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American Studies Sustainability Project

Sustainability Events, 2/20 - 2/26

Creative Writing Spring Literary Symposium: "Sustainability and Creative Writing"

Thursday, February 23, 7:00 p.m.
Buttrick Hall 101

A joint reading by:

Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Rope and editor of The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity and the Natural World.

John Lane, Associate Professor of English and Environmental Studies and Director of the Glendale Shoals Environmental Studies Center, Wofford College.

Free and Open to the Public. Contact Margaret Quigley for more information.

Deming and Lane will also be leading a seminar on Thursday, February 23 at 2 pm in Buttrick 123. For seminar readings and more information, contact Margaret Quigley.

Robert Penn Warren Center Symposium: "Representation and Social Change Symposium"

February 23 and 24, 2012
Black Cultural Center Auditorium

The symposium serves as the culminating project of the Fellows' year-long seminar and will include the following sustainability-related sessions:

  • Thursday, February 23, 6:30 p.m.: Screening of Trouble the Water documentary and discussion with Carl Deal and Tia Lessin

  • Friday, February 24, 1:30-3:00 p.m.: J. Robert Cox, Climate Change, Media Convergence, and Public Uncertainty

Visit the Robert Penn Warren Center website for details and the full schedule. Co-sponsors of the symposium: The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

Joel B. Eisen: “The Future of Energy Law: Residential Renewable Energy: By Whom?"

Thursday, February 23, 2012, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Flynn Auditorium, Vanderbilt University Law School

This talk and panel is a part of The Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review Conference.

  • Presentation: Joel B. Eisen, Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law
  • Commentors: Regan Farr, Vice President and COO, Silicon Ranch Corporation; Matthew Kisber, President and CEO, Silicon Ranch Corporation; Jim Purcell, Energy Services Manager, Nashville Electric Service; and Stephen Smith, Executive Director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Free and open to the public.

Visit for more information.

Vanderbilt Law Review Symposium: “Supply and Demand: Barriers to a New Energy Future"

Friday, February 24, 2012, 8:00am – 4:00pm
Flynn Auditorium, Vanderbilt University Law School

Panelists include: Noah Sachs, Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law; Katrina Fischer Kuh, Professor of Law, Hofstra University Law School; Dan Farber, Sho Sato Professor of Law, University of California-Berkeley School of Law; Jim Rossi, Harry M. Walborsky Professor & Associate Dean for Research, Florida State University College of Law; Michael Vandenbergh, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School; Dan Tarlock, Distinguished Professor of Law & Director of the Program in Environmental and Energy Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law; Alexandra Klass, Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Minnesota Law School; Uma Outka, Professor of Law, University of Kansas School of Law; and Sarah Bronin, Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law

Five hours of CLE credit is available. For information, please contact For full agenda, visit the event page.

Co-Sponsored by the Climate Change Research Network and the Environmental Law Program.

Next Week

Green Bag Luncheon Series: Green Spring Cleaning

Wednesday, February 29 at 12:00pm, Sarratt 189
Presenter: Megan Morton, Pro Utilitas

Sponsored by the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) and the American Studies Sustainability Project, the Green Bag luncheon series focuses on the environment and sustainability, both at work and at home. This educational series features informal lunchtime discussions and/or workshops – from sustainable food and dining choices to backyard composting to utility savings at home and work and much more. So bring your lunch and join us to learn interesting ways to incorporate sustainability into your life!

For more information or to view past Green Bag sessions, visit,, or contact SEMO.

Elinor Ostrom: "Updating the Theory of Collective Action and the Commons"

Thursday, March 1 at 4:10 p.m.
Black Cultural Center Auditorium

Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom is the first woman to win the prize in economics (2009). Ostrom was recognized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons. As a political economist, Elinor Ostrom has studied how institutions—conceptualized as sets of rules—affect the incentives of individuals interacting in repetitive and structured situations. Ostrom and her colleagues at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University developed the Institutional Analysis and Development framework, which enables them to analyze diversely structured markets, hierarchies, common-property regimes and local public economies using a common set of universal components.

Ostrom is the author of several books, including Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (1990), and coeditor of several collections, including Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice, with Amy R. Poteete and Marco A. Janssen (2010), Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice, with Charlotte Hess (2007), and Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Human-Environment Interactions in Forest Ecosystems, with Emilio Moran (2005).

This event is a part of the "Commons: History, Sustainability, Activism" lecture series and is free and open to the public. Cosponsors: The American Studies Sustainability Project, Department of Political Science and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institution.

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Upcoming Events

Robert Penn Warren Center Symposium: Representation and Social Change Symposium

2/23 7:00 p.m.
Spring Literary Symposium: Sustainability and Creative Writing

2/23 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Joel B. Eisen: The Future of Energy Law

2/24 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Vanderbilt Law Review Symposium: Barriers to Renewable Energy

2/29 12:00 p.m. Green Bag Luncheon Series: Green Spring Cleaning

3/1 4:10 p.m.
Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Laureate in Economics: Updating the Theory of Collective Action and the Commons

3/20 4:10 p.m.
David Bollier, The Commons as a Counterpoint to the Market/State Duopoly


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