Tuesday, February 4, 2020
The 2020 “Big Berks” focuses on the histories of women, genders, and sexualities, and this year devotes special attention to a pressing theme of our current moment: the role of environment(s), ecologies, and natural systems broadly defined in the histories of women, genders, and sexualities. As we plan our meeting at the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, a profoundly vibrant ecosystem where humans have gathered for millennia, we are reminded of the many ways in which the natural world has shaped human society. Its history also highlights the local and global connections of all places. This place is the homeland of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe, and was home to Henrietta Lacks; it is the site of the Baltimore Fish market and a part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, a node in the Atlantic Flyway, and at the edge of the Atlantic World.
Our aim is to hold conversations that think through the intricate interplays among gender and sexuality, social and legal systems of power and political representation, and the material realities of an interconnected world continually shaped by physical nature, the human and nonhuman animals, plants, and other beings that inhabit that nature. If Earth’s history has indeed entered a new geological epoch termed the Anthropocene, where do the historical knowledges and experiences of women, people of diverse genders and sexualities, and people of color, along with environmental justice efforts in the historical past, enter into our efforts to understand, theorize, contextualize, and meet these existential problems? Read more >>