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Spotlight on Humanities in Sustainability Studies | Becoming Naturalized: Environmentalism and Attachment to Place in American Literature

May 1 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


What is the relationship between loving a place deeply and nurturing and sustaining it? This is a question that Indigenous and non-Indigenous American writers have long revolved, alive to the ways our history of settler colonialism complicates the question. In her talk, Michelle Neely will draw on the work of Henry David Thoreau, Willa Cather, and Robin Wall Kimmerer to explore the connections between attention, affection, and ecological care for a specific environment. She will talk about writers who have envisioned dwelling with reciprocal responsibility to the places we live, and how this literature provides fertile ground for all of us seeking to thrive in an age of environmental crisis.

Michelle C. Neely is Associate Professor of English, Director of American Studies, and affiliated faculty in Environmental Studies at Connecticut College. Her scholarship has appeared in or is forthcoming in venues such as American Literature, Thoreau in Context (Cambridge University Press), and The Oxford Handbook of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Oxford University Press). Her first book, Against Sustainability: Reading Nineteenth-Century America in the Age of Climate Crisis (Fordham University Press, 2020), explores environmental paradigms emergent during the nineteenth-century in light of both nineteenth and twenty-first century struggles for racial and ecological justice. She is at work on a new project about nineteenth-century U.S. literature and utopian possibilities.

This is a hybrid event. To receive a Zoom link, please register HERE.



May 1
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


Museum of the White Mountains


Museum of the White Mountains
34 Highland Street
Plymouth, NH 03264 United States
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