September 25, 2023
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Environmental catastrophe and what lies beyond

Transdisciplinary seminar series to bring together scholars from around the globe

A forest scene. A forest scene.
A forest scene. Image Credit: Pixabay.

Injustice doesn’t just shape human communities, but ecosystems and even landscapes. Repairing both is the topic of a transdisciplinary seminar series this spring that focuses on activist and scholarly work.

Called “Landscapes of Injustice, Landscapes of Repair,” the series is sponsored by Binghamton University’s Human Rights Institute (HRI) and transdisciplinary areas in Sustainable Communities and Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging, as well as the Narrating Sustainability initiative at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The seminar series pairs Binghamton scholars with leading international figures, explained English Professor Alexandra Moore, co-director of HRI. The initiative has also partnered with an academic journal, Studies for Social Justice; seven graduate students — six at Binghamton and one in Norway — will write about the seminar series for the publication.

The idea behind it was sparked by a small international conference on women, climate and insecurity that Binghamton hosted last year, bringing together scholars from around the globe.

“We wanted to extend that conversation into a larger seminar series that would engage a wide audience,” Moore explained. “We hope this seminar series will pick up the threads of these conversations about how we hear and draw on voices from the margins, and work across disciplines to look at the ways in which political and social violence intersect with environmental catastrophe.”

The intent isn’t to focus on doomsday scenarios, but to imagine alternative futures and engage in the scholarship and activism that creates those futures, she added.

The series begins at 10 a.m. March 31 with “Infrastructures of Harm, Communities of Knowledge and Environmental Justice,” a conversation between Binghamton Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Divya Gupta and Marco Armiero, Icrea research professor at Autonomous University of Barcelona’s Institute for the History of Science. A leader of Occupy Climate Change!, Armiero is also author of Wastocene: Stories from the Global Dump and A Rugged Nation: Mountains and the Making of Modern Italy.

At 10 a.m. April 14, Belinda Walzer and Savannah Paige Murray will discuss “Climate (In)justice and Advocacy: A View from the Humanities.” An assistant professor of English at Appalachian State University, Walzer focuses her research on rhetoric and social justice. Also an assistant professor at Appalachian State, Murray specializes in the environmental humanities with a focus on environmental rhetoric.

The series continues at 10 a.m. April 21 with “Speculative Fictions for Decolonial Futures,” featuring Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay and Jane Alberdeston Coralin, MA ’04, PhD ’07. Associate professor of global culture studies at the University of Oslo, Chattopadhyay leads the international research group CoFUTURES and co-founded Theory from the Margins, a research collective with over 16,000 followers worldwide. Alberdeston Coralin, a visiting lecturer in English, will read from the speculative fiction novel she is currently writing.

The series concludes with an on-campus event from 1 to 3 p.m. April 28. Co-sponsored by the Spatial Humanities Working Group, “Postcolonial DH: Critical Cartographies, Decolonial Archives, and Humanities for the Public” will feature Yale University digital humanities researcher and producer Alex Gil Fuentes. The discussion will be followed by a workshop on digital humanities projects related to social justice at Binghamton.

Events are free. A full schedule and registration links are available here.

Posted in: Harpur