News & Events

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2016. All talks are open to members of the campus community.

February 16, 2016   Environmental Humanities Seminar. Jason W. Moore (Sociology, Binghamton), speaking on his new book, Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital. 4:10pm, Robert Penn Warren Center’s seminar room.

February 25, 2016, 4:10 pm, Curb Center (tentative): Nancy Tuana (Penn State) on “Sustainable Climate Risk Management.” Dr. Tuana is a philosopher of science who specializes in issues of ethics and science. She is the founding director of Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute and Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies. She is part of an NSF sponsored research network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management that links a transdisciplinary team of scholars at 24 universities and research institutions across six countries. She is also doing research on feminist philosophical approaches to climate change. This event is cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

February 29, 2016, 4:10pm (place TBA): Thomas Andrews will speak on his book Coyote Valley: Deep History in the Rockies. In this pathbreaking book, Thomas Andrews offers a meditation on the environmental and historical pressures that have shaped and reshaped one small stretch of North America, from the last ice age to the advent of the Anthropocene and the latest controversies over climate change. This event is cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

March 15, 2016     Environmental Humanities Seminar. Joyce Chaplin (History, Harvard), TBA. 4:10pm, Robert Penn Warren Center’s seminar room.

March 17, 2016, 4:10pm, Curb Center (tentative): Irene Klaver (UT Denton) on “Water Issues.” Dr Klaver is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy of Water Project at UT Denton. She co-directed (with Melinda Levin) The New Frontier: Sustainable Ranching in the American West, a documentary film that explores cattle ranching and rangeland management in the American West. This event is cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

March 30, 2016.  Jon Shefner, Chair of Sociology and the Betty Lynn Hendrickson Professor of Social Science, University of Tennessee.  At 8am as part of the VIEE regular meeting in Buttrick 162, he will speak on the Green Jobs project that he directs for Eastern Tennessee. At 12:30 in Kissam 312C, he will speak on “The Seeming Inevitability of Austerity.” This talk examines how economic policy set the stage for austerity policies to be seen as inevitable, and it draws on other cases to suggest some potential responses. Both events are open to the Vanderbilt community and cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

April 12, 2016     Environmental Humanities Seminar. Amanda Little (English, Vanderbilt), speaking on her book-in-progress about the future of food. 4:10pm, Robert Penn Warren Center’s seminar room.

April 27, 2016.  David Pellow, Sociology Department, U.C. Santa Barbara, will speak on his research about immigrants, working conditions, and the environment. 12 noon TBA

Past Events 2012-2016

February 4, 2016. Norman Wirzba, PhD, Professor of Theology, Ecology, and Agrarian studies at Duke University in the Divinity School and the Nicholas School of the Environment, will present a public lecture at 4 p.m. on February 4, 2016 in Light Hall, Room 214 entitled “Why Sustainable Agriculture Matters.” Professor Wirzba will address the way that sustainable agriculture can transform our approach to health as part of a vision of population health bringing together commitments to ecology and public health. This lecture is part of initiatives within the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at VUMC to highlight ecological ethics as part of the work of biomedical ethics in service to health and human flourishing of patients, staff, and the broader community.

January 28, 2016, 9:30-10:50, Buttrick 102. “Gender, environmental security, and climate change.” Nicole Detraz, University of Memphis, author of Environmental Security and Gender (Routledge 2014, available through web access from the Vanderbilt library) and International Security and Gender (Polity 2012). The lecture is part of Ethics and Public Policy (PSCI3253) and is cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

January 21, 2016, 3:00pm, Buttrick 101: Barbara Muraca (Oregon State) on “Degrowth” & “The Papal Encyclical.” Dr. Muraca is an Italian philosopher, with a process theory background, who has spent many years community organizing in Germany and working with the European degrowth (“decroissance”) movement. She is Co-Director of the IAEP (International Association of Environmental Philosophy).  This event is cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

January 12, 2016 Environmental Humanities Seminar. Ed Rubin (Law, Vanderbilt), speaking on his new climate novel, The Heatstroke Line. 4:10pm, Robert Penn Warren Center’s seminar room

December 1, 2015, 4:10pm. Warren Center, Environmental Humanities Group. Jennifer Fay, Cinema Studies, “Welcome to the Anthropocene: Hospitality at the End of the World”

November 10, 2015, 9:30 am, Garland 209. Sociology Department Green Jobs Seminar (open to campus community). Diane Scher, Manager of Environmental Affairs, Bridgestone Americas, “Zero Waste Business Practices”

November 10, 2015,4:10 pm.  Warren Center. Environmental Humanities Group.. Readings on Political Ecology

November 3, 2015, 10:45 am, Garland 209.  Sociology Department Green Jobs Seminar (open to campus community) Jennifer Smith, Nashville Public Metro Works-Landscape Coordination Program, “Urban Ecosystem in Nashville”

October 27, 2015, 10:45 am, Garland 209.  Sociology Department Green Jobs Seminar (open to campus community)  Scott Potter and Ron Taylor, Nashville Water Services, will talk about “Clean Water Nashville.”

October 20, 2015.  10:45am, Garland 209.  Sociology Department Green Jobs Seminar (open to campus community) Rick Crume “Green Social Services Buildings, Community Support, and Client Self-Image in Japan.” Richard Crume recently retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he directed program planning and execution for the nation’s air quality program.

