Email David.email@example.com to be added to the undergraduate list and learn about additional events.
All talks are open to members of the campus community.
Spring 2017 Events
Dates and locations may change. Check back for confirmation.
January 13, 2017. 12:10, Renaissance Room, Law School. Benjamin Sovacool, “Conceptual Frameworks and New Frontiers in Energy Justice.”
Is our global energy system fair? Who will suffer the most from climate change? In what ways are current energy technologies infringing upon the capabilities of future generations? This presentation explores how concepts from justice and ethics can inform energy decision-making and highlight the futurity, fairness, and equity dimensions of energy production and use. It defines “energy justice” as a global energy system that fairly distributes both the benefits and costs of energy services, and one that contributes to more representative and inclusive energy decision-making. Such an assessment brings together core understandings of distributional and procedural justice alongside cosmopolitan interpretations of equity and recognitional notions of fairness. The presentation then focuses on six new frontiers or fruitful areas of future research. First is making the case for the involvement of non-Western justice theorists. Second is expanding beyond humans to look at the Rights of Nature or non-anthropocentric notions of justice. Third is focusing on cross-scalar issues of justice such as embodied emissions. Fourth is identifying business models and the co-benefits of justice. Fifth is better understanding the tradeoffs within energy justice principles. Sixth is confronting utopian or falsely constructed justice discourses. In doing so, the article presents an agenda constituted by 30 research questions. It argues in favor of “justice-aware” energy planning and policymaking, and it hopes that its (reconsidered) energy justice conceptual framework offers a critical tool to inform decision-making.
Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the School of Business, Management, and Economics, part of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. There he serves as Director of the Sussex Energy Group and Director of the Center on Innovation and Energy Demand, which involves the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester. Professor Sovacool is the author of more than 330 refereed articles, book chapters, and reports, including solely authored pieces in Nature and Science, and the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of 18 books on energy and climate change topics. These include Climate Change and Global Energy Security (MIT Press), Energy Poverty (Oxford University Press), Global Energy Justice (Cambridge University Press), The Political Economy of Climate Change Adaptation (Nature Publishing Group/Palgrave), and Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy (Johns Hopkins University Press). Professor Sovacool is the recipient of 20 national and international awards and honors, including the 2015 “Dedication to Justice Award” given by the American Bar Association and a 2014 “Distinguished Visiting Energy Professorship” at the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School.
January 24, 2017. Nikki Detraz, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Memphis. “”Gender and Climate Change Connections: Narratives of Vulnerability and Resilience.” Cohen 203, Tuesday 11-12:15
Fall 2016 Events
Dates and locations may change. Check back for confirmation.
Sept. 23, 2016. Noon. Buttrick 123. Alex Nading, University of Edinburgh. “Mosquitoes, Microbes, and Toxic Chemicals in Global Health: The View from Medical Anthropology.” He will give an open lecture in the Department of Human and Organizational Development on the topic of food, health, and bureaucracy in Nicaragua. Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
Oct. 4, 2016. 2:35 pm, 301F Garland. Sarra Tlili, Assistant Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Florida, will speak on “Nonhuman Creation’s Devotion to God in the Islamic Tradition: Significance and Ecological Impact.” The lecture builds on her book Animals in the Quran (Cambridge University Press 2012). Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
Oct., 2016. Keven Meehan, Professor of English and Director, Haitian Studies Project, University of Central Florida. “Provisions: Popularizing Hydroponics as Climate Change Adaptation in the Caribbean.” Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
Nov. 3, 2016. Shaul Cohen, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Oregon. 6pm, Garland 101. “Can there be common ground? Environment, identity and community in Palestine-Israel.” Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
November 18, 2016. Mater and Matrix: Water in Diachronic and Interdisciplinary Perspective, 4:10 pm, Cohen Memorial Hall, Room 308. Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. A brainstorming session featuring scholars of ancient, medieval, and modern water management and culture, comparing approaches, evidence, successes, and pitfalls. Humanists and scientists, we are united by research interests in how water bodies and hydrological processes are affected by human activity and, in turn, how changing conditions impact society. We shall explore the power and possibilities of interdisciplinary collaboration across time, around the world, and in diverse fields, from archaeology and art history to sociology and engineering. We are delighted to welcome Professor Sophie Bouffier from Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France: Sophie Bouffier is Professeur d’histoire grecque occidentale, Directrice de la Maison méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme, Directrice, Project HYDRΩΜED: La gestion des ressources hydrauliques en Méditerranée au 1er millénaire avant notre ère (Water Management in the Mediterranean during the 1st Millennium BC). See http://ccj.cnrs.fr/?article1057; http://hydromed.hypotheses.org/
Past Events 2012-2016
March 29, 2016. Climate Connections. This event is sponsored by the student organization SPEAR with cosponsorship from the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. The event will begin at 6 PM in Wilson 103. The guest speaker is Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Her talk is titled “Black Lives Matter & Saving the Planet: How the Movements for Racial Justice and the Environment Converge.” Free Chipotle burritos will be served as well (all vegetarian!).
