(February 15, 2007)
Inaugural Event for Institute for Critical Climate Change in the Humanities Slated for March 23-24
The seismic shifts that are occurring in the environment at large are also being felt in the critical theory environment. Humanists at the University centers at Albany and Buffalo, recognizing these transitions, are taking a leadership role in opening up a new series of discussions aimed at addressing these 21st century horizons by forming an Institute for Critical Climate Change in the Humanities (ICCCH) to be housed at the University at Albany within the Center for Humanities, Arts, and TechnoSciences (CHATS).
The center has just received a $2,000 grant from Imagining America (IA), a consortium of colleges and universities promoting public scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design (of which the University at Albany is a member), to fund a one-day joint workshop for the Albany and Buffalo teams to shape the institute's mission and programming.
The institute, co-founded by UAlbany Professor of English Tom Cohen and University at Buffalo Professor Henry Sussman, in collaboration with project directors English Chair Mike Hill and CHATS' Director Mary Valentis, appealed to IA's Selection Committee because the project involves two university centers whose unique idea employs the humanities to impart critical theory and the wider discussion on climate change to the public at large. The institute's inaugural event on the UAlbany campus will be a special symposium, Chronopolitics and Visual Culture: Temporal Politics of the Image and Architectural Space on March 23-24, followed in the fall of 2007 by another symposium on bio-politics and the ecologies of war. Two major conferences, to be funded by other grants, are in the works, the first in Albany in the spring of 2008, the second, in Buffalo, in the fall of 2009. There will also be a symposium in China between American and Chinese philosophers.
CHATS, co-founded by professors Cohen and Valentis, was developed by Valentis and designated an official center in 2004.