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