
Apr
17
8:30 AM08:30

Rising Waters: A Workshop on Urban Waterscapes

  • Perry World House, Second Floor, Conference Room 224 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Rising Waters: A Workshop on Urban Waterscapes

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Cities have long been made through colonial and then modernist efforts to tame the unruly relations between land and water. In port cities as diverse as Philadelphia and Mumbai, engineers have drained wetlands and built river embankments and sea walls to keep waters at bay. These projects have produced particular kinds of ground for the development of industry, commerce and social life as well as particular kinds of water– deepened harbors for shipping vessels, buried creeks, forgotten wells, and waste sinks. While these projects have made urban life possible, they have also produced raced and classed geographies of inequality in the city.  

Today, these stabilized (and not always innocuous) relations are being challenged by the rising waters of climate change.  As climate scientists project a future unlike times past, the increased propensity for severe storm surges and disrupted weather patterns have unsettled historic relations between land and water in cities. Climate events threaten industries, transportation infrastructures and marginalized residents settled in former wetlands, and they promise to exacerbate social inequalities and further squeeze non-human natures. In these uncertain and toxic times, how might we make space for social justice and non-human natures in and along rising urban waters? This expansive, collaborative project seeks to explore the futures of river and coastal cities in a time where the lines between land and water are muddied all around us.

Rising Waters: A Workshop on Urban Waterscapes convenes leading scholars whose work delves into multiple sites of inquiry – especially along seas and rivers, and around regions impacted by superstorms – toward a critical understanding of the changing conditions of living with water.

Part 1: Introductory Remarks (Nikhil Anand and Bethany Wiggin, Rising Waters Co-Directors, Penn); Dilip da Cunha, Columbia, "Ocean of Wetness." (Respondent: Kathy Morrison, Penn); Liz Koslov, MIT, "Avoiding Climate Change: Adaptation Amidst Denial After Hurricane Sandy."

Part 2: Kian Goh, UCLA, "Sinking City Waterscapes: The Hydro-Politics of Flooding in Jakarta" (Respondent: Simon Richter, Penn); Dominic Boyer, Rice, "Another Storm is Coming: Alluvial Awareness in Post-Harvey Houston" (Respondent: Eugenie Birch, Penn).


Full Schedule

8:30 am: Breakfast

9:00 am: Welcome & Introductions

9:15-10:15 am: Dilip da Cunha, Columbia, “Ocean of Wetness”

Response: Kathy Morrison, Penn

10:15-11:15 am: Liz Koslov, M.I.T., “Avoiding Climate Change: Adaptation Amidst Denial After Hurricane Sandy”

Response: Nick Pevzner, Penn

11:15–11:30 am: Break

11:30 am–12:30: Kian Goh, UCLA, Sinking City Waterscapes: The Hydro-Politics of Flooding in Jakarta

Response: Simon Richter, Penn

12:30-1:30 pm: Lunch

1:30-2:30: Dominic Boyer, Rice, “Another Storm is Coming: Alluvial Awareness in Post-Harvey Houston”

Response: Genie Birch, Penn

2:30-3:30 pm, Debjani Bhattacharyya, Drexel University, “Law and Ecological Variability: Notes from Bengal”

Response: Etienne Benson, Penn

3:30–3:45 pm: Break

3:145-4:30 pm: Closing Conversation, Nikhil Anand and Bethany Wiggin, Penn

4:30–5:30 pm, Reception

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Rising Waters is supported by a new Penn Arts and Sciences program that encourages faculty to explore innovative ways of applying their expertise and working with students to address societal challenges. The initiative, called “Making a Difference in Diverse Communities,” provides funding to support teams of faculty and students in multidisciplinary projects that combine coursework, research, and service to address issues of diversity and inequality at the local, national, and international level. Rising Waters is one of five featured inaugural projects.

Project Co-Directors: Dr. Nikhil Anand, Assistant Professor, School of Arts & Sciences, Department of Anthropology, and Dr. Bethany Wiggin, Associate Professor, School of Arts & Sciences, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Graduate Group Member in Comparative Literature and English, and Faculty Director, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

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River Research Seminar – BEEN HERE: Community Narratives on Nature & Displacement
Apr
13
12:00 PM12:00

River Research Seminar – BEEN HERE: Community Narratives on Nature & Displacement

