Friday, June 15, 2007

At the ASLE meeting

In the interest of explaining (to myself, more than to the mythical "readers of this blog") what I've been doing the past week instead of reading for orals, and in the hopes of keeping All Information in One Place, here's a quick sum-up of things to follow up on/read/look at, all of which I found out about at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment conference this past week.

Books referred to by people who wrote position papers for the seminar on science studies and ecocriticism that I went to today: Ian Marshall, Story Line: Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail (1998) (dammit! this is one of my long-term, never-followed-up ideas - I knew somebody had to have already done it, and I was right). Dana Phillips, The Truth of Ecology: Nature, Culture, and Literature in America (2003). JM Coetzee, Disgrace (2000?). Interviews with Donna Haraway, collection titled How Like a Leaf (1999). Larissa Lai, Salt Fish Girl (p-back, 2002) Barbara Gowdy, The White Bone (novel from the point of view of elephants). Susanne Antonetta, Body Toxic: An Environmental Memoir (2001). Vicki Kerby, Telling Flesh: The Substance of the Corporeal (1997). Luc Ferry, New Ecological Order (1995).

Next year, I need to look for the new book by the woman who ran the seminar, Stacy Alaimo. Bodily Natures: Environmental Health, Environmental Justice, and Material Ethics.

There is a thing called "corporeal theory". I did not know this.

In comments on my position paper, I was told that in Canada, Greenpeace has global warming awareness commercials that use the Coke polar bear - showing him going south for "vacation". I think the tag line was "The real thing". Some discussion about whether Canadians so annoyed by the harp seal controversy just can't take a straight-up "sad animal on an ice floe" appeal.

I should look at Rhizomes, and Hyperrhiz.

Moving away from the science studies seminar, in which I found out just how much theory I don't know...There is going to be a symposium on the work of John Burroughs at Vassar next summer.

In Algonquin Park in Ontario, tourists gather together in the middle of the park and stay completely quiet, hoping to hear the wolves howling. This is something they pay to do.

Barry Commoner has something called the Critical Genetics Project. Ah, here it is. This website is no help.

In other papers presented on the same panel as my Walton Ford presentation, people mentioned Cary Wolfe's Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (p-back, 2003) and Frans de Waal, et al's Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved (2006). Also, one of my co-presenters used "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" as a counterpoint for "Grizzly Man", which I thought was quite interesting, and which also made me think I should really see the former movie.

A woman who commented on that paper told a story about a Chinese film called "Mountain Patrol", about efforts by some NGO to protect an endangered species of antelope (?) from poachers in Northern China. The really interesting thing was that apparently the film's English subtitles were skewed to fit what the filmmakers thought were the interests of English-speaking audiences: much more conservation-oriented. Apparently the Chinese version of the film focused more on the plight of the poachers, who were starving.

A man named Cary Peppermint makes video art and installations about technology and the environment, including a short film responding to Wm. Cronon's "The Trouble With Wilderness" essay. Check it out here.

At a seminar on incorporating field studies into a curriculum (a sort of pipe dream for me, at the moment, but anyway), the leader, Corey Lee Lewis of Humboldt State, mentioned his book, Reading the Trail: Exploring the Literature and Natural History of the California Crest (2005) and another, Hal Crimmel's Teaching in the Field (2003). He also used a piece of writing from Jerry Mander, about office buildings, and a short poem about teaching by Tim Seibles, which I can't find on the web right now, to make a point about how one could do "field observations" inside a classroom. Hm.

A commenter on my Walton Ford paper, in talking about the "Animals" class he had taught, recommended that I see the movie "Earthlings", narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, and read the book The Emotional Lives of Animals (I'm finding one edited by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, came out in 1996).

At a plenary about Katrina, Robert Bullard, director of the EJ Resource Center at Clark University in Atlanta, spoke in blitzkrieg style about EJ and Katrina. A couple of his books: The Black Metropolis in the 21st Century; In The Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina. Another one I'd love to read on the topic he calls "transportation apartheid" (I'm on the wrong side of the tracks for this one): Just Transportation.

I saw a presentation on Zora Neale Hurston and the 1928 hurricane in Florida, by Susan Scott Parrish from Michigan, and was reminded to read her book American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World (2006).

At the panel on Audubon, one presenter told us about a site curated by a "crazy neurologist" from upstate New York, who wants to keep his set of Audubons intact (as opposed to auctioning them off on Ebay, like lots of others are doing with theirs). Apparently on this site there are original versions of a lot of these octavos, along with some other material including an essay by the presenter.

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