President's Dream Colloquium on Creative Ecologies

Colloquium Syllabus

Fall 2019

Instructor:
Dr. Denise Oleksijczuk,
Contemporary Arts
Oleksijczuk@sfu.ca

Meeting Time:
Thursdays at 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus
Room GCA4390 
(see schedule exceptions)

Course Format

Students will attend weekly seminars and will also be asked to attend the public lectures. Students are to keep a journal of notes and questions; to engage with the richness of multisensory study; and to complete an essay or trans-medial project that may involve writing, video, soundscape, curating, etc., that applies to one or more of the issues addressed in the lectures, screenings and course readings.

Course Description

We are living on a damaged planet—one whose lands, waters, species, and atmosphere we continue to damage despite every signal that we will soon be past the point of no return. We hear and read about this damage on a daily basis, but in what ways are we failing to listen and respond to these signals? In what ways are facts and data often not enough to motivate us to individually and collectively act today so that we might all live and breathe tomorrow?

Continue reading course description →

In recent decades, the field of Environmental Humanities has emerged in recognition of the impossibility of relying on any one system or culture of knowledge to save the world. Integrating ecological inquiry from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts, the field has also insisted not only on the dismantling of all nature/culture divides but on the dismantling of hierarchies between Western, Eastern, and Indigenous ways of knowing and relating. Taking this kind of intervention as its starting point, Creative Ecologies asks how art, philosophy, and decolonizing methodologies might help us to connect more intimately and imaginatively to the disaster of the present. Through a series of public lectures and seminar meetings we will explore together “the dimensions of life that have been anaesthetized, massacred, and dishonoured in the name of a progress that is reduced today to the imperative of economic growth” (Isabelle Stengers). We will use the lectures and seminars to cultivate a renewed sense of curiosity about the world, to learn the art of noticing what we were blind to, and to foster a sense of activity and possibility.

How to Apply

FALL 2019
We are longer accepting applications



Speakers

The invited speakers will propose productive alternatives to apocalyptic thinking (Clare Colebrook); cultivating deep listening (Candice Hopkins); Indigenous and anthropological methods for “knowing from the inside” (Elizabeth Povinelli and Tim Ingold); studying the earth’s material witnessing (Susan Schuppli); and building new worlds through an Indigenous understanding of deep time (Leanne Simpson and Amanda Strong).

Textbooks

Required and recommended reading will be available on Canvas as pdfs. Please print these out and bring them with you to discuss in class.

Methods of Evaluation

The final grade in the colloquium course will be a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory for graduate students, and Pass/Fail from undergraduates. A "Satisfactory" grade will have no effect on your cumulative GPA.

Assignment Percentage
Five journal exercises 25%
Seminar reading summary and discussion facilitation 10%
Project proposal presentation, abstract, and schedule of work 15%
Final project 50%

Schedule of Public Lectures, Readings, and Screenings

Click each session date to view readings and for more details.
Note: Some changes may be made to the reading list

Sepember 5, 2019

Introduction to the aims and issues of the course
GCA4390 - Seminar in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus
  • Bird Rose, Deborah. “Shimmer: When All You Love Is Being Trashed,” in Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, ed. Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Heather, Anne Swanson, Elaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017, pp. G51-63.
  • Ursula K. Heise. Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. (excerpts)
  • Stengers, Isabelle. In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism. Open Humanities Press, 2015, pp. 7-25.

Recommended:

  • Félix Guattari, The Three Ecologies, trans. Ian Pindar and Paul Sutton. London: Athlone, 2000.

September 12, 2019

Two Films by The Karrabing Film Collective
GCA4390 - Seminar in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus
GCA2555 - Evening screening at 7:00 pm, Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus

Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland, 2018, (26.29 mins.) and Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams, 2016 (28 mins.). Conceived and realized by the Karrabing Film Collective; directed by Elizabeth Povinelli

Recommended:

  • Povinelli, Elizabeth. “Tidalectics: Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science,” In The Kinship of Tides. Stefanie Hessler, ed. MIT Press, 2019.

