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Environmental Analysis Events

Char Miller, W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History, will present on his new book, West Side Rising: How San Antonio’s 1921 Flood Devastated a City and Sparked a Latino Environmental Justice Movement.

Friday, September 17th at 6 p.m.

Pearsons Pergola (outdoor classroom north of Pearsons, near the southwest corner of Harrison and College)

Vegan tamales served at 5:45 p.m.; dessert served to go after the event; bring water bottles or personal cups if you can to reduce our footprint)

Critics are saying: "Not simply a story of raging floodwaters, West Side Rising tangles with environmental racism and makes time to fix names to the often marginalized and nameless victims of these overflows...a powerful story, a meaningful story." - Kenna Archer, author of Unruly Waters: A Social and Environmental History of the Brazos River,

"A good read is ahead, one that will make all manner of otherwise deadly material not just palatable but both enlightening and entertaining." Lewis Fisher, author of Maverick and Greetings From San Antonio

"Extreme weather, much of it exacerbated or even brought on by climate change, is the catalyst for many of the crucial issues Texas faces right now: hurricanes in Houston, drought in El Paso, the vanishing Edwards Aquifer, invasive species mucking up our waterways, and the current ERCOT advisories regarding energy curtailment. Many Texans look at these challenges and throw up their hands in despair. But Miller’s book offers an inspiring account of what can be achieved, at the local level at least, by motivated people with right on their side. — Texas Monthly

“Char Miller knows San Antonio—its people, its politics, its long and colorful history. In West Side Rising, he trains his deep knowledge on a devastating downpour whose scouring floodwaters revealed—for those willing to look—decades of racism, environmental injustice, and policy-driven poverty. Thoroughly researched and gracefully written, West Side Rising is a close and intimate look at the Alamo City, to be sure, but it’s also an American story. It’s a cautionary tale, as climate crisis looms over us all.” — Joe Holley, author of Hurricane Season: The Unforgettable Story of the 2017 Houston Astros and the Resilience of a City

Philip Rundel Speaker Series
Stephen Pyne
Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University

Steve Pyne is an emeritus professor at Arizona State University.  He has published 35 books, most of them dealing with fire, but others on Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, the Voyager mission, and with his oldest daughter, an inquiry into the Pleistocene. His fire histories include surveys of America, Australia, Canada, Europe (including Russia), and the Earth.

The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica was named by the New York Times to its 10 best books for 1987. Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire won the Forest History Society's best book award. He has twice been awarded NEH Fellowships, twice been a fellow at the National Humanities Center, enjoyed a summer Fulbright Fellowship to Sweden, and has received a MacArthur Fellowship (1988-1993).  In 1995 he received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for body-of-work contribution to American letters.

The Pyrocene.  How Humans Created a Fire Age

Rose Hills Theater
Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth Street
Pomona College

Stephen Pyne is widely recognized as one of the foundational scholars of the history of human civilization and fire. He writes: “We are uniquely fire creatures on a uniquely fire planet.  We have expanded the domain of fire, and fire has taken us everywhere and allowed us to remake the planet.  When we began to burn fossil fuels, the process acquired afterburners.  What began as a mutual assistance pace is looking more like a Faustian bargain, as we create what looks like the fire-informed equivalent of an ice age.” Join us for an evening where we consider the ways that our species has used fire to re-shape Earth’s physical and biological systems, and the dangerous dilemmas that emerged over time as a result of the limitations of human control over nature.


Strange Fire: Europe’s Encounter with Fire around the World

Center for Global Engagement/Oldenborg International Center
350 N. College Way
Pomona College

Europe’s second wave of expansion, in the latter 18th century, introduced factors that steadily changed the pyrogeography of Earth.  Temperate Europe saw fire largely as a problem of social behavior; Enlightenment Europe dismissed fire as a distinct category for inquiry; industrial Europe put fire into machines; and imperial Europe distributed these understandings throughout the globe, with special force in settler societies.  The unhinged fire dynamics of the planet are largely an outcome of these concepts and their vectors.