Call for participation: AALERT – an interdisciplinary meeting aiming to foster debate and dialogue about the role of arts and the artist in landscape and environmental research today. London 15 Feb 2018

AALERT is an interdisciplinary meeting aiming to foster debate and dialogue about the role of arts and the artist in landscape and environmental research today by cutting across disciplinary perspectives and professional practices. Jointly sponsored by the Valuing Nature Network and Landscape Research Group, the workshop will explore and re-consider the contribution of the arts in shaping knowledge and communicating meaning in new interdisciplinary contexts of research around landscapes, the environment and ‘valuing nature’ agendas. Situating these contributions in long established relationships between artistic, philosophical and expert practices, the event will specifically focus on exploring

  • The agency of the artist: What grants the artist access to meanings that scientists cannot access or communicate? How do new interdisciplinary fora for landscape and environmental research today reinforce, elaborate or challenge prevailing norms and wisdoms, and deeper traditions, about the role and contributions of the artist in research?
  • Distinguishing the arts within research: What distinguishes the contribution of the arts within interdisciplinary research in terms of advancing critical and creative research practice? How do outcomes of art-based research become credible evidence for shaping knowledges and interrogating practices around landscape and environment issues?
  • Embedding the arts in research process: How should the contributions of the arts and the artist be best enabled and supported in the practical design and execution of research processes that seek to straddle and integrate knowledge, evidence and understanding across diverse disciplinary boundaries?

The outcome of the workshop will be a cutting-edge assessment of the current situation and future prospects including recommendations for future research and engagement. The event will not only offer clarity to theoretical debates on the role of arts and the artist in landscape research, but will also provide answers to vexed and longstanding questions for commissioning bodies, artists and the research community.

The event is organised by an interdisciplinary team of academics and artists namely: Dr Eirini Saratsi – University of Reading/LRG; Dr Tim Acott – University of Greenwich/WetlandLIFE project; Ewan Allinson – Landscape & Arts Network; Dr Nicola Beaumont – University of Plymouth/CoastWeb project; Prof Tim Collins – Collins and Goto studio/LRG; Dr David Edwards – Forest Research; and Dr Rob Fish – University of Kent/VNN.


Professor Kate Rigby (Director of the Environmental Humanities Research Centre,  Bath Spa University, England) presents a talk  “Roadkill: Multi-species Mobility and Everyday Ecocide” at the Rachel Carson Centre

Professor Kate Rigby (Director of the Environmental Humanities Research Centre,  Bath Spa University, England) presents a talk  “Roadkill: Multi-species Mobility and Everyday Ecocide” at the Rachel Carson Centre  Lunchtime Colloquium on Thursday, 7 December, 2017.

Free public lecture. Killing Nature to Save It? Ethics, Economics and the Trophy Hunting of Black Rhinoceros. Dr Mike Hannis; Senior Lecturer in Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University.


A BSU Environmental Humanities Research Centre Public Lecture. Free to attend. Drinks, nibbles and chats after

Wednesday December 13th, 6.30-8.00 pm, Newton Park, Commons 225/226


Supported by large conservation NGOs, the US government has recently reaffirmed its support for the counter-intuitive practice of raising funds for conservation by selling rights to shoot individuals of the very species being conserved. This talk explores discourse generated by the controversial trophy hunting of an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia by a wealthy US hunting enthusiast. Consideration of the conflicting ethical arguments, illustrated by hypothetical analogous cases, suggests that what initially appears as a triumph of utilitarianism over other ethical approaches may be better understood as a triumph of economics over ethics.

Mike Hannis is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University. His academic background is in environmental ethics and political theory, and recent publications include a Routledge research monograph entitled Freedom and Environment: Autonomy, human flourishing and the political philosophy of sustainability. This talk is based on work undertaken as part of the AHRC-funded research project Future Pasts (, led from BSU by Prof. Sian Sullivan.


Mike Hannis Poster

PDF of poster Mike Hannis Talk Poster

Climate Sci-Fi Short Story competition; Arizona State University

Via H-Net  posted by Paul Hirt

Arizona State University has a multi-disciplinary Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative, which seeks to involve scholars and lay people in using creative thought about possible futures in order to illuminate climate challenges and potential adaptations and solutions. This may seem an odd topic for a historians’ listserv but I have had the pleasure of teaching courses on how past societies imagined the future. (Thanks to Michael Egan for the original inspiration in his course “The History of the Future.”) Reading about how luminaries like Edward Bellamy, HG Wells, Charlotte Perkins Gillman, Jules Verne, George Orwell, and others have imagined the future and the ways their creative fiction was shaped by social context is a very productive and stimulating exercise in historical thinking. Students love it. Some of you may remember the Smithsonian Institution created a traveling exhibit in the early 1990s titled Yesterday’s Tomorrows. There is a book by that title profiling the exhibit that you can still buy on used books websites.

If you are interested in creative writing and futurism, or if you know someone who is, please share the information below about ASU’s second climate fiction writing contest:

Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest, Arizona State University

We are looking for stories that illustrate, explore, or illuminate the impact of climate change on humanity and/or the Earth. We invite submissions in all genres of short fiction. Work will be judged by renowned science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson. The winning story will receive a $1,000 prize, and nine finalists will receive $50 prizes. Selected work will be published by Arizona State University in an online anthology, which will be free to download, read, and share. Submissions must be 5,000 words or less, and must be original, previously unpublished work. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2018. Learn more and enter at

Free Public Lecture: Poetic Technologies: Exploring Hebridean renewable energy production through poetry- sculpture collaboration; Lila Matsumoto, University of Nottingham

November 15 14.00-16.00

Commons 226, Newton Park Campus

Lila Matsumoto, University of Nottingham:

Poetic Technologies: Exploring Hebridean renewable energy production through poetry- sculpture collaboration

This talk centres around the question: what special knowledge can poetry give us about our natural and built environments? Over the last two years, I have worked with visual artist Hannah Imlach to explore how the conceptualisation and processes of sculpture-making can galvanise the writing and reading of poetry. Our collaboration has taken us to two locations in the Hebrides, the isle of Eigg and the Monach Islands in the Outer Hebrides, to learn from local models of renewable energy production that benefit communities physically as well as socially. In my talk, I will share some of the outcomes of these fieldtrips, before moving on to discuss poetics as a technology which holds out the potential of reconfiguring everyday experience. I will draw on the work of Val Plumwood, Nicole Boivin, and Gaston Bachelard to bolster my thinking about poetry’s coalescence with matter, and the ways in which poetry can engage with environmental thought.

Lila Matsumoto is a poet, researcher, and lecturer in poetry at the University of Nottingham. Her poetry pamphlets include Soft Troika (If a Leaf Falls Press) and Allegories from my Kitchen (Sad Press). A collection of poetry, Urn and Drum, is forthcoming from Shearsman in 2018. Lila is interested experimental forms of production and performance of poetry, and often collaborates with visual and sound art practitioners. Her current research explores the theme of women’s work and gendered divisions of artistic labour. Lila co-edits the poetry and arts magazine FRONT HORSE ( and is a member of the music collective Food People.

Bookings here

This  free public lecture is jointly presented by Intercultural Communication through Practice Research Group from