Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Slow Thinking and Swift Action

by J J Cohen

Last autumn I was elected co-president (wth Stacy Alaimo) of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, the oldest and largest environmental humanities organization. I'm happy to serve a community that means so much to me.

Stacy and I recently composed a Message from the Presidents for the ASLE website. I'm copying it here because it means so much to me. If you feel inspired, please consider joining ASLE, a supportive and vibrant collective of artists and scholars.

ASLE is where slow thinking (scholarly and artistic research and writing) meets swift action (we cannot truly be environmental humanists unless we are willing to become environmental activists). We study, write, compose and create because we care about issues like biodiversity, environmental justice, survival in a time of endemic precarity and global catastrophe, and the effects of climate change on humans and nonhumans alike. These concerns have long histories, and we believe that we can look to the past to imagine alternative futures. We do not have easy solutions to the problems that face us, but we do have faith that widened community is our best way forward.

ASLE has long offered a vital intellectual community: there are few scholarly organizations that possess so strong sense of camaraderie, mentorship, and shared ethical and political orientations. It has been exciting to see the organization grow and the field flourish over the years, becoming more inclusive in its membership and more capacious in its ambit. We want you to find in ASLE a refuge and a welcoming home. In these times of ecological peril, we look forward to increasing our public visibility as well as working with like-minded organizations to effect social change. Please join us as we intensify our strengths and ensure ASLE’s vibrant future.

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