2015 Symposium

ENVX: Environment Across Boundaries

18th Annual Symposium

October 20-22, 2015   

The modern American environmental movement was founded on a powerful, unifying image: our fragile Earth, viewed from space. Here at last was a call to realize that there are no boundaries separating humans from each other, nor from the nonhuman world as well. Environment became the rallying cry for thinking and acting beyond boundaries.

But some have charged that, over the last several decades, the American environmental movement has become just another special interest, with “the environment” now dividing more than uniting us. Self-described environmentalists generally represent a particular demographic of American society, their priorities rise and fall in U.S. public opinion polls, and their affinity for nature could be out of sync with the issues we face in the Anthropocene.

ENVX 2015 represented our students’ important efforts at Lewis & Clark College to continually reach beyond boundaries in how they imagine and practice environmentalism. Via an exhibition and keynote presentation by invited artist Elizabeth Demaray, and through a set of student-organized thematic threads linking related scholarly, practical, and creative dimensions, ENVX 2015 explored ways to cross the most important boundaries today that separate academic fields, stakeholder interests, cultural values, technological approaches, and other challenges they face in bringing environment back to the symbol of unity it once was.