Race and Climate Reading Group - February 2023
Friday, February 10, 2023, 1 - 3pm
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Launched in the Spring of 2020, the Race and Climate Reading group was created in response to Cooper Union student requests to invest in discussions that center issues of race and social justice and how they intersect with the climate crisis that we are all deeply mired in at the moment. As we all know, the climate crisis effects communities of color first, and disproportionately. And, as the readings all attest, this is reflective of and a culmination of centuries of oppression, and settler colonialism. The concept of the group:
- We read about the intersection of race and climate across multiple genres
- We privilege writers and thinkers of color
Friday, February 10th, 1 – 3 pm - Climate Lyricism by Min Hyoung Song
In Climate Lyricism Min Hyoung Song articulates a climate change-centered reading practice that foregrounds how climate is present in most literature. Song shows how literature, poetry, and essays by Tommy Pico, Solmaz Sharif, Frank O’Hara, Ilya Kaminsky, Claudia Rankine, Kazuo Ishiguro, Teju Cole, Richard Powers, and others help us to better grapple with our everyday encounters with climate change and its disastrous effects, which are inextricably linked to the legacies of racism, colonialism, and extraction. These works employ what Song calls climate lyricism—a mode of address in which a first-person “I” speaks to a “you” about how climate change thoroughly shapes daily life. The relationship between “I” and “you” in this lyricism, Song contends, affects the ways readers comprehend the world, fostering a model of shared agency from which it can become possible to collectively and urgently respond to the catastrophe of our rapidly changing climate. In this way, climate lyricism helps to ameliorate the sense of being overwhelmed and feeling unable to do anything to combat climate change.
For questions, and for the texts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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