The rousing conclusion of the first day of “Creating Nature” on May 23 will be a two-headed public lecture in the Paster Reading Room featuring Lindy-Elkins Tanton and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen.
The ongoing collaboration between these two brilliant scholars is one of the inspirations for this event and its hopes for building a lexicon to think together about the environment through different fields and discourses. Lindy directs the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and Jeffrey, an ecocritic and scholar of medieval literature, is Dean of the Humanities at ASU. I first saw them speak collaboratively in the Boston BABEL conference in 2012.
Among their many projects, from founding and running a ground-breaking Humanities Institute in Washington DC to being Principal Investigator on NASA’s planned mission to the metal asteroid Pysche, these two co-wrote the brilliant little book Earth (2017), as part of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. I’m not sure that I know of a better example of imaginative collaboration between the sciences and the humanities. I blog-gushed in some detail about their (and our) shared Earth in June 2017. The book’s gnomic opening phrase remains one of my favorites —
Earth is a home, a limit, and a recurring challenge.
Their collaborative plenary lecture, titled “Climate/Weather/Feeling,” promises to show us new things about that home, press up against that limit, and provide shared tools to respond to that challenge.
I can’t wait to hear it!