Our New Networks for Nature 2020 Meeting is taking place online, hosted by UEA.
Join us live on the afternoon of Saturday 14 November for an online discussion responding to two pre-recorded panels:
• ‘New Perspectives on Nature Writing’, featuring Jessica J. Lee, Mona Arshi and Jean McNeil
• ‘States of Emergency’, featuring James Thornton, Rupert Read, Rebecca Tillett and Steve Waters.
Followed by readings and discussions with Kathleen Jamie and Tim Dee, who will read from their latest books, Surfacing and Greenery, respectively.
Please register here to be sent links to all three events on 14 November detailed below. We will also send you a notification when our two pre-recorded panels are made available on our website on Monday 9th November.
PRE-RECORDED PANEL 1
New Perspectives on Nature Writing, Chaired by Jos Smith
In this panel, three speakers discuss nature writing at an international scale, reflecting on travel, migration and diaspora, and the effects of these movements on senses of place, attachments to nature, and experiences of identity and belonging (or not belonging).
Mona Arshi is a poet who lives in London.Her debut collection of poems Small Hands was published in 2015 and won the Forward Prize for best first collection and her second book Dear Big Gods was published in 2019. Mona is currently poet in residence at Cley Marshes as part of University of East Anglia’s Future and Form project and is also Honorary Professor of Law and English at Liverpool University.
Jessica J. Lee is a British-Canadian-Taiwanese author and environmental historian, and winner of the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award. She is the author of two books of nature writing: Turning (2017) and Two Trees Make a Forest (2019), shortlisted for the 2020 Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Jessica is the founding editor of The Willowherb Review, and a researcher at the University of Cambridge. She lives in London.
Jean McNeil is the author of 14 books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays and travel. She has been writer-in-residence in Antarctica, Svalbard and the Falkland Islands, as well as undertaking official residencies aboard ship-based scientific expeditions to Greenland and the length of the Atlantic Ocean. Her account of a year spent as writer-in-residence with the British Antarctic Survey, Ice Diaries, won the 2016 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Grand Prize and was named as one of the best nature books of 2018 by the Guardian. A new novel, Day for Night, is forthcoming in May 2021.
PRE-RECORDED PANEL 2
States of Emergency, Chaired by Jean McNeil
A diverse panel of experts in their field reflect on the accelerating sense we have as a civilisation of living in a state of emergency in the context of the Anthropocene, climate change, species extinction and the present pandemic. The focus of our discussion is the disjuncture between emotion/perception/feeling – and action.
Rupert Read is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and a campaigner for the Green Party of England and Wales. His academic work includes Ecological and Political Philosophy (including critiques of Rawlsian liberalism, and work on the Precautionary Principle) and Philosophy of Language (with special focus on Wittgenstein). He is also the author of Philosophy for Life: Applying Philosophy in Politics and Culture and co-author, with Samuel Alexander, of This Civilisation is Finished: Conversations on the End of Empire — and What Lies Beyond and Extinction Rebellion: Insights from the Inside.
James Thornton is the founding CEO of ClientEarth. The New Statesman has named him as one of 10 people who could change the world. The Lawyer has picked him as one of the top 100 lawyers in the UK. In 2016, he was named as one of the 1,000 most influential people in London. He has twice won Leader of the Year at the Business Green Awards. The Financial Times awarded him its Special Achievement accolade at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards. James is also the author (with Martin Goodman) of Client Earth and Notes from a Mountain Village, a collection of poetry.
Rebecca Tillett is Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of East Anglia. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on Indigenous literatures, and has edited collections in the field of Indigenous Studies including Indigenous Bodies: Reviewing, Relocating, Reclaiming (with Jacqueline Fear-Segal, 2013), and Howling For Justice: New Perspectives on Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (2014). Her most recent monograph is Otherwise, Revolution! Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (2018), and she is currently researching responses to climate crisis in recent Indigenous fiction. She is a founding member of the Native Studies Research Network, UK.
Steve Waters is a playwright and Professor of Scriptwriting at UEA; his many plays for the stage include Temple and Limehouse for the Donmar Warehouse, and his diptych of plays on climate change The Contingency Plan first staged at The Bush Theatre in 2009 and to be revived by Donmar/Theatre Clwyd in 2021; he also writes for radio with award-winning recent multi-part podcasts such as Fall of the Shah and Miriam and Youssef for BBC World Service. He is currently embarking on an AHRC funded Leadership Fellowship scheme ‘The Song of the Reeds: Dramatising Conservation’; his books include The Secret Life of Plays and the forthcoming A Life in 16 Films.
Join us and the speakers for our post-panel discussions:
4.00-4.30pm Saturday 14th November, live Q&A for ‘New Perspectives on Nature Writing’
4.45-5.15pm Saturday 14th November, live Q&A for ‘States of Emergency’
Followed by our evening literary event:
5.30-6.30pm Saturday 14th November, Kathleen Jamie and Tim Dee in conversation, Chaired by New Networks for Nature 2020 conference committee.
Kathleen Jamie (pictured) is a Scottish poet and essayist. Her 2004 collection The Tree House won the Forward Poetry Prize and the Scottish Book of the Year Award. The Overhaul, her 2012 collection, won the 2012 Costa poetry award. Jamie’s well-known collections of essays Findingsand Sightlines offer meditations on nature and landscape writing; Sightlines is the winner of the John Burroughs Medal and the Orion Book Award.
Tim Dee is a naturalist who worked as a BBC radio producer for 28 years. He is the author of The Running Sky (2009), Four Fields, (2013), and the editor of Ground Work, an anthology of nature writing published in 2018. Landfill, Dee’s book on gulls, literature and landfill sites, was also published in 2018. His latest book, Greenery: Journeys in Springtime, was published in March 2020. Dee was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.
New Networks for Nature 2020 organisers: John Fanshawe, Jos Smith and Jean McNeil.