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Skilling Up for the Anthropocene

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, February 21, 2018. 05:30 PM - 07:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Margaret Jacks Hall, Terrace Room
The Environmental Humanities Project
Meeting Description: 

This talk will begin with a discussion of the Transition Movement and its imbrication in a Peak Oil narrative that is now nearly dead, to consider how the idea of transition (from fossil fuel energy to renewables, from humanism to posthumanism) has worked its way into literary studies and humanities practice more broadly. The talk will use a few key texts, including Octavia Butler's now iconic Parable series, to discuss the "re-skilling" movement beyond the academy and within it, with an emphasis on how pragmatic responses to the Anthropocene intermix with a recommitment to intellectual life, to research, and to the long narrative forms often imagined as a relic of Holocene print culture.

Stephanie LeMenager is Barbara and Carlisle Moore Professor of English and professor of environmental studies at the University of Oregon. Her publications include the books Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century (2014), Manifest and Other Destinies (2005), and Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century (2011). Her co-edited collection Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities addresses climate change pedagogy and her forthcoming Bloomsbury four-volume collection, Literature and Environment, offers a history of the interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities through the one hundred most influential published articles in the field. LeMenager is a founding editor and current advisory board member of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, the first environmental humanities journal to be based in the United States. She is a recent recipient of the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship for Advanced Study, where she began writing her latest book, about climate change, fiction, and lies. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Time magazine, Climate Wire, and on CBC radio and NPR.