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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.
Seasonal Session: Spring in the Meadows 4 May 15.00-16.30

Seasonal Session: Spring in the Meadows 4 May 15.00-16.30

Seasonal Sessions are quarterly mini-fieldtrips organised by the Environmental Working Group, under the aegis of CRITIQUE, and supported by the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network (EEHN). Each of our sessions takes place in a different setting outwith the university.

The Spring Session takes place in the Meadows, Edinburgh, against the backdrop of the cherry blossoms in late bloom. Attendees are asked to pre-read extracts from a paper on phrenology, the science of seasonality and observation of plants. The structure of the outing includes an open discussion, a quiet creative reflection, and contributions from two PhD ‘provocateurs’ with ecological expertise from the Edinburgh College of Art.

Reflection questions: What is scientific knowledge; can plants be knowers, and what can we learn from them? How has the conflation of climate change with carbon emissions shaped our political response to the crisis? And how can we cultivate practices of noticing the changing seasons in urban and/or ecologically degraded environments?

These sessions are informal, reflective, and creative. In this spirit, we limit the group size to 20. We ask that all attendees meet outside the Chrystal Macmillam Building at 15:00, after which we will walk together to a spot on the Meadows. Please bring something to sit on, and appropriate clothing for Edinburgh’s changeable weather. In the event of rain, our discussion will take place in a seminar room inside CMB.

In short:

  • All interested in critical ecological reflection (or who just love the cherry trees!) are welcome to join. No special expertise required.
  • Yes, there is pre-reading: “Wild Laboratories of Climate Change” (Macfarlane 2021), page 312-323 and the conclusion. The text is available online:
  • Invited speakers: Keili Koppel and Rowan Hawitt, both PhD students at the Edinburgh College of Art. (Read about their fascinating work here and here!)
  • Meeting place: outside CMB at 15:00.

Places are limited to 20 attendees. To register and receive further coordination info, please go to Eventbrite.

The main aim of these events 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. The sessions are part of a broader experimental project in collaborative place-based learning, and contribute to an emergent understanding of what it might mean to ‘environmentalise’ learning and teaching in higher education.

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