The final event at “Creating Nature” on Fri 5/24 will be a roundtable featuring the chairs of all four sessions, the two co-plenarists, and me. We’ll be trying to put everything together and generate something like a rough lexicon of shared terms, competing ideas, and avenues for future thinking.
The session chairs, who in an eco-terminological twist we are calling “conversation stewards,” will help us bring into dialogue the central insights of each panel. Karen Raber will discuss “Sustenance,” Joe Campana “Storms,” Rebecca Laroche and Jen Munroe “Shelter,” and Anne Harris “Spirits & Science.” Co-plenarists Jeffrey Cohen and Lindy Elkins-Tanton will return to and extend their thinking about Weather / Climate / Feeling.
My own role at the end of what I’m sure will be an exhausting and intense two days will be to weave some of our shared words together.
How do the threats posed by Storms challenge our need for Shelter? (In a fantasy world we might finish this conversation by all taking the train to New York to see Glenda Jackson rage against the weather in King Lear.)
How can the ornate systems of meaning we label Spirits & Science provide conceptual and material Sustenance for human bodies in threatening weather?
What new terms do we need in a lexicon to bring together the premodern humanities with the sciences, the social sciences, and the creative arts?
We’re also looking forward to the questions and insights provided by a fully booked house of 60-odd audience members.
Hoping to see you in DC soon! Please also follow along on the #creatingnature hashtag!