Symposium Program

Attendees: Please download a PDF copy of the full program here. These will also be available to you in hard copy when you register.

Crafting the Long Tomorrow symposium program & schedule

All events take place at Biosphere 2.

Thursday, February 21st

Arrival through 6:45: Registration and check-in

5:30 PM - 6:45: Happy hour

7:00 - 7:30: Welcome remarks from Christopher Cokinos and Helmuth Trischler

7:30 - 9:00: Keynote with Ruth DeFries and dinner

Keynote talk: Biosphere 3: Lessons from Biosphere 2 for a Human-Managed Planet

The hubris of Biosphere 2 is apparent. No matter how much human knowledge advances, humanity is
far from possessing the ability to recreate the natural systems for life to persist on Earth, much less on
other planets. We would be prudent to look to nature for the underlying principles that make the
persistence of life possible. Among these principles are the value of diversity, redundancy, ability to
self-regulate, and systems that self-organize from the bottom up. These principles run counter to
current paradigms of economic and political systems but underlie civilization’s future.


Friday, February 22nd

7:30 AM - 8:30: Breakfast

8:30 - 10:00: Keynote with Meera Subramanian

Keynote talk: Once Upon a Tomorrow

One planet. Nearly eight billion humans -- each one with their own story that they tell and retell themselves and everyone around them. No one is exempt. But what can we can learn from stepping out of our own narratives to enter other people’s stories? Award-winning science journalist Meera Subramanian has been chasing these stories, finding them among farmers rooted in north India, wind turbine technicians looking out over west Texas, and flyfishermen on the banks of the Wise River in Montana. She’s sought out strangers to hear their perspectives about inhabiting this singular earth at this pivotal time, as all of humanity settles into the new epoch of the Anthropocene. How do the ever-more advanced findings from academia, from brain science to climate science, inform the lives of people far from its reaches? And how do those stories serve their storytellers? She’ll share what she’s found in the field and also challenge the audience to broaden their own horizons by stepping into the space of discomfort and engaging in the radical act of listening. In this time of polarization, hearing those stories is more important than ever.

10:30 - 11:30: Panel 1: Discussions of absence, chaired by Sabine Höhler

  • Shawna L Follis & Erika Sylvia Nacim: "Neocolonization: define, discuss, deconstruct"
  • Rachel Antoinette Cypher: "No Poets on Mars: A Case Against Love for the Anthropocene"
  • KT Thompson: "Contingent Love"
  • Andrea Westermann: "Toward a Social History Turn in Science and Technology Studies (STS)"

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM: Panel 2: Energy, chaired by Christopher Cokinos

  • Eveline de Smalen: "How to innovate in the face of hopes and fears: local energy initiatives and the societal imaginaries of energy transition"
  • Gökçe Günel: "A Seascape of Power"
  • Brian C. Black: "A Very Different Energy Transition"
  • Xi Wang: "A view from somewhere: The building of a fossil-fueled empire on the Mongolian Steppe"

1:00 - 2:00: Keynote with Virginia García Acosta and lunch

Keynote talk: Climate and adaptation in history. Lessons learnt from past natural disasters in Latin America

Society and nature are mutually involved in the shaping of one another. This complex, multifaceted relationship has, over the course of human existence, created diverse “knowledges” and cultures and as such, multiple and diverse ways to cope, prevent and adapt to natural hazards and extreme events. By exploring what is referred to as “coping or adapting historically” in the context of historical disaster research, my presentation reviews several cases coming mainly from Latin America throughout history.

2:15 - 3:15: Panel 3: Scale, chaired by Scott Selisker

  • Anna S. Antonova: "Ants on the shore: A speculation on the many scales of human experience"
  • Bruce Clarke: "Cognition not Consciousness: Crafting a Planetary Society"
  • Andrew Dana Hudson: "Move Quietly and Plant Things: Computation in Solarpunk Futures"
  • Jesse Peterson: "What the Sea Oughta"

3:30 - 4:30: Panel 4: Waste, chaired by Helmuth Trischler

  • David P.D. Munns: "Why We Still Must Go To Mars in a Biosphere. Answer: it is how we shall learn to live on Earth"
  • Tyler Volk: "Prosperity for Ten Billion"
  • Derek Woods: "Theories of Ecotechnics"
  • Barbara Jane Davy: "The surprising efficiency of the irrational"

4:45 - 5:45: Panel 5: Education, chaired by Joela Jacobs

  • Douglas Bell: "Education, Engineers and the Anthropocene"
  • Marc DaCosta: "Ecological ambiance"
  • Kevan Klosterwill: "We Are Terraformers (And Always Have Been)"
  • Aubrey Streit Krug: "Ecosphere Studies"

6:00 - 7:30: Happy hour OR Biosphere 2 tour

7:45 - 9:00: Pecha kucha slam and dinner

Pecha kucha presentations includes:

  • Maria Antonaccio and Claire Cambell: "Scaling the Anthropocene"
  • Dorothy Santos, Gabi Schaffzin, and Avery Trufelman: "The Patient Instruments Project"
  • Kerry Banazek: "Keyword: Overview"
  • Allison Carruth: "Rewilding and Resilience"
  • Andrew Ferguson: "Glitch"
  • Sara J. Grossman: "Weather Data Across U.S. Timescales"
  • Sabine Höhler: "Ecosphere"
  • Adam Kokotovich: "Navigating risk assessment"
  • Wythe Marschall: "'Farm' as keyword"
  • Roger Norum: title forthcoming
  • Anne Pasek: "Making Sense of Carbon: A 40-Year History"
  • Micha Rahder: "Decolonization"
  • Dani Stuchel: "Archives and Memory for the Long Tomorrow"
  • Jeremy Vetter: "Desert Labscapes"