Schuylkill Corps River Research Seminar

BEEN HERE: Community Narratives on Nature & Displacement

  • Althea Baird, Interdisciplinary Artist, 2017 SouthWest Roots Artist in Residence
  • Marie Alarcon, MultiMedia Artist, 2017 SouthWest Roots Artist in Residence
  • Sophia Poe, Artist, Family & Community Advocate, Woodland Academy
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In 2017, SouthWest Roots Artist Catalyst Resident Artists Marie
Alarcon, Althea Baird, Ash Richards, Darlene Devore and Jennifer
Turnbull, developed a multidisciplinary project at Bartram’s Gardens
with the help of Community Liaison Sophia Poe. The culminating event
was a multichannel video installation showcasing Bartram's Garden’s
neighbors and friends as they perform everyday acts of art and
movement, highlighting the creative power that has long existed in
communities, with a focus on the intimate and personal relationships
between place and the communities that interact within it, outside of
the involvement of institutions.


Marie Alarcón is a multimedia artist based in Philadelphia, PA.  She
has worked in community media as an educator and producer for numerous
arts and educational organizations over the past 10 years. She has a
B.A. in Documentary and Postcolonial Studies from The Evergreen State
College, Olympia, WA, and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania,
School of Art and Design.

Althea Baird is a multidisciplinary artist working in Philadelphia.
For nine years she has facilitated community collaborations and
political education workshops through the collectives BARE TEETH and
the Spatial Liberation Project. She uses oral history, collaborative
writing and expressive movement as forms of knowledge-sharing between
people who share space and survival.

Sophia Poe is a mother, artist, advocate, liaison, organizer and
undergrad student studying Social Work at Temple University. She has
dedicated over 6 years of her professional career to providing quality
services to families and community residents in the Southwest area of
Philadelphia. Her goal is to promote self-love, empowerment, and
healing amongst women of color through the power of the arts.
 


Complimentary Lunch is Provided.

Founded in April 2016, the Schuylkill River and Urban Waters Corps is an informal collective of academic, non-profit, civic and community organizations. Based in Philadelphia, we are devoted to exploring and stewarding urban waters past and present. The Corps is currently fostering collaborations in other cities in the U.S., including Mumbai and New York, and we are building a digital archive for our members' varied work: contributing, collecting, and curating oral histories; developing a variety of tours, both on-line and in-person; measuring air and water quality; and designing and building an array of citizen science and public humanities projects to discover and document the waters--and invite considerations of how they will exist in the future.

@SchuylkillCorps

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Faculty Working Group: Grace Sanders Johnson, University of Pennsylvania
Apr
12
8:45 AM08:45

Faculty Working Group: Grace Sanders Johnson, University of Pennsylvania

Faculty Working Group – Breakfast Meeting

Grace Sanders Johnson, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania

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Harriet’s Hike: Ecological Literacy for Girls

Harriet’s Hike pairs Harriet Tubman’s legacy as an Underground Railroad “conductor,” spatial navigator, and environmental savant in the nineteenth century Delaware Valley region with current socio-environmental conditions, storytelling, and ecological literacy for girls and elder women in Philadelphia. Tubman’s journeys necessitated an intimate relationship to the land, extensive community networks, and literacy. Partnered with the Beckett Life Center—a housing complex and resource center—in North Philadelphia, Harriet’s Hike translates these nineteenth century concerns to the twenty-first century by combining a community call for literacy, intergenerational mentoring, and environmental justice, with community cartography, urban gardening, vegetation study, debris disposal/recycling, and walking, as the women prepare for the annual culminating project of a 27 mile walk from Philadelphia to the Tubman-Garrett Park in Wilmington, DE.

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Teach-In: Post-Carbon Futures in a Fact-Challenged Present
Apr
4
5:00 PM17:00

Teach-In: Post-Carbon Futures in a Fact-Challenged Present

Post-Carbon Futures in a Fact-Challenged Present

 Participants at  COP22 , a follow-up on the Paris climate agreement, stage a public show of support for climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco, on Nov. 18. (AP Photo/David Keyton)

Participants at COP22, a follow-up on the Paris climate agreement, stage a public show of support for climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco, on Nov. 18. (AP Photo/David Keyton)

Domestic American politics have long played a role in climate negotiations, including in the current federal administration’s announced plan to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. In contrast to the guarded optimism of climate change activists after COP21 in Paris, the emotional climate after the recent COP23 in Bonn was notably gloomy.

Nonetheless, state and city leaders insist #WeAreStillIn, the hashtag used by a coalition of 2,500 leaders from city halls, state houses, boardrooms, and college campuses. who have signed the “We Are Still In” declaration. In the vacuum created by a lack of federal leadership, this coalition and others are organizing across local contexts to bring about a systematic response to urgent environmental issues.

