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14 Sep
The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
Sep 14, 2017 -Sep 15, 2017 | All day


Registration for this event is closed.

The Gallatin Climate Change Initiative: A Conference

A two-day conference co-sponsored by Gallatin and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU; NYU Department of Anthropology; the Health and Environmental Reporting Program; and The Climate Working Group.

When it comes to climate change, the work of scientists is conclusive: in the past half-century, that work has produced a widely accepted consensus that the planet is warming and that humans are responsible. Though scientists must continue to monitor the amount of warming and to track its effects, climate change is a complex problem whose unfolding will reach beyond such analysis. Recognizing this, scholars in fields other than the natural sciences have recently begun to mobilize their disciplinary expertise to respond to climate change.

The goal of this conference is for faculty and students, at Gallatin and NYU, to engage with this new work. Those of us in the humanities, social sciences, arts, and community activism study human motivation, creativity, agency, and ways of living. How can we use that study to imagine the transformations and losses of climate change? How can we make concrete the challenges that humans will face in the next century? How can we grapple with the ethical issues presented by a problem whose most intense effects will be experienced by populations other than those most responsible for planetary warming? How can we inspire people in the present to create a different future, to slow warming, or to mitigate its effects?

The conference is free open to the public.


Thursday, September 14

5:00–7:00 pm
"Climate Change: What Next?" - Keynote Address and Gallatin Distinguished Faculty Lecture: Naomi Oreskes (Harvard)

Friday, September 15

9:00–9:30 am

9:30–11:00 am
Climate Change Across Borders: Global Effects

Rosalind Fredericks - "Global Detritus: A View on Climate Change from Dakar’s Garbage Dump"
Ritty Lukose - "Thinking through 'the Global' in Climate Change"
Jacob Remes - "Disasters, Solidarity, and a Little Bit of Optimism"
Alejandro Velasco - "Latin America's (Neo)Extractivist Paradox"
Jerome Whitington (Department of Anthropology, NYU) -"Can Climate Change
Activism ACT UP? Science, American Recalcitrance, and Global Implications"
Alison Heslin (International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis) - "Climate Change, Migration, and Cultural Preservation"
Panel Chair: Millery Polyné

11:15–12:45 pm
Climate and the Imagination
Anne DeWitt
- "Climate Change and the Science Fiction Imagination"
Bella Mirabella - "What We Can Learn About Climate Change from Shakespeare”
Sara Murphy - "Fog, Smog, and Putrid Fermentation: Dickens's Environments"
Greg Vargo (Gallatin and Department of English, NYU) - “Looking Katrina in the Eye: Teaching Jesymn Ward’s Salvage the Bones in a Contemporary Environmental Fiction Course"
Una Chaudhuri (Department of English, NYU) - "Dear Climate after Harvey"
Karl Appuhn (Department of History, NYU) - "The Pitfalls of Climate History: A Note of Caution on the Prime Mover Problem"
Panel Chair: Matthew Stanley

12:45–1:45 pm
Break for Lunch

2–3:15 pm
Global Design: The Problem of Scale

Louise Harpman - "The ZeroMicro™ Movement: Where the Quantified Self Meets the Quantified House"
Mitch Joachim - “Biosmith: Greening Architecture”
Peder Anker - “School of the Earth: Gallatin Reimagined”
Eugenia Kisin - “Scales of Repair: Design Ontologies in Maureen Gruben’s UNGALAQ (When Stakes Come Loose)"
Panel Chair: Meleko Mokgosi

3:30–4:45 pm
The Intersections of Climate Change and Social Justice: A Conversation with Gallatin Students, Alumni, and NYC Community Activists
Leslie Cagan, Coordinator of People’s Climate March-NY
Maritza Ferrell-Silva, Executive Director, ALIGN
Priya Mulgaonkar, Policy Organizer, NY EJA
Idan Sasson, Program Associate, Rebuild by Design
Panel Chair: Gianpaolo Baiocchi (Urban Democracy Lab)

5:00–6:00 pm
Special preview of Climate Change Theater Action 2017

A series of short plays addressing climate change from Uganda, Kenya, Fiji, Jordan, New Zealand, Pakistan, Canada and the US
Directed by Kristin Horton
Assistant Director: Myka Cue
Actors: Sade Namei*, Monica Rounds, Nathan Hinton*, Christina Liang*, Leila Buck*
Stage Manager: Alex Hansen
To be followed by a discussion with Chantal Bilodeau

* denotes member of Actors' Equity Association


Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University, and an internationally renowned geologist, science historian, and author. She received a BSc (First Class Honours) in Mining Geology from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London, and later worked as an exploration geologist in the Australian outback. In 1990, she received an interdisciplinary PhD in Geological Research and History of Science from Stanford University. She joined the faculty at Harvard in 2013 after 15 years at the University of California, San Diego.

Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright, translator, and research artist whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, culture, and climate change. She is the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle, an organization created to support the writing, development and production of eight plays that look at the social and environmental changes taking place in the eight countries of the Arctic; the founder of the blog and international network Artists and Climate Change, and a co-organizer of Climate Change Theatre Action. She has written about the intersection of arts and climate change for American Theatre Magazine, HowlRound, the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences, and the World Policy Institute, and presented at the annual conference of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria), Iowa State University, Rice University, Tufts University, and York University. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and a core member of Climate Lens. (

*denotes member of Actors' Equity Association
*denotes member of Actors' Equity Association
*denotes member of Actors' Equity Association