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 and the Sociology Department.
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 “Race, Gender, Nation, and Species: New Directions in Environmental Justice Studies” at 12 noon TBA. The event is cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and the Sociology Department. In this talk I explore some of the central themes linking research across various sites of environmental justice conflicts, from the toxic shop floors of global electronics firms to the outdoor enthusiasts’ haven of Aspen, Colorado. Both of those sites reveal critical intersections of immigration and environmental politics and suggest productive methods for approaching environmental justice studies through the categories of race, gender, and nation. Going a step further, I draw from more recent work on radical ecology movements and political ecology to consider what environmental justice studies looks like when scholars place greater emphasis on integrating the category of species into methods, theory, and practice.
March 15, 2016, 4pm, Buttrick 206. Kim Wasserman-Neto will speak on the environmental justice movement as part of Seeking New Metaphors: Mobilizing Culture to Confront Environmental Crises, a series of films and talks that asks: How do we collectively move from recognition of environmental problems to the moral commitment to adequately address these problems? This event is cosponsored by the EOS Project and the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. She was inspired to campaign against the Crawford and Fisk coal plants when her three-year-old son contracted asthma. She led community activists to shut down two of the country’s dirtiest coal plants and works to transform formerly industrial space in Chicago into parks and multi-use spaces. In 2013, Wasserman was the recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for North America.
March 15, 2016 Environmental Humanities Seminar. Joyce Chaplin (History, Harvard), Robert Penn Warren Center. 4:10pm, Robert Penn Warren Center’s seminar room.
March 15, 2016, 3:00pm, Wilson 103: 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 3, 2016, 12:20-1:30, Rand 308. Richard Keller (University of Wisconsin-Madison) will speak on “Anecdotal Life: Isolation, Vulnerability, and Social Marginalization during the 2003 Heat Wave in Paris.” Professor Keller is a historian of science and medicine with an expertise in modern France and French colonial Africa. Keller’s recent book, Fatal Isolation, was based on research sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and examined how natural disasters reveal the social and political underpinnings of race and income inequality. Keller showed how the natural disaster exacerbated social inequalities that stemmed from historical choices in urban planning, public policy, and cultural expression. At University of Wisconsin, Professor Keller offers course on topics such as science, technology and medicine; history of psychiatry; international health; and medicine in the modern era. This event is cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, The EOS Environmental Project, and the RPW Center.
February 29, 2016, 4:10pm (Buttrick 201): 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.
February 24, 2016, 3:15-4:15, Hyatt 144. A panel discussion addressing climate change and the recently proposed utility rate design by the Southern Environmental Law Center with Professors William Boyd, Ann Carlson and Jim Rossi, and Amanda Garcia of the SELC.
February 25, 2016, 3-4:30, Buttrick 101: Nancy Tuana (Penn State) on “Being Affected by Climate Change: The Anthropocene and the Body of Ethics.” 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 18, 2016. Ben Lowe, Wilson 115, 4pm. Ben Lowe will speak on evangelical Christianity and the environment as part of Seeking New Metaphors: Mobilizing Culture to Confront Environmental Crises, a series of films and talks that asks: How do we collectively move from recognition of environmental problems to the moral commitment to adequately address these problems? Cosponsored by the EOS Project and the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
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 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.” Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
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.” Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
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.” Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
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. Cosponsored by the Program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
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 www.ecodeconstruction.squarespace.com.
For other local inquiries, contact
David Wood (Philosophy) firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Boyd (Philosophy) email@example.com
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.