As we study and engage the present and future of the carbon economy, this roundtable brings together experts on energy transitions past and present as well as energy and health policy at the state and local level.

Panelists:

  • Brian Black – Distinguished Professor, History and Environmental Studies, Penn State Altoona, author of Petrolia
  • Christine Knapp, Director, City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability
  • Pouné Saberi – Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • John Quigley – Director, Center for Environment, Energy, and Economy, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

Moderated by Bethany Wiggin, Associate Professor of German, Founding Director, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

Reception to immediately follow hosted by the Wolf Humanities Center.

Presented by Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, Office of the Provost, Faculty Senate, Wolf Humanities Center, and Penn Sustainability.

Post-Carbon Futures in a Fact-Challenged Present is presented as a part of the 2018 Penn Teach-In.

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PPEH Faculty Working Group: Thom van Dooren, University of Sydney, Australia
Mar
29
8:45 AM08:45

PPEH Faculty Working Group: Thom van Dooren, University of Sydney, Australia

Faculty Working Group – Breakfast Meeting

Making Worlds with Crows: A Multispecies Ethics
Thom van Dooren, University of Sydney, Australia
Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies University of Sydney

 Source: Courtesy of Thom van Dooren

Source: Courtesy of Thom van Dooren

Ubiquitous in their global presence, crows are now found almost everywhere that people are: from critically endangered island crows living in disappearing forests to abundant urban species finding new ways to exploit changing cities. In this way, crows offer a broad range of instructive sites for exploring the challenges and possibilities of multispecies life in the context of escalating processes of globalisation, urbanisation, climate change, and extinction. This talk offers an overview of a recently completed monograph that focuses on changing human/crow relationships in five key sites in an effort to develop approaches and practices for a situated, attentive, multispecies, ethics.


Thom van Dooren is Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2017-2021) in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, and founding co-editor of the journal Environmental Humanities (Duke University Press). His research and writing focuses on some of the many philosophical, ethical, cultural, and political issues that arise in the context of species extinctions and human entanglements with threatened species and places. He is the author of Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (2014), Making Worlds With Crows: A Multispecies Ethics (2018), and co-editor of Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations (2017), all published by Columbia University Press. www.thomvandooren.org
 

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Environmental Science and the Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Lydia Millet in Conversation with James English and Bethany Wiggin
Mar
28
5:00 PM17:00

Environmental Science and the Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Lydia Millet in Conversation with James English and Bethany Wiggin

Environmental Science and the Post-Apocalyptic Novel

Lydia Millet
Novelist and Conservationist, Center for Biological Diversity
in conversation with

James English
Director, Wolf Humanities Center; John Welsh Centennial Professor of English

Bethany Wiggin
Founding Director, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities; Associate Professor of German

Cosponsored by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities and the Department of English.

The prolific, unpredictable, award-winning novelist Lydia Millet manages also to lead a professional life as a conservationist at the Center for Biological Diversity. For the Forum on Afterlives, Millet will read from her latest work and discuss her unusual double role as scientist and novelist. In our era of ever more destructive climate change, are the themes of apocalypse and extinction migrating from science fiction into realism? How does Millet make room in her novels for so much humor and whimsy alongside their political and environmental horrors? 

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Lydia Millet is a novelist and short-story writer known for her dark humor, idiosyncratic characters and language, and strong interest in the relationship between humans and other animals. Sometimes called a "novelist of ideas," Millet won the PEN-USA award for fiction for her early novel My Happy Life (2002), and she has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize as well as a Guggenheim fellow, among other honors.

Millet’s writing has been described as “…flawlessly beautiful, reaching for an experience that precedes language itself.” Millet has written books and stories that range from the philosophical to the satirical, on matters including the inventors of the atom bomb, and political culture under George H.W. Bush.

As well as being a novelist, Millet holds a degree in environmental policy and works for the Center for Biological Diversity, an organization focused on protecting endangered species. She shares with Barbara Kingsolver a passionate worry about wildlife’s future: Her 2012 novel “Magnificence” features a bizarre museum of taxidermied extinct animals, and the mermaids in her “Mermaids in Paradise” (2014) are the last of their kind.

Born in Boston, Millet grew up in Toronto and now lives outside Tucson, Arizona with her two children, where she writes and works in wildlife conservation. Sweet Lamb of Heaven, a psychological thriller about a woman in hiding from her estranged husband, was published in May 2016.

