Last Friday, May 5, Simon’s Rock hosted the online event Earth Work Symposium along with Open Society University Network (OSUN). This event was hosted by the school’s students and faculty in Global Political Ecology with presentations and discussions led by an international panel of experts on transdisciplinary Earth studies and nature conservation. This event was moderated by Simon’s Rock professor of Geography and Asian Studies, Chris Coggins. It also featured presentations from five Simon’s Rock students.
Coggins shared the following on the Symposium:
“What happens when you convene a sociologist from China who studies authoritarian environmental policy, a specialist on community-based conservation in Meso-America, a cultural anthropologist who conducts research on race, property, and indigeneity in South America, and an environment scholar from India whose work exposes the links between caste and environmental racism? More significantly, what happens when you add a small group of brilliant Simon's Rock students to the group and initiate an informal writing and thinking workshop, with specialists posting questions and students responding and asking questions of their own. It was such a real pleasure to host the Earth Work Symposium of 2023, which may become a regular event. When we reached the end of our 3.5-hour-session, the guests were inspired enough to raise the possibility of a follow-up. The cross-cutting themes and surprising intersections linking these talks were, at times, breathtaking, yielding traces of durable principles for a field that may soon supplant political ecology. I call this emerging paradigm Transdisciplinary Earth Studies.”