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Syracuse Symposium Reading List

As an annual initiative of the Syracuse University Humanities Center, SYRACUSE SYMPOSIUM engages wider publics with innovative, interdisciplinary work in the humanities by renowned scholar, artists, authors, and performers, tied to a particular theme.

Symposium Theme: Landscapes

Landscapes logo

As an annual initiative of the Syracuse University Humanities Center, SYRACUSE SYMPOSIUM engages wider publics with innovative, interdisciplinary work in the humanities by renowned scholar, artists, authors, and performers, tied to a particular theme.

This year's programming for 2023-2024 engages the meaning and impact of "LANDSCAPES from diverse perspectives and genres, locally and globally, and all are welcome! Contact with questions.

FEBRUARY 13 - Chemscapes, Julie Bargmann

All are welcome to this lecture-discussion, hosted by the School of Architecture on February 13th, 5:30-7pm.

Now more than ever, architects, landscape architects, and designers have a need and an obligation to generate archeologies of the sedimented chemical histories of our professions’ environmental footprint. Renowned landscape architect Julie Bargmann challenges us to envision imaginative strategies for new material practices that reveal, rather than conceal, the chemical milieu in which we all live.

Julie Bargmann is internationally recognized as an innovative designer in building regenerative landscapes and with interdisciplinary design education. She is a professor at the University of Virginia School of Architecture and is the founder of D.I.R.T. Studio.

FEBRUARY 22 - All Art is Ecological, Timothy Morton

February 22nd, 5-8pm at the Syracuse University Art Museum / Shemin Auditorium.

Following a gallery reception celebrating SU Art Museum's spring exhibition, Assembly, philosopher Timothy Morton explores the strangeness of living in an age of mass extinction and shows how the experience of art provides a model for ecological ethics. Assembly runs through May 12 at the Syracuse University Art Museum.

Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. His research areas include ecological cultural and literary criticism,  environmental humanities, gender and sexuality, and literary theory.

MARCH 4 - Slow Plants on a Burning Planet, Jared Farmer

March 4th, 4-5:45pm at Strasser Legacy Room, 220 Eggers.

In this public book talk hosted by Geography and the Environment, historian Jared Farmer discusses ancient trees as cultural and religious symbols, their importance as data collectors, and the dire threats they face in a rapidly changing climate.

Jared Farmer is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Farmer is a geohumanist and place-based historian known for his award-winning work on the American West. His most recent book is Elderflora: A Modern History of Ancient Trees.

MARCH 7 - Forging Ecological Awareness Through Art, Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris

March 7th, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m at the SU Art Museum.

Environmental Storytelling CNY hosts Sayler and Morris discussing how their artwork and others in the Assembly exhibition at the SU Art Museum forge a deeper ecological understanding of the places we share. The talk will be followed by an interactive activity in the museum.


MARCH 26 - The Landscape of Women’s Bodily Autonomy: Collaboration Toward Greater Access to Reproductive Freedom & Care in the U.S.

March 26th, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m at 304 Schine A-B-C.

This session brings together speakers from a variety of disciplines—from a local women’s healthcare professional to social workers and advocacy groups, to lawyers and architects—to discuss the challenges they are facing on-the-ground and to share creative techniques for navigating the post-Roe landscape. 

Scheduled to present:

  • SeQuoia Kemp, BSN: SeQuoia is a locally practicing doula with expertise in providing comprehensive reproductive healthcare for traditionally under-represented women in New York.
  • Lori Brown, FAIA: Lori is a distinguished professor of architecture at Syracuse’s School of Architecture and is currently examining the impact of how law and policy intersects with design and use of architectural space in post-Roe America.
  • Shoshanna Ehrlich, JD: Shoshanna is a women and gender studies professor at UMass Boston and her area of research includes abortion stigma, abortion regret, and abortion regulation laws in the US.
  • Kimala Price, PhD: Kimala is a women’s studies professor at San Diego State with expertise in how we might move between research, advocacy, and activism at their point of intersection with reproductive justice.
  • Melissa Shube, JD: Melissa is a reproductive health rights and justice attorney for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America with expertise centering on the legal range of challenges doctors and clinics are face when providing access to reproductive healthcare.


APRIL 4 - Character Space, Sophia Chai

April 4th, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m at Watson Theater, Light Work Gallery (316 Waverly Ave.)

Chai offers a public presentation about her exhibition at Light Work, "Character Space," featuring a collection of photographs centered on the Korean alphabet and ideas of language, optics, and photography. Light Work hosts a gallery reception following Chai's talk.


APRIL 11 - Plantation Imaginaries: Art and Medicine in the Colonial World, Anna Arabindon-Kesson

April 11th, 5:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m at 114 Bird Library.

Kesson's lecture discusses the representation of plantations in nineteenth-century British colonial art. It explores the importance of these spaces as sites where medical and artistic knowledge could be produced and considers how contemporary artists work with these histories to imagine new forms of care for each other and the environments in which we live. This Syracuse Symposium event is hosted by African American Studies and Art and Music Histories.

Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an Associate professor of Black Diasporic art with a joint appointment in the Departments of African American Studies and Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Born in Sri Lanka, she practiced as a Registered Nurse before completing her PhD in African American Studies and Art History. Her research and teaching focus on African American, Caribbean, and British Art, with an emphasis on histories of race, empire, medicine, and transatlantic visual culture in the long 19th century.