College of Arts & Science


On March 3 - 4, 2020, The Environmental Humanities Research Cluster is hosting a symposium, “Approaching Extinction, Contesting Extinction,” at Miami University, with keynote lectures by Kathryn Yusoff (Department of Geography, Queen Mary University of London) and Wesley Leonard, (Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California–Riverside).

Recent studies indicate that a mass species extinction is well underway on our planet. Wildlife populations have decreased by 60% in the last few decades and 70% of agricultural diversity has disappeared. By investigating entanglements between life extinction and political imagination as well as social drivers and cultural dimensions of extinction, we hope to generate strategies for countering or mobilizing fears about death and extinction and enabling collective response and action. 


Myaamia Center
Welcome & Presentation
Shriver Dolibois Room

Leonardo Figueroa Helland & Abigail Perez Aguilera, The New School
“Decolonize, Reindigenize: The Biocultural Diversity Crisis and Indigenous Resurgence”
Shriver Dolibois Room

Marjolein Oele, University of San Francisco
“Philosophizing Extinction: On the Loss of World, and the Possibility of Rebirth through the Language of the Sea”
Shriver Dolibois Room

Keynote Address: Kathryn Yusoff
“The Inhumanities”
Followed by reception
Shriver Dolibois Room


Lisa Ottum, Xavier University
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Extinction”
Shriver Dolibois Room

Ryan Heryford, California State University–East Bay
“‘the word for bringing bodies back from water': Oceanic Ecopoetics, Black Life, and the Re-Imagining of Extinction”
Shriver Dolibois Room

Alex Benson, Bard College
“A Curious Survivance: John Oskison's Baja Rat”
Shriver Dolibois Room

Closing Keynote Address: Wesley Leonard
"Contesting Extinction: Toward a Praxis of Language Reclamation"

Opportunity to view Myaamia Ribbonwork Exhibition
Miami Art Museum, 801 S Patterson

"Changing Climate, Changing Communities" Exhibition Reception
Oxford Community Art Center, 10 S College Ave

Approaching Extinction, Contesting Extinction is funded by a Humanities Research Collaborative Grant from the Miami University Humanities Center and a grant from Athabasca University. Please direct all inquiries about the volume and symposium to

Distinguished Lectures

John Mcgowan
John W. and Anna H. Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Can Medicine Save the Humanities, and Vice Versa?

September 1, 2016 4:00 PM
John E. Dolibois Room, Shriver Center
Midwife preparing for birth
Wendy Kline
Dema G. Seelye Professor of the History of Medicine, Purdue University

The Power and Politics of Countercultural Medicine

September 14, 2016 5:00 PM
Miami University Art Museum
A group of individuals in Hazmat gear
Sonia Shah
Science Journalist and Author

Pandemics: Tracking Contagion from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond

October 13, 2016 7:00 PM
Armstrong Student Center, Pavilion C
A robot arm reaches out to touch a human hand reminiscent of Michelangelo's the creation of Adam
David Serlin
Associate Professor of Communication, University of California, San Diego

Designs for Living: Rethinking the Medical Model of Disability through Architecture

November 10, 2016 4:00 PM
Shideler 152
A medical scene on a stage
Ann Elizabeth Armstrong & Saffron Henke

WIT: A Staged Reading of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play

November 15, 2016 7:00 PM
Leonard Theater, Peabody Hall
recreational drugs in pill forms
Keith Wailoo
Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton University

The Politics of Pain

January 26, 2017 7:00 PM
Shideler 152
Brown bags full of a variety of grains and spices
Judith Farquhar
Max Palevsky Professor of Anthropology Emerita and of Social Sciences, University of Chicago

Medicine, Culture, and Modern China

February 27, 2017 4:00 PM
Heritage Room, Shriver Center
flags in front of the Washington Memorial
Arthur W. Frank
Professor of Sociology, University of Calgary

Two Solitudes: Doctors’ and Patients’ Stories

March 9, 2017 7:00 PM
John E. Dolibois Room, Shriver Center
human embryo editing
John Evans
Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego

The Eclipse of the Sacred Human: Are Human Rights Under Threat from Medical Science?

March 13, 2017 4:00 PM
John E. Dolibois Room, Shriver Center
Greek pottery art of an arm being bandaged
Philip van der Eijk
Humboldt Professor of Classics and History of Science, Humboldt University of Berlin

Health, Responsibility, and Lifestyle in Ancient Medical and Philosophical Thought

April 6, 2017 4:00 PM
John E. Dolibois Room, Shriver Center
detail of a painted assortment of colors
Suzanna Anker, Anne Harrington & Domenico Bertoloni Meli

2016-2017 Altman Symposium: Medicine and the Humanities

April 20, 2017 4:00 PM

Environmental Humanities Research Cluster

The Environmental Humanities Research Cluster is an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students interested in the intersections of ecology, environment and culture(s): energy humanities, ecocriticism, posthumanism, environmental philosophy and history, and urban and political ecologies. 

In 2017–18, Iñaki Pradanos and Cathy Wagner were awarded Altman Fellowships from the Miami University Humanities Center to organize “Urban Futures”—a seminar and series of events exploring philosophical, cultural, and historical narratives grounding the social and material realities of urbanity. Visiting participants included Neil Brenner, Ananya Roy, Teju Cole, Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, Andrew Ross, Susan Larson, Alison Isenberg, and Miguel Robles-Duran. 

The Environmental Humanities Research Cluster collaboratively extends the “Urban Futures” project’s goals, sponsoring scholarship and conversations toward a socially just and ecologically viable future.
Seminars and events occur frequently. Please contact a faculty coordinator to learn more.

Cluster Coordinators

Iñaki Pradanos

Cathy Wagner

Cluster Collaborators

Suzanne McCullagh

Ilaria Tabusso Marcyan

Ryan Gunderson