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Understanding Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities, May 22
Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 8:30am to Saturday, May 22, 2010 - 6:00pm

WHEN: May 20–22, 2010
WHERE: Native American Student and Cultural Center, 710 S.W. Jackson St., Portland, OR
COST: Free and open to the public.

This free, three-day event brings over 60 scholars from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to Portland to draw out the controversies over the meaning and practice of sustainability, through an inspiring array of panel discussions and conversations.

Organized by the Portland Center for Public Humanities at PSU, this year’s conference includes a trio of plenary talks with three innovative thinkers: Natalie Jeremijenko, Stephen Gardiner, and Cary Wolfe. Each of these sessions showcases a unique perspective on sustainability, combining a keynote presentation and follow-up discussion with selected respondents.

The conference is supported in part by PSU’s Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices with funding from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation’s ten-year, $25 million grant for sustainability to Portland State University. Additional support comes from a critical exchange grant from the Imagining America Consortium of Colleges and Universities, in acknowledgement of innovative work in the humanities and sustainability.


8:30–9 a.m.
Morning Refreshments

9–10:30 a.m.
Plenary Session (SCHEDULE CHANGE)

Natalie Jeremijenko, “After Copenhagen: Emerging Strategies of Political Participation”
(Visual Arts/Computer Science/Environmental Studies, New York University)
Respondent: Kelly Clifton (Civil Environmental Engineering, Portland State)
Respondent: Carolyn de la Peña (American Studies, University of California, Davis)
Cary Wolfe “Biopolitics and Species Difference” (English, Rice University)
Respondent: Jim Proctor (Environmental Studies, Lewis & Clark College)

10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Nature, Ecology, Historical Materialism
Michele Yates (English, UC Davis)
Robert Wess (English, Oregon State University)
Marisol Cortez (English, UC Davis)
Respondent: Leerom Medovoi (English, Portland State University)

Social Sustainability
Julie Boyles “The Intersection of Social Sustainability, Migration, and Gender”
(Public Administration, Portland State)
Kevin Jones, John Dean Ossowski, and Thomas Keller “Youth Mentoring and the
Social Dimension of Sustainability: From Theory to Practice” (Social Work,
Portland State University)
Eileen Brennan “Work-Life Integration and the Path to Social Sustainability” (School
of Social Work, Portland State University)

Green Business Practices and the Question of Corporate Responsibility
(Nodal Panel)
Diana Leong “Banking on Sustainability: Culture and Development in the World Bank and the Hawai‘i 2050” (Critical Theory Program, UC Irvine)
Jessica Wilt (MS Student, Pennsylvania State University) and Ann Dodd (Dean of Strategic Initiatives, Pennsylvania State University) “Corporate Social Responsibility and the Baldrige Award—A Recipe for Success?”
Jennifer Allen (Public Administration, Portland State University)
Respondent: Natalie Jeremijenko (Visual Arts, New York University)

12:15–1:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

1:30–3 p.m.
The Social in Urban Infrastructure (Nodal Panel)
Joseph Cialdella “The Garden in the Machine: Sustainable Place-Making Through Urban Agriculture in Detroit, Michigan” (American Culture & Museum Studies, University of Michigan)
Pedro Ferbel-Azcarate (Black Studies, Portland State University and City Repair) and Mark Lakeman (City Repair Project) “No One Understands Sustainability: Direct Action Village Building in Portland, Oregon”
Ashley Haire (Civil and Environmental Engineering, PSU)

Literature and Senses of Place
Sarah Jaquette Ray “Transnational Environmental Justice in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead” (English, University of Alaska, Southeast)
Bridget Love “Sustaining Marginal Places: Locality Studies and Rural Revitalization in Japan” (Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Environment Program, University of Oklahoma)
Jennifer Atkinson “Comedies of Surplus: Representations of Gardening in Contemporary American Literature” (Environmental Humanities, University of Washington)

Allison Carruth “Terreforms: Sustainability after Nanotechnology” (English, University of Oregon)
Anna Lise Francoise “Taking Turns on the Commons” (Literature, UC Berkeley)
Avram Hiller (Philosophy, Portland State University)
Respondent: Stephen Gardiner (Philosophy, University of Washington)

3:15–4:45 p.m.
Andy Opel & Laura Arpan “Artists and Scientists Make Green Media: Toward a Model of Data Driven Environmental Media Production and Research” (Both: Communication, Florida State University)
Mary Pettenger and Emily Plec “Selling Green: How Green is ExxonMobil’s Framing of Alternative Energy” (Political Science and Communication, Western Oregon University)
Jingfang Liu “Green Information Technology and Environmental Sustainability” (Communication, University of Southern California)

Jonathan Brown “A Just ‘Ecological Intelligence’: What Can Foodsheds Teach Us?” (ELP, LECL, Portland State University)
Liena Vayzmen “Food as Art as Sustainability Activism: The Politics of Agriculture and Food Systems in 21st Century Art Practices” (Independent Artist, Oakland)
Natasha Seegert, “The Resignified Urban Landscape: From Abject to Agricultural” (University of Utah)

Education (Roundtable)
Catherine Game “Outdoor Artists: Exploring the Visual Arts as an Integrating Context for Environmental Education” (University of Michigan)
Neill Liss “The Education Lead” (Education, Willamette University)
Greg Lankenau “Feminism, Sustainability, and Transformation in the Classroom” (Pennsylvania State University)
Will Parnell (Education, Portland State University), Julianne Cullen (Columbia County Parenting & Support Coordinator), and Catherine Navarro-Sylva (GBD Architects): “Bringing Reggio Emilia, Italy’s Remida Creative  Recycling Center Home to PSU”

5-6 p.m.
Conference Reflections
Brian Elliott (Philosophy, University of Oregon)
Sally Kitch (Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University)
The Audience