September 19, 2019

After the End: Stubborn Affects and Collective Practices
No Seminar
3:30 pm - Public Lecture in the Images Theatre, SFU Burnaby Campus  

Speaker: Elizabeth Povinelli
Frans Boas Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University

September 26, 2019

Art and Anthropology for a Living World
No Seminar
3:30 pm - Public Lecture in the Big Data Hub Presentation Studio, SFU Burnaby Campus  

The Sustainability of Everything
Speaker:
Tim Ingold
Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen

Note: This talk will be broadcast via video conferencing.
Reception to follow in atrium.
  • Ingold, Tim. “One world anthropology,” Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 8, 1/2, (2018): 158–171.
  • Escobar, Arturo. “Sustainability: design for the pluriverse”, Development 54, 2 (2011): 137-40.
  • Ingold, Tim. “Designing environments for life.” In Anthropology and Nature, ed. Kirsten Hastrup. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013, pp. 233-246.

Recommended:

  • Ingold, Tim. “Culture on the Ground: The World Perceived through the Feet,” Journal of Material Culture, 9, 3 (2004): pp. 315-340.

October 3, 2019

Indigenous Resurgence
GCA4390 - Seminar in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus
  • Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance. Indigenous Americas. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2017. (excerpts)
  • Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. This Accident of Being Lost: Songs and Stories. 2017. (excerpts)

October 10, 2019

TBA
GCA4390 - Seminar in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus

TBA

 

October 17, 2019

Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes)
No Seminar
3:30 pm - Public Lecture in the Fei and Milton Wong Theatre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus 

The making of "Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes)"

Speaker: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Michi Saaglig Mishnaabeg writer, scholar and activist

Special Guests: Amanda Strong, Bracken Hanuse Corlett, and Whess Harman

Note: Reception to follow in the Wong Theatre Lobby
  • Simpson will screen the animated film: Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes), 2018 (19:00), based on a story by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and directed by Amanda Strong.

October 24, 2019

Fragility, Globalism, and the End of the World
No Seminar
3:30 pm - Public Lecture in the Big Data Hub Presentation Studio, SFU Burnaby Campus 

What would you do (and who would you kill) in order to save the world?

Speaker: Claire Colebrook
Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Pennsylvania State University

Reception to follow in the atrium.

October 31, 2019

Material Witnessing
GCA4390 - Seminar in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus
  • “Submerged Perspectives,” in Gomez-Barris, Macarena. The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies Decolonial Perspectives. London: Duke University Press, pp. 1-16.
  • Mattern, Shannon. 2017. "The Big Data of Ice, Rocks, Soils, and Sediments."  Places Journal November. doi: https://doi.org/10.22269/171107.

Recommended:

  • “Introduction,” in Kahn, Douglas. 2013. Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts. Oakland: University of California Press, pp.1-24.
  • “Geology, Race, and Matter”, in Yusoff, Kathryn. 2019. A Billion Black Anthropocenes or NoneForerunners: Ideas First. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, pp. 1-22.

November 7, 2019

Bearing Material Witness to Climate Change
GCA4390 - Seminar in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus
GCA2555 - Public lecture at 7:00 pm, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver Campus

Earth Evidence

Speaker: Susan Schuppli
Director and Reader in the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmith’s, University of London

Reception to follow in World Art

November 14, 2019

Indigenous Ways of Knowing
GCA4390 - Seminar in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus

November 21, 2019

Indigenous Methodologies and Exhibition Making
No Seminar
GCA2555 - Public lecture at 7:00 pm, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver Campus

Indigenous Methodologies and Exhibition Making

Speaker: Candice Hopkins
Curator and writer

Reception to follow in the GCA Main Lobby.

November 28, 2019

Last Class
GCA4390 - Seminar in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Vancouver Campus
ASB10900 - Public lecture at 7:00 pm, Applied Sciences Building, SFU Burnaby Campus

Student presentations of final projects.

What would you do (and who would you kill) in order to save the world?

Speaker: Claire Colebrook
Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Pennsylvania State University