MOVED ONLINE—Irreconcilability and Care in the Anthropocene: Making Attention for Precarious Species
Please note: Per updated ASU event guidelines due to increased COVID-19 cases, this event has been moved online.
The writing, rhetorics and literacies program in the Department of English at ASU presents alumna Jennifer Clary-Lemon (PhD 2006), associate professor of English at the University of Waterloo, in the talk, "Irreconcilability and Care in the Anthropocene: Making Attention for Precarious Species."
In the anthropocenic epoch marked by rapid species decline, we need more than a human-centered rhetoric to help us understand our relations and commitments to nonhuman others. We are in deep need of rhetorical models that embrace intraspecies entanglements and consider the persuasive communicative potential of things as ways to help guide environmental governance that could potentially slow biodiversity loss. In this talk, Jennifer Clary-Lemon discusses ways to hone such rhetorical-ecological attunement by turning our attention to three case studies of migratory bird species at risk: the barn swallow, the chimney swift, and the bobolink. She argues that focusing attention on the construction of human-generated infrastructure as a legislated conservation strategy is one failed way to make visible the presence of our current anthropogenic worldview. Turning specifically to artificial barn swallow nesting structures as an act of mandated conservation, she offers two alternatives to such practices that embrace the irreconcilability of the Anthropocene: hope and despair, growth and extinction, violence and love, zoe and bios. In turning to citizen care practices and critical design, Clary-Lemon argues that rhetorical-ecological rhetorics attuned to both care and making attention are those that will help us acknowledge the complicated presence of humans, nonhumans, and things as affective and persuasive signifiers on landscapes of the sixth extinction.
This virtual event is free of charge and open to the public.