October 6, 2015. Warren Humanities Center, 4pm. Nathaniel Rich, author of the climate science fiction novel Odds Against Tomorrow, will speak about his work and the emerging genre of “cli-fi.” Additional events for his visit will be announced.  Students are also invited to attend “A Conversation about Climate Fiction” on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 1:10 in Buttrick 202.  Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

September 22, 2015. 9:30 am, Garland 209.   David Hess, Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt, will talk about his book Good Green Jobs in a Global Economy.

March 20-22, 2015.  Conference on Eco-Deconstruction: Derrida and Environmental Ethics. Speakers include Karen Barad, Claire Colebrooke, Michael Marder, Dawne McCance, Cary Wolfe, Vicki Kirby, Kelly Oliver, David Wood, Matthias Fritsch, Michael Peterson, Phil Lynes. Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, organized by Prof. David Wood. For more details, including registration and hotel booking information (available shortly) go to
For other local inquiries, contact
David Wood (Philosophy)
Terry Boyd (Philosophy)

January 26, 28, and 30. Guest Lectures by Tiffany Wilmot. Stevenson 1210, 10:10-11am. These are open to all students and are part of the seminar on Environmental and Sustainability Studies.  Wilmot will lead a discussion on green buildings and certification on Jan. 26, on green urban design on Jan. 28, and on green careers on Jan. 30.  Wilmot is the president of Wilmot, Inc., a sustainability and green building consulting firm that provides clients with innovative, high-performance approaches to improve health, protect the environment, and save money.  Under her leadership, Wilmot has manaed a wide variety of large-scale public and private-sector projects for clients such as Nashville Music City Center, Ft. Campbell, and Vice President Al Gore.

January  12, 2015. 4-6pm (Monday). Buttrick 123.  (Located on the main floor inside the Women’s Studies area.) Two local environmental leaders, Tiffany Wilmot (a green buildings expert who has led the design of several major buildings in Nashville) and Chris Lunghino (attorney and Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign organizer), will speak about their own careers and give pointers on how you can develop a green career.  Pizza will be served.

April 29, 2014 (Tuesday), noon, Buttrick 123.  Lori Hunter, associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado and editor of Population and Environment, will speak on “Migration, Natural Resources and Livelihoods in Rural South Africa.” The results of several research papers are summarized — demonstrating intriguing associations between environmental factors and outmigration.  In general, households with higher levels of local natural resources are more likely to engage in temporary migration although this association is highly localized, varying from strongly positive in some villages to strongly negative in others. The socio-demographic factors underlying this “geographic scale sensitivity” are explored.

February 3, 2014 (Monday), 3pm, The Commons.  Tiffany Wilmot gave a tour of The Commons to talk about special features for energy efficiency.  The tour is part of the ENVS 99 class but is open to all students. It will meet in The Commons near the dining hall entrance a little after 3pm.  Ms. Wilmot is the president of Wilmot, Inc., and is a nationally recognized expert on green buildings and energy efficiency. Among her many achievements is working on LEED certification features for Al and Tipper Gore’s home and for the Nashville Convention Center.

January 24, 2014 (Friday), 10 am, Stevenson 1210.  Dodd Galbreath, Assistant Professor and Founding Director, Institute for Sustainable Practice, Lipscomb University: “Graduate Program Options in Sustainability Studies.”

Nov. 9, 2012 David Hess, “Green Jobs, the Developmentalist State, and American Politics,” based on his newly published book Good Green Jobs in a Global Economy (MIT Press). Earth and Environmental Sciences Colloquium

Nov. 28, 2012 Charles Redman, Arizona State, ‘Transforming the Silos: Creating a School of Sustainability’-

Jan. 18, 2013. Scott Frickel, Washington State, “Do Disasters Change Scientific Fields? Wetlands Ecology Before and After Katrina.”

Jan. 23, 2013. Chris Ann Lunghino, “Careers in Environmental and Sustainability Studies: Law, Government, and Nonprofit Work.”

Jan. 30, 2013 “Careers in Environmental and Sustainability Studies: Business and Social Entrepreneurship.” Billy Parish.

Feb. 8, 2013, Workshop on Climate Change, Anti-Environmentalism, and American Politics. 12-1pm Bill Ruddiman, University of Virginia: “Climate Science and Climate Skeptics.” 1:15-5:30pm Workshop.  Presentations by Anthony Leiserowitz (Yale), Aaron McCright (Michigan State), and Timmons Roberts (Brown).

February 11, 2013 Beth Conklin, Chair of Anthropology, “Constricting the ‘Lungs of the World’: Water, Energy and Climate Change in the Amazon.” Feathinghill Hall Room 138, 4:10pm.

March 12, 2013- Campus lecture by  geographer Brent Millikan, Director of the Amazonia Program for the International Rivers organization, on water, energy, forest and climate change issues in Brazil. 4pm. Calhoun 109.

September 6, 2013 (Friday), at 2:00 pm.  Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography, Syracuse Unviersity, “Climate Change as Hydro-social Change: Rethinking Water Crises in the Global South.”

August 30, 2013. The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, symposium on “Sacred Ecology: Landscape Transformations and Ritual Practice” on August 30, 2013.

October 2, 2013 (Wednesday), at 7pm, Wilson 126.  David Padgett, Associate Professor of Geography, and Director of the Geographic Information Sciences (GISc) Laboratory at Tennessee State University: “Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Related Technologies in Community-Based Environmental Justice Research.” This will be a general introduction to GIS oriented toward undergraduate students in the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.


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