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Monday, May 17, 2010

SU hosts International Association of Environmental Philosophy Conference May 24-26

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University has been recognized nationally as one of the nation’s “greenest” by The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainable practices.

This summer, like-minded scholars throughout the world will get to see many of those practices firsthand as the International Association for Environmental Philosophy holds its second biennial summer conference, “Geoaesthetics in the Anthropocene,” May 24-26 at SU.

Co-directed by Dr. James Hatley of the SU Philosophy Department and Derek Bowden of the Department of Music, the conference features ecological artists and scholars in the eco-humanities addressing the emergence of what is arguably a new geological era, the Anthropocene. In the Anthropocene, the plight of all living entities is defined primarily by the human impact on the Earth.

The theme is inspired in part by Hatley’s 2009 visit to Australia, where he met with a collection of eco-humanities scholars who are concerned about rising extinction and habitat loss seen globally, but particularly on that continent. Hatley is now collaborating with these scholars to inaugurate the Kangaloon Group, whose purpose is to nurture conversations in the humanities addressing responsible living in a time of extinction.

Dr. Irene J. Klaver, director of the philosophy of water project and associate professor of philosophy at the University of North Texas, keynotes the conference. Klaver is also the co-developer of the River Cultures—Ecological Futures initiative, focusing on social and cultural dimensions of integrated water resource management along river basins. Her work inspired the 2008 documentary Global Rivers Project, examining the environmental, political and cultural impacts on five major world rivers: the Amazon, Danube, Ganges, Rio Grande and Mississippi.

Plenary speakers include Dr. Joan Maloof, environmental author and professor in Salisbury University’s Biological Sciences Department; Tom Horton, environmental author, former Baltimore Sun reporter and adjunct faculty in SU’s Environmental Issues Program; and Dr. John Murungi of Towson University’s Philosophy and Religious Studies Department, co-founder of the International Association for the Study of the Environment, Space and Place.

Other noted participants include Drs. Edmunds Bunkse, geographer, author and faculty member of the University of Delaware and the University of Latvia; Edward Mooney, philosopher and author; David Rothenberg, environmental philosopher and musician; and Kumi Kato, environmental studies faculty member at the University of Queensland in Australia and Wakayama University in Japan.

Special events during the conference include a live performance of Caroline Reck’s theatre piece Orchid Flotilla and a field trip to SU’s Nassawango Field Station to introduce participants to the unique ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay.

The International Association for Environmental Philosophy was founded in 1996 to focus on environmental themes. Its chief publication, Journal for Environmental Philosophy, is directed by SU alumnus Ted Toadvine.

For more information on the conference, contact Hatley at 410-677-5072 or Bowden at 410-548-5587.



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