Past Events

This page list announcements for past seminar events


Environmental Humanities:

Futures @ GU

An Open Discussion on Institutional Possibility

Tuesday, April 24 | 12:30-3 pm |New North 311, Georgetown University

we are looking for multimediadesigners

Decolonial Ecologies: Climate Justice in the Anthropocene

Thursday, April 5th, 2018 | 1:00 – 4:30 pm | Car Barn 427, Georgetown University

A conversation on the entanglements of Race, Climate Injustice, and Colonial Histories. Both sessions involve a 35-40-minute talk by the first speaker and a short response from the second speaker, following which the discussion will be opened to audience members. See here for schedule and see here for participant bios

decolonial ecologies-2

Affect, Aesthetics, Ecopolitics

Saturday, February 24, 2018 | 1:15-2:45 pm |New North 204

This Faculty Roundtable at the 2018 Georgetown English Graduate Association’s conference, highlights the role of aesthetics and affect in confronting environmental crisis and imagining alternative futures. Panelists will open with brief presentations of current scholarly projects and then engage in a roundtable discussion, addressing questions posed by the session chair and the audience. Panelists include:

Elisabeth Anker
Associate Professor of American Studies / Political Science, George Washington University

Sangeeta Ray
Professor of English, University of Maryland

Kyla Wazana Tompkins
Associate Professor of English / Women’s and Gender Studies, Pomona College

Chaired by Dana Luciano

Associate Professor of English, Georgetown University

Part of the program for “New Biopolitics,” the Georgetown English Graduate Association’s 2018 annual conference. For the full conference schedule, see here

How Should We Eat? Eating in the Anthropocene

Friday, February 9, 2018 | 10am-5:00pm | New North 204

An all-day symposium examining the question “How should we eat?” and responses to it. Finding an answer now seems imperative given that the status quo drives climate change, environmental degradation, food insecurity, and diet-related illness. But what does asking this question presuppose about us, the askers and the eaters? And why don’t we seem to be satisfied with existing answers? See here for full schedule and here for participant bios.

How should we eat FINAL

Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice: Resisting Ecological Colonialism, Decolonizing the Anthropocene.

Wednesday, January 31 |4:30- 6:00pm | Copley Formal Lounge

Kyle event_poster

Bodies/Water: Knowledge and the Hydrosphere

Friday, November 3rd |9:30 – 4:30 pm |CCAS Boardroom, ICC 141

A daylong symposium of interdisciplinary discussion featuring a showcase of environmental humanities research on water and a keynote by Prof. Nicole Starosielski, NYU. See full schedule here and participant bios here.


Genres of the Anthropocene: On the Aesthetic Forms of Climate Change

Monday, October 23 | 9:30-4:15pm | HFSC Social Room 

Tuesday, October 24 |9:30-11:00am | Lannan Center, NN 408 

A daylong symposium, followed by a morning seminar, that gathers poets and critics from a range of traditions to consider the relationship between genre and environmental disaster. Tragedy and comedy, lyric and epic, poetry, film, and the novel: what formal templates help us most to understand climate change, and its human causes and human effects, in geological time? See full schedule here and participant bios here


Writing Climate Now

Thursday, September 21, 2017 | 4-6 pm | Copley Formal Lounge

A roundtable discussion of strategies for writing persuasively and accurately about environmental disaster and climate change. Pessimism or optimism? Scientific or poetic? We discuss matters of tone, audience, venue, and tactics with four writers. Participants: Dagomar Degroot (GU), Mabel Gergan (GU), Shiloh Krupar (GU), and Evan Berry (AU).


2017 Spring Symposium


Friday, April 28, 2017

The Seminar’s major spring event will take place Friday, April 28th, from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm, in New North Building of Georgetown’s campus, with breakfast and lunch served, and a reception to follow.


The symposium theme is designed to vault us from our work during this one-day Friday seminar into the People’s Climate March on the following day.

We are delighted to announce that our speakers will include: Paul Wapner (American University, School of International Service), Elisabeth Anker (George Washington, American Studies), Tita Chico (U Maryland, English), Jennifer James (George Washington, English and Africana Studies), Michael Degani (Johns Hopkins U, Anthropology), and Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia U, English and Comparative Literature). The keynote speaker will be Eduardo Kohn (McGill U, Anthropology), author of How Forests Think. Chase Iron Eyes, #NoDAPL activist and member of the Standing Rock Sioux, will give closing remarks. Detailed program schedule available here and speaker bios here.

English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) 2017 Conference

Saturday, April 8

Posthuman Materialisms: Knowledge, Economy, Ecology.

We are delighted to co-sponsor this graduate conference on “Posthuman Materialisms,” which will take place Saturday, April 8th, 2017 in New North on Georgetown’s campus. The complete schedule can be found here, but we draw your attention to the 1:15-2:30PM Faculty Plenary Panel, which will feature Luis Campos, Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology, The John W. Kluge Center, and Associate Professor of History, University of New Mexico; Kavita Daiya, Associate Professor of English, The George Washington University; and Kellie Robertson, Associate Professor of English, University of Maryland. The 4:15-5:30 PM Keynote Address will be by Vin Nardizzi, Associate Professor of English at the Univeristy of British Columbia. We encourage Seminar affiliates to consider attending these events and ask you to please spread the word: More information is available on the website:

Kickoff Happy Hour Event

Friday, December 24-6 pm, ICC 650 

poster-dec2-page-001This happy hour event will take place this Friday, December 2, from 4 to 6 pm in ICC 650, and will feature refreshments, including heavy hors d’oeuvres. Facebook Event here

It’s designed as a chance to meet DC area scholars working in the environmental humanities. The event will feature two panels of “lightning talks” – quick, five minute overviews of current research projects – by some Sawyer seminar members. All are welcome to attend, whether or not you currently have a formal relationship to the Seminar or to the environmental humanities.


4PM: Greetings and Session #1

– Dagomar Degroot, History, Georgetown
– Norma Tilden, English, Georgetown
– Randall Amster, Justice and Peace Studies, Georgetown
– George Hambrecht, Anthropology, University of Maryland

[Discussion and refreshments]

5 PM: Session #2

– Mubbashir Rivzi, Anthropology, Georgetown
– Coilin Parsons, English, Georgetown
– Kellie Robertson, English, University of Maryland
– Shiloh Krupar, Culture and Politics, Georgetown

[Discussion and refreshments]

We hope all will feel warmly invited to join us.