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Environments of Modernity: A University of Pennsylvania Symposium
Mar
22
to Mar 23

Environments of Modernity: A University of Pennsylvania Symposium

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What does it mean to think about environment in the twenty-first century? Recent work across the humanities and social sciences has begun to destabilize our idea of the environment as a singular, universal, and natural context for life. As scholars envision a more radically interdependent relationship between the human and nonhuman, the meanings ascribed to terms like environment and environmentalismare shifting in ways linked to practices of capitalism and imperialism; dynamics of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and religion; and intensified digital networks and proliferating media objects.

“Environments of Modernity” brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to assess the cultural, historical, and political affordances of the environment concept for contemporary thought. As we come to appreciate the interdependence of humanity and environment, scholars are called upon to rethink the conditions of political and historical agency in the modern world. If the idea of a singular environment depends on the untenable idea of a singular humanity, then how can humanists and social scientists theorize environmentalisms responsive to the conflicting needs of individuals, communities, and species?

The symposium aims to develop new approaches that re-conceptualize both of its central terms,  environment and modernity. What kinds of structures and phenomena comprise an environment—the natural world, media technologies and infrastructures, a mood or a feeling in the air? How do culture and aesthetic representation shape our understanding of environmental forces, and to what extent do cultural practices not only represent but also produce the environments of modernity?

For more information: https://environmentsofmodernity.wordpress.com/


Schedule:

Thursday, March 22nd at the Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut St.:

5:00-5:15 pm — Opening Remarks: Conference Organizers

5:15 – 6:30 pm — Opening Presentation: John Durham Peters

6:30 – 7:00 pm — Drinks Reception, Slought Foundation

Friday, March 23rd at the Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut St.:

9:00 – 9:30 am — Breakfast

9:30 – 10:30 am — Speaker: Supriya Nair

10:30 – 11:30 am — Speaker: Kate Marshall

11:30 – 11:45 am — Coffee Break

11:45 – 1:00 pm — Graduate Student Roundtable

1:00 – 2:00 pm — Lunch Break (lunch not provided at conference)

2:00 – 3:00 pm — Speaker: Melody Jue

3:00 – 4:00 pm — Speaker: Robin Nagle

4:00 – 4:15 pm — Coffee Break

4:15 – 5:30 pm — Closing Roundtable with Penn Faculty

Participants: Etienne Benson, Rahul Mukherjee, Paul Saint-Amour, Bethany Wiggin

5:30 – 7:00 pm — Catered Dinner for Attendees, Slought Foundation


Organizers

Natalie Amleshi
Micah Del Rosario
Sam Waterman
Nicole Welk-Joerger
Aylin Malcolm
Aaron Bartels-Swindells
Nick Millman
Orchid Tierney

Co-Sponsored by: Penn Arts and Sciences, Slought Foundation, GAPSA, Wolf Humanities Center, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, Price Lab for Digital Humanities, University of Pennsylvania Cinema Studies,  University of Pennsylvania English Department, the Modernism and Twentieth Century Reading Group, the Latitudes Reading Group, and the Anthropocene Reading Group.

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River Research Seminar – Water Ways with Meg Lemieur + Bri Barton
Mar
16
12:00 PM12:00

River Research Seminar – Water Ways with Meg Lemieur + Bri Barton

Schuylkill Corps River Research Seminar

Water Ways

  • Meg Lemieur: Artist, Environmental Advocate, associated with E.D.G.E.

  • Bri Barton: Illustrator, Garden Educator, associated with Soil Generation

  Water Ways , Meg Lemieur and Bri Barton

Water Ways, Meg Lemieur and Bri Barton

Water Ways is a collaboratively-drawn series of highly detailed pen and ink illustrations telling the story of water and the effects that the natural gas industry has on Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the surrounding area. Each illustration consists of dozens of small vignettes that highlight people's struggles with companies and our own government as they strive to protect the water and land on which we all survive. Water Ways is created by Bri Barton and Meg Lemieur.


Meg Lemieur: Through my art, I am interested in juxtaposing nature with the human experience while exploring the themes of social and environmental justice with a hopeful perspective and questioning sensibility. Through my work as an environmental activist over the past eight years here in Philadelphia, I have learned to use my art as both a form of expression and communication. Manifesting in illustration, performance, story sharing, and other art forms, my work continues to educate, inspire and connect communities and individuals who yearn to make the world a better place. 

