The Lupine's Dark Shadow - Invasive Species, Enviormtnal Threats and The Othering of FLowers in Sweden
- Lecture related to Environmental Security
- Rm 1005 Forbes Building
- November 27th 4:00 pm
The lupine came to Sweden from North America in the first half of the 19th century as a garden plant, but it has made a conceptual trajectory. What was then a beautiful and possibly useful flower is now seen as an alien element in the Swedish flora, and authorities and local groups work to limit its spread. A wide range of actors (different authorities, environmental organizations, private persons) is engaged in the elimination of lupines in Sweden. Swedes are fighting the lupines through the active weeding of the plant, and also through cultural arguments rooted in ideas of a typical Swedish nature.
This talk focuses on the municipality of Dalarna (Dalecarlia), where the authorities have been extra active in a war on lupines. On their website, in pamphlets and at official meetings, the municipal authorities describe lupines as dangerous intruders, which out-conquer other plants, threaten natural heritage, and spoil the traditional cultural environment. A challenge for the authorities has been the fact that people, in general, find lupines beautiful and appealing. This analysis reassesses the lupine as unwanted. Applying the concept of assemblage, the (new) status of the lupine as a dangerous and ugly feature in the landscape is re-interpreted as a (possible) effect of relations between species, other objects, emotions and different spirits of the times.
Sponsors: European Union Center and the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Managment and Policy
Staged Nature: Public Aquariums as Institutions of Knowledge and the Problem of Plastic Waste
- Lecture related to Environmental Security
- Rm 230 Davenport Hall
- November 28th 12:00 pm
Today, public aquariums market themselves as a nexus for environmental engagement. Against the backdrop of climate change, a vulnerable biodiversity and matters of sustainability the aquariums work with the goal of engaging visitors in topics of science and conservation. One important issue in this field of activities is ocean debris. The aquarium staffs participate in beach clean-ups, advocate for lesser use of plastic disposables, and organize exhibits on the topic.
This presentation will discuss the different ways that the public aquariums engage the visitors in this effort. Dr. Lars Kaijser of Stockholm University will argue for an understanding of their engagement through the concepts of banal sustainability and domestication. He will discuss how this encompasses an aesthetization of the problems of plastic waste.
Dr. Kaijser's project investigates how public aquariums produce and stage knowledge of nature and the environment. The talk is based on ethnographic fieldwork at public aquariums in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Sponsors: European Union Center and the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy
The Richard G. & Carole J. Cline Symposium is an annual event that invites a prominent intellectual to address the campus community on a topic of great public significance.
Round Table Discussion
- Rm 314 Illini Union
- November 29th 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Checks, Balances, and Constitutional Crises: Reclaiming Accountability in the Digitial Age
- Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ball Room
- November 29th 7:30 pm
Many experts and pundits believe that American democratic institutions are in crisis. For more than 200 years, we have relied on a constitutional design in which three branches of government collaborate and compete as they govern. As the size and power of the government have grown, a debate has emerged between advocates of unilateral presidential authority and more traditional views of checks-and-balances. Defenders of a strong presidency fear abuse of power by unelected bureaucrats and courts. Their opponents fear excessive presidential power and secrecy, which must be counterbalanced by politically-independent civil servants, courts, and a citizenry capable of using 21st-century technology to hold its leaders accountable. The 2018 Cline Symposium will take participants beyond the headlines and thoughtfully consider the past, present, and future of the separation of powers enshrined in the US constitution.
Solving Regional Water Problems in the Era of UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Seminar/Symposium related to Water Security
- Rm 2049 Natural History Building, Russel Seminar Room
- November 30th 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Sponsors: Geography and GIS