The Ecomedia of Polar Exploration - Hester Blum

Location: Room 201 (Hagstrum Room), University Hall (Map it)

Facing climate extremity, polar expedition members in the long 19th century experimented with media forms, or "polar ecomedia," to represent their position both out of place (at the ends of the earth) and out of time (in sunless polar winters). These forms include ship newspapers, notes in bottles, letters, cairn messages, and rescue notices printed on colored silk. In this talk, Blum shows how such evanescent textual records offer unexpected devices for comprehending climatic extremity, and potential ways of imagining resilience in our contemporary Anthropocenic moment of accelerating Arctic and Antarctic polar ice sheet collapse.

Hester Blum is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Penn State University. Her first book, The View from the Mast-Head: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives (UNC Press, 2008), received the John Gardner Maritime Research Award.

This event is presented by the Environmental Humanities Research Workshop and made possible by generous support from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Department of English, and the Indigenous Studies Research Initiative.

To join the Environmental Humanities listserv, please contact corey.byrnes@northwestern.edu or keith.woodhouse@northwestern.edu