A theme that’s been coming up in my conversations recently (including when visiting UC Davis) is the question of the “humanities canon”: i.e., who are the theorists whose views have been most influential in shaping the humanities disciplines, especially over the last century or so? And more specifically, is there anything approximating an “environmental humanities canon,” and who are its key theorists?

I’ll leave the second question for later. As for the first, an easy place to start is with a simple Google Scholar search for some of the most commonly cited humanists of the last century.

Is there any question about who will top that list? For me there wasn’t. (Drumroll coming.) But after first place, there were some surprises.

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The Rachel Carson Center’s Minding the Gap: Working Across Disciplines in Environmental Studies has come out (in PDF and MOBI formats). It includes pieces by Gregg Mitman, Rob Nixon, SueEllen Campbell, John Meyer, Basarab Nicolescu, and others.

My piece, “The Discipline of Interdisciplines” (pp. 11-13), is intended as something of a collective statement from my generation (the first generation) of ES doctoral graduates. (Apologies for being so bold, but no one else has done it, to my knowledge, so I thought I’d try.)

I’m sharing it below.


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I’ll be participating in the Mellon-sponsored Environments and Societies Colloquium Series next Wednesday, April 30, at the University of California Davis.

My colloquium paper, entitled “On Matters of Concern: Ecology, Ontological Politics, and the Anthropo(s)cene,” is available for reading on the E & S website. (It’s a variation of a chapter for a book on “integral ecologies” which is currently in the peer-review stage.)

The following day I’ll be giving a talk at the same university. Below are the details.


“From the Age of the World Motion Picture to the Archive, the Cloud, and the Commons”

May 1, 2014 3:00-4:30 pm, Olson 53A

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Making the news

Since I’ve begun paying attention to web sites about the ongoing events in Ukraine, I’ve noticed how similar Russian web trolls are to climate denialist trolls. Both seem to operate on an industrial scale.

Trolling is one way of fabricating news. Acting is another. Here are some priceless encounters with news fabrication.



This post continues my thinking on the topic of a process-relational “bodymind practice” – an existential art or “technique of the self” building on Buddhist meditation practice reinterpreted and augmented through process-relational philosophy.

In this post, I incorporate insights obtained through the practice of Quaker silent worship. See the posts “ What a bodymind can do” parts 1,  2,  3, and update for background on all of this.


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Cross-posting this piece by Emil from A(s)cene. Taylor’s coral reef art is beautiful. See also the discussion of Donna Haraway’s “String Figures” lecture and Bruno Latour’s 11 theses on capitalism


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This ad is making the rounds, but in case you haven’t seen it yet, here it is. It is brilliant.



As Jeff Beer puts it, the stock video footage firm Dissolve illustrates the “marketing strategy equivalent of paint-by-numbers” by putting its own goods to the words of Kendra Eash‘s brilliant McSweeney’s piece.

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The Media and Environment Scholarly Interest Group just won the prize for best attended business meeting at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Or so we were informed by the SCMS interest group liaison present at the meeting.

This year’s SCMS featured what to my mind was by far the largest assemblage of panels and papers on all manner of environmental/ecological themes: analyses of filmic representations of nature, disasters and catastrophes, animals and nonhumans; theoretical excursions in ecocinema, eco-aesthetics, toxic and “energetic” media, frontier and extraction imaginaries, and more; and eco-materialist analyses of production processes, data backup systems, and other things. Some of these were sponsored by the M & E interest group; many were not.

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Emil plunges us further into the inhuman nature of tsunamis, earthquakes, ethics, and modern subjectivity, over at A(S)CENE.



Or, process-relational ecocriticism 2.0


Two of the courses I’m currently teaching — the intermediate-level “Environmental Literature, Art, and Media” and the senior-level “The Culture of Nature” — require introducing an eco-critical framework appropriate to a wide range of artistic forms, from literature to visual art, music, film and new media.

The process-relational framework developed in Ecologies of the Moving Image is synthetic and holistic in its scope, but it is too advanced for introducing in itself — accompanied by the philosophical underpinnings it requires — in these undergraduate classes. So I’ve been forced to rethink its categories to make them both more accessible and more broadly applicable.

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