Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

Water's Edge (Earth, Itself 2018)

Each year, the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society sponsors an interdisciplinary program under the title of “Earth, Itself,” designed to stimulate conversations and collaborations across the natural and social sciences, humanities and the arts, and to highlight contributions to and ways of understanding earth systems and elements. 

In 2018, the theme is water. Water is everywhere, and yet visible only through its impurities, refractions of light and reflections of solid images. Water is fundamental to all life forms, and life on Earth is vulnerable precisely because of threats to predictability and renewability, quantity and quality.

From April 3-13, 2018, through Water’s Edge, we tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time.

The primary art and science program includes three seminars. The first, opening the program, will be on April 3 and will explore discovery, knowledge systems, and the management of water. On April 12-13, we celebrate water through Writing on Water, with invited speakers who write about water and the environment who write in the domains of creative non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Through these media, knowledge and appreciation of the natural environment, the elements, the complexity of form and function, stewardship, custodianship and assaults, are made accessible to a wider public. In association, we are sponsoring a series of poetry readings from some of the country’s best-known contemporary poets: Anne Waldman, Brenda Hillman, Arthur Sze, and Forrest Gander.

Although you can't step into the same river twice (Heraclitus), the program of Water’s Edge includes some familiar components: a curated exhibition on water and the Americas, and a video installation by Wendy Woodson, both at the John Carter Brown Library; a screening and discussion of Donna Haraway’s film, Story Telling for Earthly Survival, on April 11 in collaboration with Magic Lantern; and a poster competition and flash lectures on April 12. 

The Brown Arts Initiative and the List Art Gallery are sponsoring visual and installation art at the same time.

The program is open to students and faculty, policy makers, community members, and others who care about the environment. Please explore the links below to learn more.

Contact [email protected] for further information.

Brown University
More about Brown University