UPEI hosting climate change conference

Published on May 26, 2015

Dr. Adam Fenech is director of UPEI's Climate Research Lab.

©Submitted photo

Climate change is often discussed and examined from a scientific perspective.

A conference this week hosted by UPEI will examine it through the focus of a humanities lens and will seek to understand the ways in which climate and culture intersect.

Climate Change in Culture runs May 28-31 at the Delta Charlottetown, and will see three plenaries to discuss the theme.

“This conference draws together leading and emerging scholars from around the world, along with private-sector, governmental and public policy stakeholders,” said John McIntyre, associate professor of English at UPEI and chair of the Climate Change in Culture conference.

“Participants include historians, political scientists, psychologists, literary critics, anthropologists as well as architects, land use planners and private consultants."

The four-day event will also showcase contributions from artists, musicians and film-makers.

“UPEI is delighted to host this innovative and cross-cutting conference, one that builds on the university's current strengths in climate change research and provides new opportunities for our faculty in the humanities,” said Robert Gilmour, vice-president research and graduate studies at UPEI.

“We look forward to hearing and learning from experts from around the world as they explore the interplay between climate change and the humanities.”

Stephanie LeMenager, one of the three plenaries for the conference, is the Moore endowed professor of English and environmental studies at the University of Oregon, co-founder of the environmental humanities journal, Resilience, and co-founder of the "Humanities for the Environment" workshop series.

Her work on the cultural implications of climate change was recently featured in the New York Times and CBC's The Current.

Adam Fenech has worked extensively in the area of climate change since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change First Assessment Report in 1988.

He is the editor of seven books and writes opinion pieces that appear regularly in this newspaper.

He has represented Canada at international climate negotiating sessions and written policy and speeches for Canadian environment ministers.

He has taught for more than 20 years at the University of Toronto and the Smithsonian, and is currently director of the Climate Research Lab at UPEI.

Andrew Light is a professor and director of philosophy and public policy at George Mason University.

He is currently on leave to serve as senior adviser to the special envoy on climate change for the U.S. Department of State and is a member of the senior strategy team for the UN climate negotiations.

Light directs the U.S.-India joint working group on combatting climate change, and is chair of the U. S. Climate Change Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals.

He is the author, co-author, and editor of 17 books.

The conference is for registered attendees only, but community member day passes are available for purchase for $25 at climatechangeinculture.com.

The conference is supported by a connection grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the P.E.I. Department of the Environment, the University of Prince Edward Island and the Institute of Island Studies.