Cli Fi and Beyond – ACLA Seminar
Mar
7
to Mar 10

Cli Fi and Beyond – ACLA Seminar

Are novels good at representing climate change? What about other literary genres? What about subgenres within the novel? Amitav Ghosh made a splash in 2016 with The Great Derangement, in which he argues that the mainstream “modern novel” does not engage with climate change because the topic is too big for a genre that specializes in depth psychology. But others have long suggested that novels excel at thinking across scales, individuating characters but also mapping groups and social systems. What about natural systems, or the intersection of the natural and the social in anthropogenic climate change?

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Trans Literacy Project: Pedagogy Workshop on Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary
Nov
15
5:30 PM17:30

Trans Literacy Project: Pedagogy Workshop on Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary

Part of the Trans Literacy Project sponsored by the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women

How can we rethink the gender dynamics of the classroom? In what ways does the classroom space tend to exclude trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming populations, and how can we change this reality? Focusing on praxis, this pedagogy workshop aims to help instructors across all fields develop concrete strategies for gender inclusivity. [click on event title for more information]

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Trans Literacy Project: Pedagogy Workshop on Teaching Feminist, Queer, and Trans Theory
Oct
29
5:30 PM17:30

Trans Literacy Project: Pedagogy Workshop on Teaching Feminist, Queer, and Trans Theory

  • 3907 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The inaugural workshop in the Trans Literacy Project series brings together faculty in English, Communications, and Political Science to address dialogues and dissonances between feminist, queer and trans theory. In this workshop, graduate students and faculty will discuss strategies for designing syllabi that use texts from all three subfields to frame conversations about gender and sexuality across disciplines. Questions will include: how can trans literacy most effectively be a part of the feminist studies and queer studies classroom? How can texts from trans theory be incorporated into both cross-disciplinary and discipline-specific syllabi? What different approaches are there to sequencing and combining texts from feminist, queer and trans studies in the arc of a semester? What are some gender-inclusive approaches to teaching canonical, cis-normative texts from feminist and queer studies? [click event title for more information]

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"The Fracking Documentary: Pennsylvania, Montana, Colorado, Karoo." NEMLA Presentation
Apr
12
to Apr 15

"The Fracking Documentary: Pennsylvania, Montana, Colorado, Karoo." NEMLA Presentation

Presentation at Northeastern MLA (NEMLA) Annual Convention in Pittsburgh

This paper imagines new directions in American and postcolonial ecocriticism by examining the emergent film genre of the fracking documentary. I compare representations of rural life through the lens of fracking in two documentaries: the South African film unearthed by Jolynn Minnaar, and the American film GasLand by Josh Fox. ...

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"Are People Like Plants?" ACLA Presentation
Mar
29
to Apr 1

"Are People Like Plants?" ACLA Presentation

Conference Presentation: "Are People Like Plants?" in the "Cultures of Cultivation" seminar (organized by Sarah Lincoln and Martin Premoli) at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Meeting. 

“Invasive.” “Indigenous.” “Diversity.” These are keywords both in plant biology and in social politics. But what are the dangers of comparing humans to plants? The Cape Town fire of 2000, for example, provoked  tirades blaming “invasive” plants, whose xenophobic overtones Jean and John Comaroff have explored. In Ruth Ozeki’s 2003 novel All Over Creation, bio/diversity metaphors negotiate racial difference and imperialism through heirloom gardening and monocultural farming. Bio/diversity is not just a key metaphor, but a material concern. ...

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"Diasporic Accumulations: Accrual and Environment in Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing." Guest Lecture
Nov
29
10:20 AM10:20

"Diasporic Accumulations: Accrual and Environment in Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing." Guest Lecture

English Assembly Guest Lecture at Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia, PA, sponsored by the English Department

What are contemporary fiction's strategies for representing diaspora? How do these relate to the environmental politics of a globalized capitalism built through colonialism and the slave trade? This talk on Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing begins by considering form, the idea of the novel, and how Gyasi's novel works by a logic of accrual rather than coherence to represent diaspora. I then turn toward representations of environment, and environment's relation to histories of colonialism and slavery, as a connecting thread that accrues across Gyasi's chapters. I focus in particular on Gyasi's representation of the cocoa economy in Ghana as a successor to the slave trade.

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Nov
15
1:00 PM13:00

Pedagogy Workshop: Responding to Student Disclosure of Sexual Violence

Facilitated by Jessica Mertz, Director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Education at Penn, and Litty Paxton, Director of the Penn Women's Center

If a student discloses an occurrence of sexual violence, would you know what to do? What resources are available to your students and to you as an instructor? How might we navigate these traumatic issues both inside and outside the classroom? This workshop is intended for graduate students, faculty, and anyone in an instructional role. ...

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Antjie Krog at Penn: South Africa, Writing, and Social Justice
Sep
25
3:30 PM15:30

Antjie Krog at Penn: South Africa, Writing, and Social Justice

Antjie Krog is a poet, writer, and academic, best known in the USA for her Truth Commission memoir, Country of My Skull.  Described as South Africa's Pablo Neruda, she has won numerous prestigious literary awards and has inspired many young writers, translators, and activists.  Come and listen to one of the world's great creative spirits!

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Jun
24
2:30 PM14:30

"Collapse, Food Sovereignty, and Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide."

Conference presentation at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) Biannual Convention, Wayne State University, Detroit

Amitav Ghosh’s 2004 novel The Hungry Tide ends by neatly reconciling bourgeois conservation to subaltern resource access. The protagonist Piya Roy, a Seattleite studying dolphins in the Sundarbans, learns to look beyond megafauna and incorporate marginalized humans in her sense of ecology. The novel hastily sublimates that her insight necessitates the death of Fokir, a local fisherman whose foodways are threatened by Piya’s conservation interests. At the novel’s outset, Piya refuses to eat Bengali food, traveling with a “carefully hoarded stock of nutrition bars” which she shares to prevent Fokir from fishing near dolphins (115). Reading the novel in relation to interdisciplinary scholarship on food politics, I take this gesture as allegorizing the Global North’s imposition of food aid, then fertilizers, then patented GM seeds. ...

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What Can A Bystander Do?
Mar
20
5:30 PM17:30

What Can A Bystander Do?

Bystander Intervention and De-escalation Training, facilitated by AORTA

This bystander training workshop will help participants develop practical tools for intervening in aggressions large and small. Recognizing that we may be positioned as bystanders or as targets of racist and identity-based aggression, this is a session aimed at activating those multiple positionalities to build a more responsive community. The event will be facilitated by AORTA, an organization that specializes in facilitation and training sessions oriented towards resisting bigotry and building solidarity. ... 

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Oct
20
to Oct 22

Timescales: Ecological Temporalities Across Disciplines

Ecological crises demand collaborative solutions across distant disciplines. New models for grappling with environmental disruption must account for the interaction of human and non-human systems—infrastructures that are both efficient and ethical, philosophies shaped by geological data, basic science that is informed by artistic expression. In recent decades, concepts like “Anthropocene” and “slow violence” have emerged in response to an increasing need to address the temporal aspects of global ecological concerns: Where in time do we place the origin of anthropogenic environmental change? How quickly (or slowly) do environments toxify, adapt, transform, or heal? How soon before we exceed irrevocable concentrations of atmospheric CO2, and what then? ...

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