Bri Barton is an artist, witch, plant grower, and organizer. Her work elevates and embodies racial and environmental justice, anti-imperial history, earth worship, and defiant celebrations of life. Bri graduated Valedictorian from Moore College of Art in 2011 where she double-majored in Fine Art and Curatorial Studies. She uses paint, ink, shadows, and light to create art that is collaborative, participatory, and informative. Bri is a founding member of the multi-disciplinary painting troupe, ROMPUS. She is also a member of Soil Generation, a black-led coalition of Philadelphia organizations and individuals who support community-managed green space, gardens, and farms through advocacy, grassroots organizing, and education. Bri is the creator of participatory projects hub, Everybody Colors, and the writer and illustrator of Everything Dies! A Coloring Book About Life!. She loves learning, teaching, climbing trees, and composting systems of oppression.


Complimentary Lunch is Provided.

Founded in April 2016, the Schuylkill River and Urban Waters Corps is an informal collective of academic, non-profit, civic and community organizations. Based in Philadelphia, we are devoted to exploring and stewarding urban waters past and present. The Corps is currently fostering collaborations in other cities in the U.S., including Mumbai and New York, and we are building a digital archive for our members' varied work: contributing, collecting, and curating oral histories; developing a variety of tours, both on-line and in-person; measuring air and water quality; and designing and building an array of citizen science and public humanities projects to discover and document the waters--and invite considerations of how they will exist in the future.

@SchuylkillCorps

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PPEH Faculty Working Group + Rising Waters: Malini Ranganathan, American University
Mar
15
8:45 AM08:45

PPEH Faculty Working Group + Rising Waters: Malini Ranganathan, American University

Faculty Working Group – Breakfast Meeting

Dispossession, Liberalism, and the Coloniality of Urban Ecologies
Malini Ranganathan
Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University

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How do we understand lead poisoning in water pipes, land dispossession and evictions, and real estate speculation on wetlands—all of which disproportionately affect the life chances of racial, ethnic, and caste minorities—as projects of empire and liberalism? Drawing on urban historiography and archival and ethnographic work in India and the US, this talk seeks to expose how race and other forms of difference subtly encoded within liberal urban policy and planning have had, and continue to have, a bearing on urban ecologies. Drawing on critical race and postcolonial theory, the talk considers if and how liberalism can be recovered and repurposed for emancipatory urban futures.


Malini Ranganathan is Assistant Professor at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. Her research focuses on the relationship between urban housing, land, and water infrastructures, as well as struggles for environmental and spatial justice in India and the US. She has a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in Energy and Resources with a Designated Emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies. She is a 2017-2019 co-recipient of an American Council of Learned Societies-Andrew W Mellon Foundation grant titled “Corruption Plots, Imagined Publics: The Ethics of Space in the Millennial City”. Her work is published in Antipode, Progress in Human Geography, Annals of American Association of Geographers, and other venues. 

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River Research Seminar – Sharece Blakney and Starr Herr-Cardillo
Feb
23
12:00 PM12:00

River Research Seminar – Sharece Blakney and Starr Herr-Cardillo

Schuylkill Corps River Research Seminar

  • Sharece Blakney, Graduate Student in the History MA program at Rutgers University-Camden
  • Starr Herr-Cardillo, Historic Preservationist/Writer
 Joshua Rowley Watson, "The Woodlands from the Rocks at Gray's Ferry with the Lower Bridge", 1816, watercolor. Philadelphia Museum of Art.  

Joshua Rowley Watson, "The Woodlands from the Rocks at Gray's Ferry with the Lower Bridge", 1816, watercolor. Philadelphia Museum of Art.  


Sharece Blakney, Graduate Student in the History MA program at Rutgers University-Camden

Equally Free With Myself: Slavery, Manumission, and Indentured Servitude in Kingsessing Township, 1780-1850


Between 1780 and 1850, the black community of Kingsessing Township experienced wealth, poverty, freedom, and enslavement. Using primary source documents, "Equally Free with Myself" explores slavery, manumission, and indentured servitude from the perspective of the black community of Kingsessing. Historical analysis reveals the ripple effect that various forms of being unfree have had on the development of the black community in southwest Philadelphia. The impact of slavery has left historians with many webs that connect the 'peculiar institution' to communities of color and race relations today.

 

Starr Herr-Cardillo, Historic Preservationist/Writer

Bridging the Schuylkill: Cultivating collaboration through shared history

In the colonial and early national eras, the Lower Schuylkill was home to some of the most important ornamental and botanical gardens in America. Safeguarded by early preservation efforts as the riverfront industrialized, two key players in this story—The Woodlands and Bartram’s Garden—are now recognized as National Historic Landmark Districts, bastions of Philadelphia’s horticultural legacy that live on as parks, historic sites, and important community anchors in their respective neighborhoods. Delving into the history of both sites reveals a number of fascinating historical relationships and connections that are being brought to the public through creative and collaborative programming.


