We are pleased to announce our three IASH Environmental Humanities Visiting Research Fellows who will be working with us in 2021.
Dr Nicole Seymour is an environmental humanities scholar working in the Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics, at California University, Fullerton, USA. Her first book Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination, won the 2015 scholarly book award from the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE). Her forthcoming book, Bad Environmentalism: Affect and Dissent in the Ecological Age (University of Minnesota Press), recuperates irreverent and anti-sentimental expressions of environmentalism. Nicole’s research while at IASH will include work on a new book developing an environmental humanities approach to plastics, particularly glitter and its status as a microplastic pollutant, its role in LGBTQ+ activism, and the development of sustainable alternatives. Plans are also developing for an eco-comedy night coming out of Nicole’s interest in humour and sustainability. Nicole will visit from 1 May to the 31 of August 2021.
Brett Buchanan is a Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Laurentian University in Canada. From 2014 to 2020 he was the Director of the School of the Environment. His research interests concern the intersections of environmental humanities, continental philosophy, philosophies of nature and the environment, animal studies, and the phenomena of endangered animals and species extinction. Brett is the author of Onto-Ethologies: The Animal Environments of Uexküll, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Deleuze (SUNY Press, 2008) and has translated a range of influential European animal studies scholars including Vinciane Despret’s What Would Animals Say if We Asked the Right Questions? (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2016). He will be working on a number of research projects in his fellowship including: (i) philosophical ethology, including the translation of writers Dominique Lestel and Vinciane Despret (Angelaki and University of Minnesota Press’s “Posthumanities” series), and (ii) an historical and critical reading of the early 20th century “nature fakers” controversy, reading the wild animal stories as instances of animal philosophy and philosophical ethology, in conversation with contemporary nature writing and artistic practices of being and thinking like an animal.
While here, Brett plans to organize a workshop on philosophical ethology drawing on expertise in animal studies from UE and Scotland. With Michelle Bastian, he will plan to host an event on methods in field philosophy. Brett will visit 1 March to 30 May 2021.
Alexandra Coțofană is an anthropologist working in the Social Sciences Department at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi. Alexandra’s research explores intersections of political ecologies, modernities, and ontologies of governing. At IASH, Alexandra will be focusing on developing a project that discusses the importance of sentient landscapes for ideations of state futures and state pasts. The project relies on ethnographic and archival research discussing the political motivations behind the Carpathian Mountains as a sentient landscape (a landscape with agency) and its actions. The theoretical intervention of the project is its exploration of the intentionality of sentient landscape as feeding into anti-Semitic, xenophobic state discourses, which is a significantly different take on sentient landscape than what the current literature offers. Alexandra plans to be at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities from 15 May to 31 July 2021, working with EEHN members in issues around time, the anthropocene and the more-than-human.
All three fellows will be giving presentations for IASH and EEHN about their work and will participate in related events. If travel restrictions are still in place in 2021 then they will be joining us virtually.