Witnessing Climate Change

The Earth’s climate is changing faster than expected. Industrialization, fossil fuel use, consumption, and exploitation are radically transforming the planet we live on. Witnessing climate change means not only understanding the science behind this planetary ecological crisis, but also learning how to write about it for the public: witnessing as seeing, and witnessing as testifying. Witnessing climate change is also about asking big questions, coming to terms with spiritual and social transformation, and discerning how to live in a changing world. We're guided by four main questions: How is climate change transforming our lives? How do we live ethically in a world of catastrophe? What is the relationship between nature and faith? How can writing change the world?

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Roy Scranton

Associate Professor of English, Director of the Creative Writing Program, and Director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative

College of Arts and Letters

About the Lecturer

Dr. Roy Scranton is an essayist, novelist, literary critic, and climate philosopher, best known for his work on war, war literature, and the Anthropocene. He is the author of five books, and has written widely for publications such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, MIT Technology Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere.

Dr. Scranton grew up in Oregon, dropped out of college, and spent his early twenties wandering the American West. He served four years in the US Army (2002–2006), including fourteen months in Iraq, then completed his bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s degree at the New School for Social Research, before earning a Ph.D. in English at Princeton.

His essay “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene” was selected for the 2015 Best American Science and Nature Writing. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University, has been awarded a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities and a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, and held the inaugural Teaching Lab Fellowship at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.

Dr. Scranton is the founding director of the Notre Dame Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHUM).

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