Complimentary Lunch is Provided.

Founded in April 2016, the Schuylkill River and Urban Waters Corps is an informal collective of academic, non-profit, civic and community organizations. Based in Philadelphia, we are devoted to exploring and stewarding urban waters past and present. The Corps is currently fostering collaborations in other cities in the U.S., including Mumbai and New York, and we are building a digital archive for our members' varied work: contributing, collecting, and curating oral histories; developing a variety of tours, both on-line and in-person; measuring air and water quality; and designing and building an array of citizen science and public humanities projects to discover and document the waters--and invite considerations of how they will exist in the future.

@SchuylkillCorps

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Eastwick Oral History Project Jukebox – Dedication and Reception
Feb
18
12:00 PM12:00

Eastwick Oral History Project Jukebox – Dedication and Reception

  • John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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. The Eastwick Oral History Project, operated by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, documents the legacies and changes of the neighborhood through interviews with lifelong residents, long-time residents, and others who are engaged in community advocacy around Eastwick's future.

As the project grows, please drop in to experience, listen, and appreciate the histories shared. For more information or to be interviewed for the project, please contact: director@ppehlab.org.

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After Matter: Rupture, Persistence, Survival Symposium
Feb
16
9:30 AM09:30

After Matter: Rupture, Persistence, Survival Symposium

  • Kislak Center, 6th floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

After Matter: Rupture, Persistence, Survival Symposium

This symposium explores the notion of afterlives, a term embodying interactions that trouble the neat linearity of past, present, and future. Afterlives speak to both continuities and discontinuities: legacies of the past and the anticipation of manifold futures in the constitution of the present. Examining afterlives through the themes of materiality, race, and colonial power, speakers will consider the potent vestiges of violence, toxicity, and waste in contemporary societies and environments and examine bodies as sites of decomposition, ancestral identity, and racial privilege. 

A program of the Wolf Humanities Center's 2017-18 Forum on Afterlives

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Schedule:

9:00-9:30a | Registration and Breakfast

9:30-9:45a | Opening Remarks

9:45-11:15a | Keynote 
Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University
(Respondent: Emily Wilson)

11:30a-1:00p | “Environmental Afterlives”

This panel will explore how environments register the legacies of power, violence, and toxicity. The panelists will explore the ways earlier power relations persist through infrastructure, spatial distribution, and the construction of distinct ideas about persistence, rupture, and time. The panelists will also consider the ways such material legacies have served as evidence of earlier inequalities.

Kate Brown, University of Maryland
Brahim El Guabli, Princeton University
Rahul Mukherjee, University of Pennsylvania
 

2:30-4:00p | "Embodied Afterlives”
After death, in life, and through metaphor, bodies evoke material relationships to intangible worlds. This panel follows bodies across multiple temporalities, including ancestral histories, lingering traumas, and genetic futures. It considers how certain bodies mark the limits of inclusion and the ways those exclusions overlap in complex ways with personhood. In doing so, panelists offer diverse case studies to explore the status of bodies as forms of truth-telling, environmental management, and social inquiry.

Zoe Crossland, Columbia University
Lyra Monteiro, Rutgers University
Ellen Stroud, Pennsylvania State University

4:15-5:15p | Open moderated discussion

5:15-6:30p | Reception


Cosponsored by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, the Departments of English; History; History and Sociology of Science; and the Programs in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory; Cinema and Media Studies.

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River Research Seminar: Paul M. Farber, Joanne Douglas, and Coryn Wolk
Feb
2
12:00 PM12:00

River Research Seminar: Paul M. Farber, Joanne Douglas, and Coryn Wolk

Schuylkill Corps River Research Seminar

  • Paul M. Farber, PhD, Managing Director, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities
  • Joanne Douglas, Schuylkill River & Urban Waters Research Corps Coordinator, Environmental Educator Glen Foerd on the Delaware
  • Coryn Wolk, Environmental Researcher/Writer, EDGE Philly and Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia
     
  Duane Linklater,  In Perpetuity,  Monument Lab 2017 (Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Philadelphia) 

Duane Linklater, In Perpetuity, Monument Lab 2017 (Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Philadelphia) 

Paul M. Farber, PhD, Managing Director, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

"'As Long as the Creeks and Rivers Flow'": Monument Lab, Historical Memory, and Civic Landscapes in Philadelphia

