IPRH Spring Symposium: Ecological Bodies

The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) is hosting its annual symposium this week, starting May 1, continuing through May 2. The theme this year is “ecological bodies.” The event will be held in the Chancellor Ballroom, I of the Hotel Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign.

According to the IPRH website:

This symposium turns scholarly attention toward the mutual construction of “natural” bodies and “natural” environments. Responding to contemporary concerns surrounding the shaping of “human” ecological awareness, the symposium focuses needed attention on what ecological sensibilities mean for rethinking ontology of the “human” as extended into space, dependent and shaped through encounters with nonhuman others. “Ecological Bodies”  provides a conceptual tool for scholars to explore how we can productively join feminist, queer, and postcolonial insights into body politics with what environmental studies scholars have taught us about the construction of “nature.”  “Ecological Bodies” also cuts across multiple turns in the humanities in what has been called the “affective” turn, the “ontological” turn, and the “spatial” turn. Divided into four thematic sessions– which investigate imperialism, built environmental encounters, risk, and biological/reproductive processes— the symposium explores arenas of ecological relations that interrogate boundaries of the natural/cultural, human/nonhuman, and body/environment.  Its focus on “ecological bodies” encourages building connections among scholars across natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities, as well as between sites of political activism across bodies and environments.

Featured Speakers:

Thursday, May 1

7:30 p.m. Keynote: Gregg Mitman
Vilas Research and William Coleman Professor of History of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Ecological Imperialism Revisited: Entanglements of Bodies, Knowledge, and Commerce in a Global World”

Friday, May 2

9:00 a.m. Keynote: Catriona Sandilands
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Culture, York University
“Encountering Plants: Entanglements and Embodiments.”

1:00 p.m. Keynote: Linda Nash
Associate Professor, History, University of Washington
“From Purity to Risk:  Constructing Bodies and Health through Regulation in the Twentieth-Century US”

5:00 p.m. Keynote: Jim Endersby
Reader in the History of Science in the School of History, Art History and Philosophy, University of Sussex
“Models and Metaphors, Orchids and Primroses:  When, Why and How Is a Person Like a Plant?”

University of Illinois Participants:

Aaron Carico | English / IPRH Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow 2013–15
Samantha Frost | Political Science / Gender and Women’s Studies
Carla Hustak | History / IPRH Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow 2012–14
Bob Morrissey | History
Zachary Poppel | History
Leslie Reagan | History / Gender and Women’s Studies
William Sullivan | Landscape Architecture
Jenn Thomas | Landscape Architecture / IPRH Graduate Fellow 2013–14
Paula Treichler | Professor Emerita, Institute of Communications Research / Media and Cinema Studies
Roderick Wilson | History / East Asian Languages and Cultures / IPRH Mellon Faculty Fellow 2013–14

Click here to view speaker bios/abstracts.

And follow this link to view the full symposium schedule.

We hope to see you there!

Twitter Email