Archive for January, 2014


Some mean temperatures…

Not that readers of this blog need to be reminded of this, but some of our friends might (if you have friends like Donald Trump)…

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Generalizing about global climate change from a cold snap is like predicting who will win the world series based on a single ball or strike in pre-season. The two things are about the same thing — temperature, baseball — but there’s little real connection between them beyond that.

This Washington Post article from the last U.S. “polar vortex” is helpful in putting things into perspective.

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Ukrainian update

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Regular readers will know of my interest in Ukraine, where I lived for a year as a Canada-USSR Scholar in 1989-90, and where I’ve visited at least ten times since, for varying lengths of time.

I’ve been following events unfolding there from afar, and have begun a blog called UKR-TAZ: A Ukrainian Autonomous Zone, which collects statements by Ukrainian writers, scholars, and cultural leaders on the revolution (which is what it should be called, at this point).

The following is a pretty good summary of important facts about the revolution. It’s a complex situation, so there’s always a risk of oversimplification. But this is a very good start.

 

 

 

Announcing A(S)CENE

A new blog has been launched in conjunction with my class “Environment, Science, and Society in the Anthropocene.”

It’s called A(S)CENE and its tag line is “Beyond the Anthropocene: Bracketing an Era.”

A(S)CENE is a blog dedicated to discussions of the Anthropo(s)cene — the scene of humanity’s ascendance to a biogeological force — and of what might follow it.

Further information is available here. The first set of readings can be found here.

Anyone with an interest in the subject matter can participate. Many of the readings (and viewings) will be open-access; I’ll try to make any others available where possible.

 

 

 

Anthropocene readings

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I’m thinking of making my Spring semester graduate class, “Environment, Science, and Society in the Anthropocene,” into a semi-public seminar series, with a blog where we will share links to readings and videos as well as discussions. (Actual meetings will not be online, but will be open to interested members of the UVM community.) Stay tuned for an announcement here.

Alongside a retracing of some of this past year’s Anthropocene Project, we’ll be focusing on a select handful of main texts, with Nigel Clark’s Inhuman Nature: Sociable Life on a Dynamic Planet being central among them. (Peter Sloterdijk’s In the World Interior of Capital: Towards a Philosophical Theory of Globalization and Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, or parts thereof, will likely accompany it.)

The brief course description reads as follows.

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I predicted back in 2010 that globalizing and technological trends would lead disparate religious traditions to find common ground on socially divisive issues like abortion and gay rights.

Just as environmentalism, feminism, and indigenous rights were partnering various more liberal church groups with environmental and social justice organizations, contributing to the development of an “eco-egalitarian” global civil religion, so would socially conservative movements — among Christians, Muslims, Jews, and others — lead to a quasi-religion of global “social traditionalism.”

What I didn’t foresee is how quickly this convergent tendency would grow between American Evangelicals and one of the most introverted of international churches — the Russian Orthodox Church. The two had not long ago been arch-rivals in what sociologist of religion Eileen Barker called the “opium wars of the new millennium” — skirmishes over religious turf in the former Soviet Union.  View full article »

Ecomedia on YouTube

Reposted from e2mc: evolving ecological media cultures:

I’ve begun a YouTube playlist entitled “Ecomedia,” where I’ll be sharing ecologically relevant PSAs, eco-art videos, and other works relevant to the broad and loose category encompassed by its title.

Access it here.

Feel free to “like” it, subscribe to it, and send suggestions to me about videos that should be added to the list.

Note that simply typing in “ecomedia” in a YouTube search won’t get you to it — it’ll take you instead to the commercial CBS Ecomedia site.

Whiteheadian films

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Readers of this blog know that my recent book presents what’s essentially a Whiteheadian (and Peircian) theory of cinema. (A theory, not the theory. And when compared to something as deeply Whiteheadian in its details as, say, Donald Sherburne’s A Whiteheadian Aesthetic, mine is, at best, “inspired by Whitehead.”)

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