Abstract: The public rhetoric of global climate change typically references emergency, catastrophe, and the imperative for an immediate, unified societal response driven by scientific insight. The arts and humanities are often relegated to a secondary, instrumental status–the job of literature, art, and philosophy is simply to wrap climate science in an affective package that will drive public policy. History, in this view, is irrelevant: because global climate change in an unprecedented event, the past is of no help. This talk takes seriously Amitav Ghosh’s argument that the Anthropocene is also a crisis of creativity, and that what is at stake is not just the natural world, but also the human condition. Along the way, we’ll look at 19th-century landscape photography and 21st century literary aesthetics.
Brief Bio: Daegan Miller is the author of the critically acclaimed *This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent* (University of Chicago Press), which was chosen by *The Guardian*, *LitHub*, and *EcoLit Books* as a best of 2018. His essays and criticism have appeared in *The Point*, *Document*, *Los Angeles Review of Books*, *Aeon*, *Bookforum*, and *Places*, among other venues. He holds a Ph.D in history from Cornell, and has taught at Cornell, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, and Portland State University. He lives in Western Massachusetts, USA with his family, and is at work on his second book, a meditation on cancer, fatherhood, and the Anthropocene.
This seminar is co-sponsored by:
JHI Environmental Humanities Network
Work in Nineteenth-Century Studies
Centre for the Study of the United States