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Health and the Human Condition Lecture

The College of Liberal Arts Office of the Dean and the Department of History present 'Health and the Human Condition: Deep Mapping Health, the Human Condition and Climate Change in the American Southwest and Sub-Saharan Africa'.  Presented by Dr. James Ogude and Dr. Charles Travis.


Professor James Ogude, Director Centre for Advance Scholarship, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Lecture Title: Aesthetics of the Earth:  African Literature as a witness to postcolonial ecology.

Abstract: This lecture seeks to argue that modern African literature, beginning with its foundational narratives to the present, have always acted as a witness to ecological degradation while at the same time offering an “aesthetics of the Earth.” Firstly, the literatures have insisted in placing nature within human history. Secondly, it seeks to show that in spite of Africa’s violent entry into modernity, thus creating a schism between nature and culture; African literature can bridge this gap. Thirdly, it seeks to argue that when postcolonial literature speaks of the aesthetics of the earth, it demonstrates the power of fiction in helping humanity appreciate ecological beauty and rise to its defence even when land and the sea may have been ravaged by colonial and postcolonial violence after it. That in spite of the ironies of talking of aesthetic representation in contexts of waste and rupture, this literature affirms a regenerative response to ecological disaster. African literature, this paper concludes, teaches us the political force of ecology; that is, that literature can capture ecology’s radical articulation of relational interdependence of all lands, of the whole earth – thus offering a methodology and a grammar for thinking through complex environmental issues.

Dr. Charles Travis, Asst. Prof. Geography, GIS and Digital Humanities, Dept. of History, University of Texas, Arlington

Lecture Title: The Deep West: Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove (1985) and Charles Bukowski’s Los Angeles, Literary Geography, GIScience and Narrative Baselines for Mapping the Human Condition and Climate Change

Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Sixth Floor Parlor, Central Library
702 Planetarium Place, Arlington, Tx

Event Type

Talks & Lectures


College of Liberal Arts


Students, Undergraduates, Faculty & Staff



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