Program

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We will continue to update our program. 
Learn more about our speakers here.

ECOTOPIAN TOOLKIT PROGRAM

DAY 1 Thursday, April 13, 2017

Kislak Center (6th floor, Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut St., Philadelphia 19104)

11:00 AM-12:00 PM Registration

No pre-registration is required for the conference panels, and the registration booth will also be available on Friday & Saturday morning.

12:00 -12:30 PM Opening Remarks: Bethany Wiggin, Mary Mattingly, and Dan Rothenberg 

12:30-2:00 PM Panel 1 

Moderated by Daniel Aldana Cohen (Penn) 

Jedediah Purdy (Duke Law) “Landscapes as Allies, Crime Scenes, and Sanctuaries” 
Elizabeth Whiting-Pierce (Emory) “Adaptive Governance: Tools for Ecotopian and Democratic Politics?”
Laurie Allen (Penn Libraries) “Data: Collection and Creation as Art and Activism”
Janette Kim (California College of the Arts) “Win-Win: Board Games for a Collective Future”
Michelle Munyikwa (Penn) “Freedom Dreams: Thinking Refuge as an Imaginative Tool for the Anthropocene” 

2:15-4:00 PM Panel 2 

Moderated by Kate Kraczon (ICA Philadelphia)

Laura Raicovich (Queens Museum, Director) “Hope in the Dark: Art, Artists, and the Anthropocene”
Nicole Seymour (Cal State University, Fullerton) “Drag Performance as Ecotopian Tool” 
Jenny Price (Washington University, St. Louis) “SHTEAM: An Acronym for the Anthropocene” 
Robert Bingham (Temple) “Improvising Meaning in the Age of Humans”

KEYNOTE  

5:00-6:30 PM

Harrison Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South St., Philadelphia 19104 
Co-sponsored by Penn Humanities Forum and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Pre-registration is required. Register here.  

REBECCA SOLNIT | ART, DISASTER, UTOPIA

Moderator: Bethany Wiggin 

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Writer, historian, environmental and human rights activist

How might we translate natural and manmade disasters into opportunities for changed states of mind infused with utopian hope? This is one of the challenging questions Rebecca Solnit poses in her recent work. Eclectic, brilliant, widely celebrated, Solnit is an inspiration for people around the world. In her keynote address at the Penn Humanities Forum, she will speak to the broad concerns of this week’s conference-art, environment, utopia-drawing on her own highly distinctive toolkit as an author, activist, historian, and artist.


7:00 PM Celebration at Bartram’s Garden

Invitation only; transportation to be provided. We will collectively take the 36 Trolley, departing from 36th St. Trolley Station and disembarking at 54th St.
This celebration includes drink, live performances, night-kayaking, and a board game designed by Janette Kim (California College of the Arts) “Win-Win: Board Games for a Collective Future.” 

DAY 2, Friday, April 14, 2017

Kislak Center (6th floor, Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut St., Philadelphia 19104)

8:30-9:00 AM Breakfast and Registration 

No pre-registration is required for the conference panels, and the registration booth will also be available on Saturday morning.

9:00-10:30 AM Panel 3 

Kyle Powys Whyte (Michigan State University) “Decolonizing the Anthropocene as Living Indigenous Sci-Fi”
Jennifer Ferng (University of Sydney) “Outback/City: Anthropocenic Tools for Penrith Lakes in Western Sydney”
Erich Hatala Matthes (Wellesley) “Environmental Heritage and the Ruins of the Future”
Chelsea Frazier (Northwestern) “Impoverished Frameworks and the Illegibility of Black Feminist “eco-ethics””

11:00 AM-1:00 PM Open Q&A with James Hansen and Rebecca Solnit

1:00-2:00 PM Lunch

2:00-4:30 PM  Panel 4 

Moderated by Nicholas Pevzner (Penn Design) 

Stephanie LeMenager (Oregon) “Serious Fantasy” 
Gerardo Cedillo-Servin (Penn) “Uncanny Plastics: The Body as Raw Material for Accessible Anthropocenic Tools” 
Amanda Boetzkes (University of Guelph) “Conceptual Art as Exchange Machine: Mel Chin’s Tools for Energy Conversion” 
Jesse Goldstein (VCU) “Geofuturism: Learning how to let go and love other worlds”

KEYNOTE 

5:00-6:30 PM

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South St., Philadelphia 19104 
Co-sponsored by Penn Humanities Forum . Pre-registration is required. Register here.  

JAMES HANSEN | CAN SCIENTISTS BE ACTIVISTS? 

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Director, Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Earth Institute, Columbia University; former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

This lecture draws attention to the ways that scientific research does or does not translate into ethical or political imperatives, drawing from Dr. Hansen’s controversial decision to leave his post as the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute to devote his time to political activism. He talks about the process of science and independent peer review in the context of rapid global climate change.

6:30- 8:00 PM Reception

Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room 

8:30-10:00 PM PERFORMANCE 

Arts Bank, 601 S. Broad St.

You must register for the event here

EXCERPTS FROM A PERIOD OF ANIMATE EXISTENCE

by PPEH artists-in-residence, Troy Herion, Mimi Lien, Dan Rothenberg 

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Artists-in-Residence, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, 2016-2017

A Period of Animate Existence is a work of symphonic theater that contemplates the future in a time of dire predictions and technological change. Children, elders, and machines sing about planetary cycles and life cycles in this music-theater hybrid created by the OBIE-winning Pig Iron Theatre Company. Excerpts will be followed by a Q&A with the co-creators, including composer Troy Herion and 2016 MacArthur Fellow Mimi Lien.


DAY 3, Saturday, April 15, 2017

Kislak Center (6th floor, Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut St., Philadelphia 19104)

10:00-10:30 AM Registration 

10:30 AM-12:30 PM Panel 5 

Moderated by Daniel Barber (Penn Design) 

Mary Mattingly (WetLand) “Art and an Ecotopian Commons”
Ivan-Nicholas Cisneros (Princeton) “Perversions of Eco/Urban Futures” 
Isabelle Doucet (Manchester) “Utopian Tools for Encounter and Kinship: New Challenges for Architecture?” 
Eric Blasco (designer) and Jacob Rivkin (artist) “Bio Pool” 

12:00-1:00 PM Lunch

12:00-1:30 PM 2nd performance of Period of Animate Existence for public 

Arts Bank, 601 S. Broad St.

You must register for the event here

 

1:15-3:15 PM Panel 6 

Moderated by Lynne Farrington (Penn Libraries) 

Bethany Nowviskie (Digital Library Federation) “Five Spectra for Speculative Knowledge Design”
Shereen Chang (Penn) “Birding as an Ecotopian Tool” 
Leah Aronowsky (Harvard) “The Future is Human and the Human is a Gardener: NASA and the Dream of Multispecies Spaceflight” 
Sara Dean (California College of the Arts) and Beth Ferguson (UC Davis) “Climate Kit: Toolkits for Field Work in the Anthropocene”

3:15 PM Closing Remarks