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‘Become Ocean’ Honored with Pulitzer for Music

2014 September 29
by Steve Rust

Alaskan composer John Luther Adams has won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in music for his symphonic masterpiece Become Ocean. The committee that awarded the music prize describe the work as “a haunting orchestral work that suggests a relentless tidal surge, evoking thoughts of melting polar ice and rising sea levels.” To listen to excerpts of the symphony and an interview with Adams, check out this interview with National Public Radio reporter Tom Huizenga.

Adams is perhaps best know for Inuksuit, a piece he composed specifically to be played by percussionists in outdoor settings. According to the information accompanying the YouTube promotional video for the piece, the New York Times has described Inkusuit as “the ultimate environmental piece.”

For someone like me, who is used to analyzing somewhat more direct visual representations of ecological issues in film and television texts, it is very encouraging to be able to turn to the work of ecomusicologists. For those interested in pursuing work this field, which “considers musical and sonic issues, both textual and performative, related to ecology and the natural environment” (according to the Grove Dictionary of American Music), be sure to check out the wide range of information, calls for papers, and resources available at, an excellent website moderated by Aaron S. Allen.

Conference CFP: “What Lies Beneath Monster Movies: Exploring Ecohorror Cinema”

2014 September 18
by Carter_Soles

“What Lies Beneath Monster Movies: Exploring Ecohorror Cinema” is a panel proposed for the ASLE Eleventh Biennial Conference, June 23-27, 2015, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID.

Ecohorror reveals our fears about the natural world. In it, animals become monsters; landscapes become nightmares; environmental practices lead to apocalyptic destruction. In this panel, we are interested in exploring cinematic versions of these narratives and the ways in which these films help us grasp our own cultural anxieties, our relationship with particular species and ecosystems, and past and current environmental politics and policies.

Because horror is a genre concerned with dark and often hidden fears and desires, ecohorror provides a promising space for discussion of ideas relevant to this year’s conference theme of the underground. Ecohorror may engage with repressed anxieties about the natural world or environmental issues, resistance to the environmental status quo or to environmental change, or monstrous hybrid species and landscapes.

We are particularly interested in proposed papers about monster movies, but we are open to a range of ideas on ecohorror film.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to both Christy Tidwell ( and Carter Soles ( by November 1, 2014.

Conference CFP: Climate Change in Culture

2014 September 17

This is a call for papers for the Climate Change in Culture Conference to be hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, May 28-31, 2015.

As climate change becomes arguably the most pressing issue of our time, with evolving implications for societies in every cultural context, we seek to enhance our understanding of the ways in which culture and climate intersect with and animate one another.  Cultural responses to and representations of climate are particularly compelling at a time when catastrophic weather events are becoming more commonly manifest and are inspiring a wide array of cultural and interpretive responses.  Paying particular attention to the cultural implications of climate and to cultural, political, and societal responses to climate change, this conference explores how humanities-based scholarship can be brought to bear upon the evolving reality of climate change. Conference events include keynote talks given by internationally renowned climate and culture scholars, traditional academic papers and presentations, and a variety of interdisciplinary and multimedia performances.  We thus invite submissions from scholars from across the humanities, broadly defined, who are dealing with any aspect of climate and climate change in a cultural context.

Possible topics, include, but are not limited to:

literary and artistic (visual, filmic, photographic, etc) representations of climate and climate change

social and historical understandings of climate, weather, and the role of human agency;

climate change and ethics

climate change and questions of social justice including the differing questions of climate change posed by identity categories such as gender, race, disability, class, and citizenship

understandings of climate and the environment in antiquity and the classical world

cross-cultural interpretations of, and responses to climate and climate change

the implications of climate change on the production and reception of art, whatever the form

the roles of denial, fear, skepticism and rejection vis a vis climate change

threats to linguistic and cultural communities posed by climate change

teaching climate and climate change in the humanities and social sciences

the evolving place of the environmental humanities in curricular development

islands and their particular vulnerability to climate change, island-based narratives and representations of climate

The conference is hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island, home of the Atlantic Climate Lab and the Institute of Island Studies.  UPEI is situated in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada.   As the capital and principle city of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown is a vibrant cultural destination, home of the world-renowned Confederation Centre of the Arts Performing Arts Centre and birthplace of Canadian confederation.  Prince Edward Island is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and charm, thus making it an especially apt location for a conference on climate change and its human implications.   

Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words to by January 5, 2015.

Environmental Humanities Book Chat: Ecologies of the Moving Image

2014 September 14

 This online chat “EH Book Chat 3: Ecologies of the Moving Image” was shared on YouTube on Sep 14, 2014. It is the third edition of the Environmental Humanities Book Chat the topic is Adrian Ivakhiv’s Ecologies of the Moving Image: Cinema, Affect, Nature, 2013. Anna Åberg, Royal Institute of Technology, and Seth Peabody, Harvard University, discuss the book with moderator Hannes Bergthaller, National Chung-Hsing University and Würzburg University.

Ecologies of the Moving Image was published by Wilfred Laurier University Press as part of it’s Environmental Humanities Series in 2013. For further details, visit the publisher’s website at…



Anna Åberg defended her PhD in 2013 at the Division for the History of Science, Technology and Environment of the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Stockholm. Her thesis, “A Gap in the Grid,” explores the role of natural gas in late 20th century Sweden. She recently received the Fernand Braudel post-doctoral fellowship for a project on fusion energy research in France and the Soviet Union in which she will examine the narrative and imaginative strategies used by different actors to promote, criticize and interpret technological development. In April 2014, she organized a combined film festival and conference, “Tales from Planet Earth,” as a cooperation between KTH’s newly-formed Environmental Humanities Laboratory and the Center for Culture, History and the Environment at the University of Wisconsin.

Seth Peabody is a graduate student at Harvard University’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, where he is working on a Ph.D. thesis on German “Mountain Films” of the Weimar Period. He has been affiliated with the Berkeley-Tübingen-Wien-Harvard, BTWH, research network on modernity in German culture since 2009, and spent the past year as a research fellow at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich. His research focuses on German cinema.

Hannes Bergthaller is associate professor at National Chung-Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan, and currently an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow at the University of Würzburg. He is the author of Populäre Ökologie: Zu Literatur und Geschichte der modernen Umweltbewegung in den USA, Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, 2007, and co-editor of Addressing Modernity: Social Systems Theory and US Cultures, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011; with Carsten Schinko. He is immediate past president of EASLCE and book review editor of the journal Ecozon@.

COCE 2015 submission deadline extended

2014 September 10
by Steve Rust

The deadline for submissions for the 2015 Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE), Bridging Divides: Spaces of Scholarship and Practice in Environmental Communication which will take place in Boulder, Colorado June 11-14, 2015 has been extended.

The new deadline is October 15, 2014, which gives you an extra month.

Before then, we hope to be able to announce our keynote speakers and provide more information about accommodations and fees.

Check the COCE 2015 web page for updates.

If you haven’t seen the call for submissions yet, please have a look. We are inviting submissions of abstracts of scholarly papers, practice reflections, panels, workshops, posters and artworks. This is a conference for artists and practitioners as well as academics and students.

Many of you have already sent in your submissions and we thank you for those. Now you can bask in the warm feeling of having got that task done well over a month ahead of time!

Job Announcement: Environmental Humanities Asst. Prof., UW-Oshkosh

2014 September 9
by smonani

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh seeks a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program. The position will begin September 1, 2015.

The successful candidate will have a commitment to both undergraduate teaching and research; area of specialization within the humanities is open. Strong preference given to candidates with ability to teach courses on environmental ethics and history of environmental thought, an introductory course on sustainability as part of our University Studies Program, plus upper level courses in the candidate’s area of expertise. Research focus outside of North America and Western Europe preferred.  The position involves advising ES majors and program building.

