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The Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network presents researchers within the humanities with a forum in which to engage with each other’s work, to share insights, and develop collaborative partnerships.
CRITIQUE and EEHN Seasonal Session Autumn in a Graveyard – 10 October 2022, 3 pm

CRITIQUE and EEHN Seasonal Session Autumn in a Graveyard – 10 October 2022, 3 pm

The Environmental Working Group – operating under the aegis of CRITIQUE and EEHN – is proud to present “Seasonal Sessions”: a quarterly series of environmentally-minded and philosophically-oriented mini-field trips.

Each session takes place in a different season, and in a different setting. Our main aim is to cultivate a practice of critical ecological reflection in an informal and exploratory environment. The sessions make use of facilitated group discussion, quiet personal reflection, and immersive engagement with the particular setting of the fieldtrip. Each outing is paired with a chosen pre-read text.

AUTUMN SESSION: Autumn in a Graveyard 

Autumn heralds the end of the growing and blooming season. Leaves that had been full of green life fade eventually to brown and fall to earth. Death, decomposition, fertility, and finally, new life: these are the ecological cycles that all creatures participate in. In this first Autumn session, we read a short, provocative text from environmental philosopher, Val Plumwood, about the different meanings ascribed to dying in the Anthropocene. From a spot in an ancient burial ground, Greyfriars Kirkyard, we talk about ecology and our place in it, the tension between ecological, geological, and human time, and the eco-politics of memorialisation in different cultures. We ask: In what ways do humans have a special relationship to death, compared to other types of beings? Do humans have a particular license to bring death to other beings for food and resources, and how is this expressed among different cultures? Finally, to respond to Plumwood, should we think of ourselves as having obligations towards the soil, to enrich it with our bodies when we pass?

To register and receive coordination info, please go to Eventbrite. Please note that, because we aim for a participatory and reflective environment, spaces are limited to 15 per event, and we strongly encourage participants to complete the pre-read.

Best wishes

The Environmental Working Group

These sessions are part of a broader experimental project in collaborative place-based learning, and contribute to our emergent understanding of what it might mean to ‘environmentalise’ learning and teaching in higher education. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Grace Garland:

Talia Shoval:

Joseph Conard:

(Photo by Julia Kadel on Unsplash )

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