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The Anthropocene River Campus Convenes in New Orleans to Examine the Human Impact on the Mississippi

13.November 2019

This week, German and American scholars, researchers, artists, and activists are gathering in New Orleans to discuss the historical, social, and ecological impact humans have had on the Mississippi River region. This week-long event is hosted by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and Tulane University’s New Orleans Center for the Gulf South.

The River Campus is the culmination of „Mississippi. An Anthropocene River,“ a year-long project that explored the human impact on the Mississippi and made the transformation of this human environment system tangible. Like a delta, the River Campus will not simply conclude the project, but rather serve as a transformation point that connects the different tributaries of the project into new ways forward.

The week began with a public opening that included speakers, panels, and presentations that set the tone for the River Campus by explaining the need for such a wide-reaching project in this part of the world and introducing participants to some of the findings of the year-long research project.

Following the day-long opening event, River Campus participants broke into groups for daytime seminar programs that combined in-house presentations and discussions with field trips that allow them to deepen their knowledge of topics related to the Anthropocene. The six seminar topics open to participants include “Clashing Temporalities,” “Risk/Equity,” “Exhaustion and Imagination,” “Commodity Flows,” “Claims/Property. Making and Unmaking Property in the Anthropocene,” and “Un/bounded Engineering and Evolutionary Stability.”

In the evenings, a series of events designed to engage with the wider community that are open to the public will continue to examine themes related to the Anthropocene project with screenings of short films by Field Station collaborators, museum tours, art presentations, and panel discussions.

On Friday, the Anthropocene project and its participants will celebrate the end of the project with “Down by the Riverside,” an evening with NPR’s American Routes, hosted by Nick Spitzer. The live concert put on by the acclaimed radio program will highlight New Orleans’ vibrant music scene and feature some of the region’s top artists and personalities, including Tom McDermott, the Doucet Brothers, Doc Hawley, and Dr. Michael White with Topsy Chapman.

To conclude the exciting week of activities, the River Campus will take the project to the great outdoors at the annual “FORESTival: A Celebration of Art and Nature” hosted by A Studio in the Woods. In addition to the festival’s standard, music, art, and food, River Campus participants will also be on hand for the Anthropocene River Campus and New Orleans Center for the Gulf South basecamp. The basecamp will feature seminar reflections, soil coring with sedimentologist Ryan Clarke, fungi of native plants interactive demon­stration with biologist Mareli Sanchez Julia, and a reading by visual artist and writer Kristina Kay Robinson.

For more information on the Anthropocene River Campus, click here.

Find a full schedule of events open to the public below!

SUNDAY, November 10

Anthropocene River: Opening Day of the Anthropocene River Campus
Offerings from the five Mississippi River Field Stations, members of the Anthropocene Working Group, and directors of NOCGS, HKW, and MPIWG.
Sunday, November 10, 2019, 10am-7pm
Kendall Cram room, Lavin Bernick Center, Uptown Campus
Followed by a reception hosted by the School of Liberal Arts in the Qatar room, Lavin Bernick Center, Tulane Uptown campus
Sponsored and organized by NOCGS / HKW / MPIWG and the School of Liberal Arts
Related links:
Mississippi River Field Stations https://anthropocene-curriculum.org/project/mississippi/field-stations
Anthropocene Working Group http://quaternary.stratigraphy.org/working-groups/anthropocene/

MONDAY, November 11
Anthropogenic Cinema: Field Station Film Screenings
Short films and discussion, featuring Anthropocene River Campus participants
Monday, November 11, 2019, 7:30pm
Kendall Cram room, Lavin Bernick Center, Tulane Uptown campus
Sponsored and organized by NOCGS / HKW / MPIWG

TUESDAY, November 12
Uprisings, Futures, and Freedoms
A public conversation with Dread Scott, ARC seminar participant Kira Akerman and NOCGS assistant director Denise Frazier that will explore two major works of art that unfold in our river region, Slave Rebellion Reenactment and Hollow Tree. Slave Rebellion Reenactment was instigated by artist Dread Scott, developed in community over the past five years, and will take place November 8-9, 2019. Hollow Tree (work-in-progress) tells the stories of three teenagers coming of age in Southeast Louisiana; a parable of climate adaptation worldwide.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7:30pm
Kendall Cram room, Lavin Bernick Center, Tulane Uptown campus
Sponsored and organized by NOCGS
Related links: Slave Rebellion Reenactment https://www.slave-revolt.com/

WEDNESDAY, November 13
Future Cities // Future Coasts Speaker Series — „As Ungovernable as Mud: Wetlands, Agriculture, Central Illinois and the Mississippi Watershed“
featuring Anthropocene River Campus participants Ryan Griffis in conversation with Bruce Sunpie Barnes
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 7:30pm
Kendall Cram room, Lavin Bernick Center, Uptown Campus
Sponsored and organized by Tulane ByWater Institute, with support from NOCGS / HKW / MPIWG

THURSDAY, November 14

Universal Dreams Denied: Environmental Risk in the Matanza-Riachuelo, Mississippi, and Yamuna River Basins
Thursday, November 14th, 7:00pm
Newcomb Art Museum and Freeman Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Center, Tulane Uptown campus
7:00-7:45pm „The American Dream Denied: the New Orleans Residents of Gordon Plaza Seek Relocation“ exhibit tour with Shannon Rainey, President of Residents of Gordon Plaza, Inc., and Marilyn Amar in the Newcomb Art Museum
8:00pm „Universal Dreams Denied: Environmental Risk in the Matanza-Riachuelo, Mississippi, and Yamuna River Basins“ panel with Anthropocene River Campus seminar convener and exhibit co-creator Christopher Oliver and Anthropocene River Campus participants Ravi Agarwal and Débora Swistun, in Freeman Auditorium.
Sponsored and organized by NOCGS, with support from the Newcomb Art Museum

FRIDAY, November 15
The Year of German-American Friendship #Wunderbar Together, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin and New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University present
Down By the Riverside
An evening with American Routes
hosted by Nick Spitzer
and featuring Tom McDermott, the Doucet Brothers, Doc Hawley, and Michael White with Topsy Chapman
New Orleans Jazz Market
Friday, November 15, 2019
7:30pm Doors open
7:45pm American Routes program
10:00pm Afterparty with DJ Brice Nice
Down by the Riverside is the final evening of Anthropocene River Campus: The Human Delta (November 10-16, 2019) and is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office as part of the initiative #WunderbarTogether, with additional support from New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Tulane University.
*Registration required. Email gulfsouth@tulane.edu.

SATURDAY, November 16
Anthropocene River Campus Basecamp at FORESTival, with river seminar reflections and offerings by Anthropocene River Campus participants Ryan Clarke, Kristina Kay Robinson, and Mareli Sanchez Julia
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 10am-5pm
A Studio in the Woods, 13401 Patterson Road (Westbank, New Orleans)
Tickets $15*, kids free.
Sponsored and organized by NOCGS, with support from A Studio in the Woods, a program of Tulane ByWater Institute.
For more information: http://www.astudiointhewoods.org/programs/forestival/
*No one turned away due to lack of funds.

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