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November 3rd Reception: 5:00pm | Social Sciences Atrium Keynote: 5:40pm | Social Sciences 109
The 2016 Western Humanities Alliance conference "Convergences among Digital and Environmental Humanities" will kick off with a keynote address by Heather Houser, Associate Professor of English, University of Texas, Austin.
Her presentation will focus on visual and digital media that speak in the same tongue as Enlightenment natural history but adapt its methods and idioms for loss rather than abundance. Digital visualizations by environmental nonprofits such as the Audubon Society and artists such as Maya Lin abstract, fragment, and reconstitute species images to propose ways in which designed ecosystems can compensate for degraded or extinct nature. This information art gives access to the historical roots and core features of today's conservation sciences; it revives natural history not out of nostalgic yearning but as a way of expressing the ongoing grief that environmental crises incite.
Houser is the author of Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect (Columbia University Press, 2014), which argues that contemporary fiction uses affect to bring audiences to environmental consciousness through the sick body. Her current project, tentatively titled Environmental Art and the Infowhelm, gives an account of the aesthetics of information management across environmental media.
Find out more about about the conference [here]