LAWRENCE — For the past 30 years, the Seaver Lecture Series has been an opportunity for KU faculty to present research related to continuing issues in Western Civilization.
Shannon O’Lear will give this year’s lecture at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at the Hall Center for Humanities, which is a co-sponsor for the event with the Humanities Program. O'Lear is a professor of geography and atmospheric science and of environmental studies, and she also directs the Center for Global & International Studies. O’Lear will be discussing topics from her forthcoming book, “Environmental Geopolitics.”
As a subfield of political geography, environmental geopolitics examines how environmental themes are used to support geopolitical arguments and realities. It asks how the environment is brought into narratives, practices and physical realities of power and place. This talk will consider common, problematic traits of familiar but widely misunderstood narratives about human-environment relationships, such as overpopulation and scarce resource, resource conflict and climate security. O’Lear will demonstrate how we can question familiar assumptions to generate more just and creative approaches to our many relationships with the environment.
"The Humanities Program is excited to have Shannon O’Lear as our annual Seaver lecturer," said Margot Versteeg, director of the program. "Not only is her research on environmental themes within political geography highly relevant as it focuses on enduring questions in Western Civilization, it is also deeply interdisciplinary, which fits with the humanities program’s overall mission."