Cameron University to present free lecture examining the relationship between a liberal arts education and the environment

In conjunction with “Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities,” Cameron University’s triennial academic festival, the School of Liberal Arts will present “Sustainability and the Liberal Arts: Ecocriticism and Critical Thinking,” a lecture by Dr. James Warren. The presentation will take place on Thursday, October 23, at 7 p.m. in the CETES Conference Center and is open to the public at no charge.

Warren will discuss how the new field of ecocriticism - the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment - has highlighted issues such as sustainability, species extinctions, and bioethics and brought them to the conversation of what constitutes a liberal education. His argument is that because liberal education is always refining and redefining itself, there is a need to investigate what the terms of the 21st century liberal arts can be. This results in critical questions about the very notion of sustainability itself. How do we use the concept of sustainability in our everyday language and in our specialized meanings in the university?

Warren is the S. Blount Mason, Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, where he has taught for more than 30 years. He specializes in 19th century literature, environmental literature and literary theory. He is a member of the Environmental Studies faculty and also chaired the University Sustainability Committee in 2012-2013, during which time the committee wrote an extensive self-study report.

He is the author of “John Burroughs and the Place of Nature,”  “Culture of Eloquence: Oratory and Reform in Antebellum America” and “Walt Whitman’s Language Experiment.” Additionally, Warren has been published in numerous journals and edited collections.  His latest book, Other Country: Barry Lopez and the Community of Artists,” will be published in fall 2015 by the University of Arizona Press. 

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Hall at shall@cameron.edu or at 580-581-2924.

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October 10, 2014

PR# 14-177