Elemental: Desert Humanities Series with Marcia Bjornerud

Join the Desert Humanities Initiative at ASU and geologist Marcia Bjornerud for the final event in Elemental: Desert Humanities Series.

"The Element of Time”

At this event, Professor Marcia Bjornerud from Lawrence University will be in conversation with Matt Bell, author and director of the ASU Creative Writing Program, to present on how the work of geologists is vital to sustainable human futures.

How do geologists chart the planet’s past? How can we determine the pace of solid Earth processes such as mountain building and erosion and compare them with the more unstable rhythms of the oceans and atmosphere? Join the IHR and Desert Humanities Initiative as we get answers to these questions.

Speaker Bios

Marcia Bjornerud Marcia Bjornerud is Professor of geosciences and environmental studies at Lawrence University. Bjornerud¹s research focuses on the physics of earthquakes and mountain building, and she combines field-based studies of bedrock geology with quantitative models of rock mechanics. She has done research in high arctic Norway (Svalbard) and Canada (Ellesmere Island), as well as mainland Norway, Itlaly, New Zealand and the Lake Superior region.

She received a BSc in geophysics from the University of Minnesota and MS and PhD degrees in structural geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to teaching at Lawrence, Bjornerud held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University and a faculty position at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Bjornerud is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Oslo, Norway and University of Otago, New Zealand. A contributing writer to The New Yorker, Wired, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, she is also the author of two books for popular audiences, "Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth" and "Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World." "Timefulness" was longlisted for the 2019 PEN/E.O.Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing, and was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in Science and Technology and the Phi Beta Kappa award in science writing.

Matt Bell's next novel, "Appleseed," is forthcoming from Custom House/William Morrow in 2021. He is also the author of the novels "Scrapper" and "In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods," as well as the short story collection "A Tree or a Person or a Wall," a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate II, and several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University.

His novel "In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods" was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award and an Indies Choice Adult Book of the Year Honor Recipient as well as the winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award, among other honors. Both "In the House" and "Scrapper" were selected by the Library of Michigan as Michigan Notable Books, and "A Tree or a Person or a Wall" was nominated for the 2017 Story Prize.

Elemental: Desert Humanities Series

This webinar series is interested in prompting dialogues about the paradox of the elemental. As fundamental and grounding as the elemental can be, sometimes it is intangible. Touching quartz diorite in the Elves Chasm pluton of the Grand Canyon feels like touching something immediate and literally grounding — exposed rock from a distant past — yet thinking about the age of this rock, some 1.8 billion years, is abstract. The elemental is both the abstraction of something fundamental and its concreteness.

Elemental: Desert Humanities Series brings together experts of ecocritical thought and geologic time, beginning a larger conversation about how the elemental desert impacts our immediate, near and distant futures.

Other speakers in the series:

Jeffrey Cohen & Lowell Duckert

Jada Ach

Institute for Humanities Research
Celina Osuna
Nov 24 2020 - 3:00pm