Ph.D. required; teaching experience preferred. Candidates should send 1) a cover letter explaining interdisciplinary range, experience, and vision for Environmental Studies, 2) a teaching statement, a list courses they can teach or would like to develop, and teaching evaluations if available; 3) research agenda; 4) curriculum vitae; 5) a writing sample; 6) transcripts (photocopies acceptable); 7) three current letters of recommendation. Send materials to Dr. Jim Feldman, Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh WI 54901,

We will begin reviewing applications on October 1. UW Oshkosh is a national leader in campus sustainability in both operations and curriculum, and Environmental Studies is a vibrant, engaged, and supportive program. UW Oshkosh values diversity and is an AA/EOE institution.

Job Announcement: Environmental Humanities Asst. Prof., Westminister College

2014 September 6
by smonani

Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, seeks an interdisciplinary scholar at the rank of Assistant Professor whose work is grounded in the Environmental Humanities or the Arts.

Preferred research and teaching interests include gender studies, critical studies, and/or international perspectives on environmental issues. This position begins in Fall 2015; Ph.D. in a relevant field must be completed by August 2015. Teaching responsibilities will include introductory Environmental Studies courses; the successful candidate will have opportunities to teach existing and/or create upper-division courses in her/his area of expertise. We seek an excellent teacher with demonstrated ability to facilitate active student engagement and to provide effective mentoring to undergraduate researchers.

The Environmental Studies program at Westminster College is an interdisciplinary program with concentrations in humanities, science, and the civic environment. Students are engaged in research, activism, and creative activities around the Salt Lake City urban area and across Utah. Student learning is enhanced by robust co-curricular programming through the Environmental Center, with opportunities such as the Westminster Bicycle Collective, the Organic Garden, STARS campus sustainability research, and ongoing collaborations with community partners such as Utahns Against Hunger. Since beginning less than ten years ago, the Environmental Studies major has grown to nearly 70 students and includes an impressive list of alumni accomplishments as researchers, activists, scholars, and entrepreneurs.

Westminster College’s commitment to diversity and global learning is revealed in its core values, mission and vision statements, and learning goals. We seek candidates who can demonstrate skills, experience, and potential to facilitate the learning of all students, including those historically-underrepresented in higher education (such as students of color, LGBT+ students, students with disabilities, first-generation college students, and more).

Westminster College is a private, comprehensive liberal arts college dedicated to students and their learning. Impassioned teaching and active learning are the hallmarks of the Westminster experience. Located where the magnificent Rocky Mountains meet the vibrant city of Salt Lake, Westminster blends the best of curricular and co-curricular learning via experiences presented by its unique location to help students develop skills and attributes critical for success in a rapidly changing world. The college enrolls approximately 2,200 undergraduate and 800 graduate students in four schools: School of Arts and Sciences; Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business; School of Education; and School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Because Westminster is committed to a diversified workforce, equal opportunity, and nondiscrimination, the College prohibits any form of discrimination or harassment based on race or ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, disabilities, genetic information, status as a veteran, or any other category or classification protected by applicable federal, state, or city laws. You can find more information at the college website.

Climate Stories Project

2014 September 4

My friend and colleague at the University of Oregon, Stephen Siperstein works as the assistant director of the Climate Stories Project. Stephen is encouraging everyone possible to share a brief climate change story on the group’s website. Here’s more informationCapture provided by Stephen:

Hello friends — in these last days of summer/first days of autumn, if you have a few minutes, please consider supporting a project I’m currently working on by recording your own climate change story (click the link to share your story).

You do not need to be a climate change expert. You do not need to have experienced the most devastating effects of climate change. You do not need to have visited a glacier or done something amazing. You only need a smartphone or computer with a microphone, a few minutes, and an interest in thinking about the effects of climate change on your own life and feelings. Please also consider sharing the link. Thanks!