What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?  To reflect on this line of inquiry, Monument Lab – a team of scholars, artists, students, and researchers – staged a two-month citywide exhibition in Philadelphia this fall with Mural Arts Philadelphia. Situated in the midst of a massive public reckoning with monuments sweeping the U.S., Monument Lab’s curatorial team sought to "change the ways we write the history of our city together." Over 200,000 Philadelphians and visitors engaged with the project at twenty prototype monuments imagined by leading contemporary artists; ten adjacent learning labs in public squares and neighborhood parks throughout the city; and interactions with students at the labs, including those whose participation as researchers were a part of a Fine Arts "civic studio" course at Penn which merged work at the labs with engaged humanities methods and public art practices.

In conversation with the Schuyllkill Corps research seminar, Monument Lab co-founder and PPEH Managing Director Paul Farber routes the exhibition's curatorial motivations and implications through the concept of  "river monumentality," revisiting the ways Philadelphia’s foundational historical identity is mapped, managed, and reflexively revisited over time around living memory at and of its waterways. In his talk, Farber will examine several prototype monuments from the recent exhibition (including those by artists Tania Bruguera, Duane Linklater, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Klip Collective, and RAIR – Recycled Artist in Residency) and highlight river-minded examples of the public research proposals, to explore how they each respond and extend the existing monumental landscapes of the city.

 


Joanne Douglas, Schuylkill River & Urban Waters Research Corps Coordinator, Environmental Educator Glen Foerd on the Delaware

Schuylkill Corps: Tools for Outreach, Collaboration and Power Shifting in Environmental Humanities
 
As Coordinator of the Schuylkill River & Urban Research Corps, Joanne has been working with the Corps to develop the River Archive, an interactive and growing public archive of citizen science and public humanities projects.  Joanne will demo the archive by highlighting current and upcoming tours, partnerships and collaborations in context with the Seminar.  The River Archive hopes to serve as a tool for interdisciplinary connection and Joanne’s talk hopes to explore how the archive and other methods can be used for institutions to reach outward to include and amplify community voices in research around the river.

 


Coryn Wolk, Environmental Researcher/Writer, EDGE Philly and Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia

Legal Trespass: Exploring the PES Refinery from the Lower Schuylkill River

Despite the PES refinery's visibility from local bridges, streets, and flight paths, a variety of literal and figurative barriers prevent most Philadelphia residents from seeing and understanding its operations. The public waterways of the Lower Schuylkill River enable a nearly unparalleled access to the sights, sounds, and smells of the refinery and nearby infrastructure. EDGE Philly, Bartram's Garden, and Sierra Club have collaborated to present this infrastructure to residents through kayak tours. Coryn will discuss some content and observations from the tours, as well as PES and law enforcement's responses to this unpreventable, legal use of the River to access these sites.


Complimentary Lunch is Provided.

Founded in April 2016, the Schuylkill River and Urban Waters Corps is an informal collective of academic, non-profit, civic and community organizations. Based in Philadelphia, we are devoted to exploring and stewarding urban waters past and present. The Corps is currently fostering collaborations in other cities in the U.S., including Mumbai and New York, and we are building a digital archive for our members' varied work: contributing, collecting, and curating oral histories; developing a variety of tours, both on-line and in-person; measuring air and water quality; and designing and building an array of citizen science and public humanities projects to discover and document the waters--and invite considerations of how they will exist in the future.

@SchuylkillCorps

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PPEH Faculty Working Group – Lynne Farrington and Judith Tannenbaum, Whitman at 200
Feb
1
8:45 AM08:45

PPEH Faculty Working Group – Lynne Farrington and Judith Tannenbaum, Whitman at 200

Faculty Working Group – Breakfast Meeting

Lynne Farrington, Senior Curator, Special Collection
Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania Libraries and Judith Tannenbaum, Independent Contemporary Art Curator

 

 


Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy and Nature

May 31, 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman, who spent the last decades of his life in Camden, NJ, a short ferry ride from Philadelphia. Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy is being planned as an exploration of the relevance of the poet’s life and words for a contemporary audience through a region-wide program of cultural events. One vital component of Whitman’s writings, his poetics of nature, views man on a continuum with the natural world: both of it and able to appreciate it for itself and for its spiritual dimension. For Whitman, the “Nature-element” is essential to our Democracy and “really underlie[s] the whole politics, sanity, religion and art of the New World.”

