Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES


Ongoing Session

April 18-May 31

Exhibition: America on Fire
John Carter Brown Library 

One-Day Sessions

Wednesday, April 19

All Fired Up

1:15pm (RISD Metcalf Auditorium - Chace Center (RISD Museum), 20 North Main St):
Keynote Address: 
Fire and Transformation in Early Modern European Art and Alchemy, Pamela Smith

Earth, Water, Air, and Fire were conceptual building blocks in early modern European views of nature, and, at the same time, fire was an everyday agent of transformation in all realms of early modern life, from quotidian charcoal making and other forms of utilitarian knowledge about fire and fuel, to metalworking practices, to the language of alchemical allegory. The lecture will survey these areas and focus in on the mental world of metalworkers whose work with fire involved a material network of transformative substances, including red pigments, blood, gold, and lizards.

· Introduction: Lenore Manderson
Chairperson: Rachel Berwick (Glass, RISD) 

Fire, Unintended Consequences and Environmental Justice

Sponsors: IBES, Brown Superfund Research Program and Department of Sociology

2:45pm (IBES 101-102, 85 Waterman St):
Coffee, Tea, and Light Fare

3:00pm (IBES 130, 85 Waterman St): 
Moderator: Scott Frickel
· Alissa Cordner, Fighting Fires in a Risky World
· Elizabeth Hoover, Pyropolitics and Water Protectors at Standing Rock
· Peter Little, Pyropolitics in Ghana's E-Waste Scrapyard
· David Pellow, The Fiery Politics of Ecological Justice: Wildfires and Arson, from the Suburbs of Southern California to the Radical Ecological Movement

The Fire Arts

Sponsors: IBES, the Ceramics and Glass Departments and the Nature Lab of RISD

5:30pm (RISD Nature Lab, 13 Waterman St):
Opening Remarks
: Amanda Lynch
Structure and Growth, David Katz

7:00pm (RISD Metcalf Building, 4th Floor, 7 North Main St):
Hot Nights, Glass Department of RISD

RISD Glass initiated Hot Nights as a means of cultivating a greater understanding of glass and its significance to an array of disciplines. Through a series of hot shop demonstrations, projects, and workshops, Glass faculty and students partner with the larger community to research and experiment the intersection between glass and its ubiquitous presence in the world. 

Thursday, April 20

Creative Ecologies

Sponsors: IBES and Modern Culture and Media, Brown

3:30pm (IBES Lower Lobby):
Coffee, Tea, and Light Fare 

4:00pm (IBES 015):
Symposium: Elemental Affinities: Ecological Questions for Film and Media 
Moderator: Brett Zehner
· Jessica Bardsley, Mortal Water: Process, Time, and Elemental Cinema in Roni Horn’s Water, Selected
· Cassandra Guan, Critique of Flowers: Ecology and Affect in the Age of Technical Reproduction
· Thomas Patrick Pringle, The Condition Consistent: Digital Media Aesthetics and Climate Change
Caufield Schnug, The Wind in the Trees: Aura, Stimmung, and Cinematic Atmospheres

7:30pm (Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street):
Magic Lantern, Films on Fire
Curator: Thomas Pringle

Friday, April 21

Fire and Human Settlement in Antiquity

Sponsors: IBES, Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences (DEEPS), The Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, and The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

2:30pm (IBES 101-102, 85 Waterman St):
Coffee, Tea, and Light Fare 

3:00pm (IBES 130, 85 Waterman St): 
Moderator: Lenore Manderson
· Yongsong Huang, Fire, ice and mystery of the first American settlers
· Kevin P. Smith, Volcanos, fire and ritual in early Iceland
· Peter Van Dommelen, Living with Fire: Ceramic Production in the Ancient Mediterranean
· Felipe Rojas, Fire-thieves in the Caucausus: Ancient Myths and Cultural Contact
· Bob Preucel, Impacts of the Las Conchas Fire on Cochiti Pueblo Sacred Landscape 

Monday, April 24

Fired Up: Wood-Fired Kiln Opening

12:00pm (The Steel Yard, 27 Sims Avenue)

Larry Bush, students from the RISD Ceramics Department, and the Steelyard Community have fired up the large wood-fired kiln at The Steel Yard. The wood-fired kiln is built inside a shipping container. Wood-kiln firing takes a full week. Visit at high noon on Monday, April 24th when the doors are opened and the material magic is revealed. 

Thursday, April 27

Brown on Fire

3:00pm-4:00pm (IBES Foyer, 85 Waterman St):
Poster Session 

Sponsors: IBES and Department of History

4:00pm-6:00pm (IBES Foyer & IBES 130, 85 Waterman St):
Keynote Address: Fire: A Biography, Stephen Pyne
· Chairperson: Robert Self

Fire has existed on Earth since plants colonized the continents.  A major phase change in its history occurred when a creature, ourselves, learned to exploit it deliberately and eventually assumed a species monopoly over its use.  We got small guts and big heads because we learned to cook food.  We went to the top of the food chain because we learned to cook landscapes.  And now we've become a geologic force because we've begun to cook the planet.  Today, the Earth divides into two grand realms of combustion - one that burns living landscapes and one that burns lithic ones.  We now have too little of the right kind of fire, too much of the wrong kind, and too much combustion overall.

Reception and announcement of poster competition winners 

Friday, April 28

The Americas and the Generative Power of Fire

Sponsors: IBES, Department of Anthropology and John Carter Brown Library

3:00pm (John Carter Brown Library):
Moderator: Neil Safier
· Andrew Scherer, Ceremonies of Smoke and Flame among the Ancient Maya
· Matt Liebmann, When the Little Firekeeper Ran Away: Pueblo People, Franciscan Missions, and Wildfires in 17th Century New Mexico
· Guilhem Olivier: The New Fire Ceremony: Religion and Power in Ancient Central Mexico
Alessandra Russo, Fury and Beauty: Fire in the Limits of Conquest

Curating America on Fire   
Curator: Jake Frederick

5:00pm (John Carter Brown Library):
Closing Reception
Exhibition Opening, America on Fire
· Introductory Remarks: Jake Frederick and Neil Safier

5:45pm (John Carter Brown Library)
PerformanceFire Away, Wendy Woodson 
Reception continues 


Saturday, May 27

Music (Joshua Tucker, Butch Rovan)
Brown Arts Initiative (Butch Rovan)
WaterFire Festival (Barnaby Evans)

Premier of new works at the opening WaterFire Festival


Click here for full participant bios and abstracts.

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