Matter and Spirit: Ecology and the Non-Human Turn

Leah Penniman, Black Kreyol farmer and food justice activist

Leading the Fight for Food Justice

September 18, 2019

“We always begin by thanking our ancestors,” said Leah Penniman, a Black Kreyol farmer and food justice activist, at the start of her September 17 talk, “Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice,” hosted by the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard Divinity School (HDS).

Tales of Sweetgrass and Trees

Video: Tales of Sweetgrass and Trees: Robin Wall Kimmerer and Richard Powers in Conversation with Terry Tempest Williams

March 26, 2019

Scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the prize-winning Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, and Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Richard Powers, author of The Overstory, join Harvard Divinity School writer-in-residence Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place and The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, in conversation....

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Nainoa Thompson

Video: The Land and the Waters are Speaking: Indigenous Views on Climate Change

April 4, 2019

The ongoing destruction of Earth’s natural systems is the result of decisions, made daily, by billions of people. These decisions are voluntary and involuntary at once, collective and personal. Two indigenous leaders—Nainoa Thompson and Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq (Uncle)—have both been identified by their communities as messengers who will guide us through climate challenges as they reflect on their traditions and spiritual practices.

Nainoa Thompson is the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a Pwo navigator, who, inspired by his kūpuna (...

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All One Stuff: Emerson's Materialism

Video: All One Stuff: Emerson's Materialism

April 3, 2019

This talk contradicts the longstanding reading of Emerson as invested in idealism and instead charts his obsession with matter both organic and inorganic, organized and unorganized. By attending to his interest in sciences of life, Branka Arsić reconstructs the geological and botanical theories that led him to formulate a genuinely vitalist ontology; and by outlining his vitalism... Read more about Video: All One Stuff: Emerson's Materialism

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo

Video: The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places: Climate Change, Collective Ethics, and Environmental Justice in Northern Peru

February 20, 2019

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York-Buffalo, speaks on poor mestizos in northern Peru, who offer a new way to theorize humanism and sentient landscapes that interact with humans in terms of environmental justice, collective ethics, and health.... Read more about Video: The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places: Climate Change, Collective Ethics, and Environmental Justice in Northern Peru

Professor Eduardo Kohn

Video: Anthropology as Cosmic Diplomacy: Toward an Ecological Ethics for the Anthropocene

November 15, 2017

"Forests think." Eduardo Kohn, author of the book How Forests Think, discusses a kind of thinking, which he calls “sylvan," that is manifested by tropical forests and those that live with them. This mode of thought can provide an ethical orientation in these times of planetary human-driven ecological devastation that some call the “Anthropocene."... Read more about Video: Anthropology as Cosmic Diplomacy: Toward an Ecological Ethics for the Anthropocene