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Lynne Farrington

Since 1995, Lynne Farrington has been a curator in Penn's Rare Book and Manuscript Library, now part of the Kislak Center, where she works closely with faculty, students, and other researchers, makes acquisitions, stewards donors, curates exhibitions, organizes symposia and conferences, develops projects, fields reference queries, and gives presentations on the collections to classes and other interested groups. 

Judith Tannenbaum

From 1986 to 2000, Judith Tannenbaum served as Curator, Associate Director, and Interim Director at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. In 2000, she became the first Curator of Contemporary Art at the RISD Museum, Providence. Since returning to Philadelphia in 2013, she has used her broad knowledge of the visual arts, the performing arts, and interdisciplinary art forms to curate exhibitions and events at area institutions.

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PPEH Faculty Working Group: Ashley Dawson, Princeton Environmental Institute and Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).
Jan
25
8:45 AM08:45

PPEH Faculty Working Group: Ashley Dawson, Princeton Environmental Institute and Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).

Faculty Working Group – Breakfast Meeting

Energy Commons: Climate Protection and the Fight for Public Power
Ashley Dawson, Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities, Princeton Environmental Institute and and Professor of English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).

 Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Rural Lines – USA: The Story of the Rural Electrification Administration’s First Twenty-five Years, 1935-1960."

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Rural Lines – USA: The Story of the Rural Electrification Administration’s First Twenty-five Years, 1935-1960."

Most experts agree that the key to averting climate disaster is to make a swift transition to renewable energy. Yet, despite recent celebrations of the growth of solar and wind power, that shift is not happening at anything near the speed and scale necessary. Why is this and what can be done to speed the transition and ensure that it is a just one?


Ashley Dawson is the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities at the Princeton Environmental Institute for 2017/18 and Professor of English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). He is the author of two recent books on topics relating to the environmental humanities: Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change (Verso Books, 2017), and Extinction: A Radical History (O/R Press, 2016). Dawson recent completed work on a book entitled The Energy Commons: How to Fight Fossil Capitalism and Reclaim Public Power, and is currently writing about the experience and literature of planetary urbanization.

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Urban Life in the Era of Climate Change: Ashley Dawson and Daniel Aldana Cohen
Jan
24
5:00 PM17:00

Urban Life in the Era of Climate Change: Ashley Dawson and Daniel Aldana Cohen

Urban Life in the Era of Climate Change
Ashley Dawson
Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities, Princeton Environmental Institute and Professor of English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).

Daniel Aldana Cohen
Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

Presented by the Wolf Humanities Center and Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

Ashley Dawson, author of Extinction: A Radical History, will speak about his newest book, Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change. Penn Sociologist Daniel Aldana Cohen, director of the Superstorm Research Lab and co-host of the climate politics podcast Hot & Bothered, will provide a response and conduct a conversation with Dawson about the environmental impacts of urbanization and gentrification, the increasing menace of urban flooding, and the emerging urban movements fighting for better forms of city living.

Book signing to follow.

Cosponsored by Penn Sustainability.

Ashley Dawson is the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities at the Princeton Environmental Institute for 2017/18 and Professor of English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). He is the author of two recent books on topics relating to the environmental humanities: Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change (Verso Books, 2017), and Extinction: A Radical History (O/R Press, 2016). Dawson recent completed work on a book entitled The Energy Commons: How to Fight Fossil Capitalism and Reclaim Public Power, and is currently writing about the experience and literature of planetary urbanization.

In Extreme Cities, Ashley Dawson argues that the world’s cities are ground zero for climate change. They make the largest contribution of carbon to the atmosphere while being extremely vulnerable to rising sea levels. Most megacities are in coastal zones, yet few of them are adequately prepared for the floods that will increasingly menace their shores. Instead, they continue to develop luxury waterfront condos for the elite and industrial facilities for corporations. These not only increase carbon emissions, but will also place coastal residents at greater risk when water levels rise. Extreme Cities is a disturbing portrait of the future facing cities as varied as Jakarta, Delhi, Port-au-Prince, and São Paulo. Our best hope lies not with fortified sea walls, Dawson argues, but with urban movements already fighting to make our cities more just and equitable.

As Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, Daniel Aldana Cohen works on the poitics of climate change, inequalities of race and social class, and the political projects of both elites and social movements in urban spaces, with a focus on global cities of the North and South. Cohen is co-founder and co-principal investigator of the Superstorm Research Lab, a mutual aid research collective investigating changes in New York’s politics after Superstorm Sandy, and from 2015-17, he co-hosted Hot & Bothered, a podcast on climate politics hosted by Dissent magazine. 

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