Please find a first draft of the Conference Program here

In addition to the keynote address by Professor Renée Gosson, “Commemoration and Reparation: ‘Materializing’ the French Atlantic Slave Trade,” the following special events will take place:

On Thursday September 22, Professor Pam Longobardi will give an artist talk to accompany the gallery opening of selections from the Drifters Project Archive, “Turning to Face Monstrous Plastic:  Art, Activism and Social Change.”  Longobardi’s artwork involves painting, photography, and installation to address the psychological relationship of humans to the natural world. She has shown her artwork across the US and in Greece, Monaco, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, China, Japan, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Costa Rica and Poland. She currently lives and works in Atlanta and is Professor of Art at Georgia State University. Presently she drifts with the ongoing Drifters Project, following the world ocean currents. With the Drifters Project, she collects, documents and transforms oceanic plastic into installations and photography. The work provides a visual statement about the engine of global consumption and the vast amounts of plastic objects and their impact on the world’s most remote places and its creatures. Longobardi’s work is framed within a conversation about globalism and conservation. Longobardi participated in the 2013 GYRE expedition to remote coastal areas of Alaska and created project-specific works for the exhibition at the Anchorage Museum February 2014. Longobardi was featured in a National Geographic film on the GYRE expedition and her Drifters Project was featured in National Geographic magazine. Also in 2013, Longobardi created a site-specific installation for a special project of the Venice cultural association Ministero di Beni Culturali (MiBAC) and the Ministry of Culture of Rome for the 55th Venice Biennale, on the Island of San Francesco del Deserto in the Venetian Lagoon, a work made from plastic water bottles, mirrors and a satellite dish that signaled an apology to St. Francis across the lagoon to the island of Burano. She exhibited photography in Seescape at George Adams Gallery in New York, and won the prestigious Hudgens Prize (2013), one of the largest single prizes given to an artist in North America.  She had work commissioned for the cover of SIERRA magazine, and was a guest on the Weather Channel, and has an ongoing collaboration supported by the Ionion Center for Art and Culture in Metaxata, Kefalonia, Greece. In 2014, Longobardi was awarded the title of Distinguished University Professor, and has been named Oceanic Society’s Artist-In-Nature.

Reception and Artist talk:  September 22, 5-7pm
Bobick Gallery, Humanities


Watch the video to learn more about Pam Longobardi's work:


On Friday September 23, Professor Jeffrey Thomson will be reading from his memoir, fragile. His reading, “The Huck Finns of our Nature: Reading, Writing, and Thinking the Landscape,” will accompanied by a choral performance by University of West Georgia students of music. Thompson is a poet, memoirist, translator, and editor, and is the author of multiple books including the memoir fragile, the poetry collection Birdwatching in Wartime, The Complete Poems of Catullus, and the edited collection From the Fishouse. His next collection of poems, The Belfast Notebooks, is due out early next year.  He has been an NEA Fellow, the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, and the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University.  He is currently professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington.

Reading, recital, and reception: September 23, 5:30-8pm

Campus Center Ballroom 108

J Thomson