Saturday, February 23rd

7:30 AM - 8:30: Breakfast

8:45 - 10:15: Keynote with Holly Jean Buck

Keynote talk: After geoengineering: Climate tragedy and the long game of climate repair

We have known for years that climate change is worsening, and that climate action has been too slow. However, this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change put out a report on what it would take to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial (the target that nations agreed to aim for under the Paris Agreement). The report found that in achieving 1.5°C looks impossible without removing 100-1,000 billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere over this century — whether this be through large-scale afforestation and soil carbon sequestration programs, or geologic carbon capture and storage. The immensity of this task and the urgency of mounting climate impacts has some scientists also researching solar geoengineering techniques, or strategies for reflecting incoming sunlight to cool the earth, such as putting particles in the stratosphere. The prospect of how society might decide to begin engineering the climate is occasionally discussed in science, policy, and the media. But how would society manage to stop geoengineering? Solar geoengineering in particular is tricky, because once particles are put into the stratosphere, the extra layer of protective pollution must be maintained, unless society manages to also lower temperatures by removing carbon from the atmosphere. In an idealized scenario, solar geoengineering might be used to buy time for carbon removal and mitigation to be scaled up, and as the carbon removal and mitigation come online, the solar geoengineering could be ramped down. On one hand, skeptics can easily dismiss this kind of program as a fantasy of control: what society has ever managed an earth system intervention with a century-long timescale? On the other hand, climate change is an unprecedented global threat that may induce unprecedented actions. In this talk, we'll look at a range of plausible scenarios for ending a climate engineering intervention, from utopian to dystopian. We'll look at what kinds of climate restoration may be possible after climate tragedy, and what social and cultural practices and values might be needed to ever realize an after-geoengineering society.

10:30 - 11:30: Panel 6: Climate, chaired by Jeroen Oomen

  • Elisabeth Graffy: "Climate Engineering and its Three Narratives"
  • Aubrey Paris: "Technological Innovation Addressing the Carbon Dioxide Challenge"
  • Karen Pinkus & Hans Baumann: "The Subterranean Turn"
  • Eliot Storer: "The New Carbon Accounting"

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM: Panel 7: The Past & Future of Science & Technology, chaired by Andrea Westermann

  • Matthew Birkhold: "Who Owns Icebergs? Seeking Multidisciplinary Solutions in a Legal Vacuum"
  • Lily House-Peters: "Algorithmic Ecologies"
  • Hannah Conway: "All that is solid: how art and artistic practice can (and should) inform infrastructure studies"
  • Taylor Dotson & Benjamin D. Duval: "Subverting Extractivism: Regeneration as a Paradigm for the Global Emergency"

1:00 - 2:00: Keynote with Rebecca Tsosie and lunch

Keynote talk: Indigenous Sustainability and Resilience to Climate Extremes: Traditional Knowledge and the Systems of Survival

My focus in this presentation (based on a work in progress) is on the contribution of Indigenous traditional knowledge and environmental ethics to adaptation planning, and specifically offering an Indigenous view of "resilience."

2:00 - 3:15: Break OR Biosphere 2 tour

3:30 - 4:30: Panel 8: Conservation & Agriculture, chaired by Margaret Evans

  • Nick Jordan: "Engaging Arts/Sciences to ask: What Can Midwest Agriculture Do About The Global Emergency?"
  • Anna-Katharina Laboissiére: "Conservation futures: making natures, making planets"
  • Adam B. Smith: "Five billion six-hundred seventy million years from now"

4:45 - 5:45: Panel 9: Creativity, chaired by Chris Cokinos

  • Chris Karounos: "10 Degrees, An Interactive Story Game that Empowers Climate Action”
  • Curtis Manning: "The Sustainable Life Ship"
  • Eric Magrane: "Climate Narratives, Climate Geopoetics"

6:00 - 7:30: Happy hour OR Biosphere 2 tour

7:45 - 9:00: Keynote with Deji Bryce Olukotun and dinner

Keynote talk: New perspectives on science fiction: Africans in Space and Marvelizing the Continent

The past few years have seen an explosion in Africa-based science fiction, from Nnedi Okorofor's Hugo-award winning work to the billion-dollar plus success of The Black Panther film in the Marvel "universe." This keynote will offer an introduction to critical themes affecting science fiction on the continent. We'll examine real and imagined African space programs, including the question of whether emerging economies should allocate resources to advanced technology in the face of pressing social challenges. In other words, should you go into space in the face of rampant inequality? We'll touch upon emerging trends in technology, comics, video games and storytelling. We'll also look at what the Black Panther franchise means for African science fiction in terms of criticism and appropriation. And we'll close by presenting new opportunities for exploration in the imagination and beyond.


Sunday, February 24th

7:30 AM - 8:30: Breakfast

8:45 - 9:45: Panel 10: Navigating the Anthropocene, chaired by Jeroen Oomen

  • Bart Welling: "The Emergency Humanities"
  • Ben Mylius: "How can pragmatic philosophy help us navigate the Anthropocene?"
  • Helmuth Trischler: "Biosphere versus Technosphere: Provocations of the Anthropocene"

10:00 - 11:00: Outcomes workshop


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences