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American Studies Sustainability Project

Sustainability Events, 1/16 - 1/22

Lewis Hyde: "Defending the Cultural Commons"

January 19, 2012, 4:10 p.m., Johnson Center Auditorium
Lewis Hyde is a poet, essayist, translator, and cultural critic with a particular interest in the public life of the imagination. Hyde's most recent book, Common as Air, is a spirited defense of our "cultural commons," that vast store of ideas, inventions, and works of art that we have inherited from the past and that continues to enrich in the present. A MacArthur Fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde teaches during the fall semesters at Kenyon College, where he is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing.

Cosponsors: Department of English, The Martha Ingram Rivers Commons, and Department of Philosophy

MLK Day of Service, 1/16

Visit the Office of Active Citizenship and Service website for a great list of service opportunities, including work with Nashville Mobile Market, Vandy SPEAR, Vanderbilt Garden Initiative, Vanderbilt Sierra Club, and Second Harvest Nashville.

Road Trip Sign-up: Nashville Environmental Justice

Saturday, February 4, 2012
Explore key sites in the battle for environmental justice in Nashville with David Padgett, Associate Professor of Geography at Tennessee State University; Joe Bandy, Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching; and local activists. Email to register.

This trip is part of the American Studies Sustainability Project.

Next Week

Green Bag Luncheon Series: Sustainable Food Choices Offered by VU Dining/Cooking with Herbs

Wednesday, January 25, Sarratt 189
Presenters: Suzanne Herron, VU Dining; Stacey Kendrick, Health Plus

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.

Upcoming Community Events

ASCE: Integrated Approach to Sustainability Workshop

Join local and national sustainability leaders to learn how you can incorporate the principles of sustainability into the practice of civil engineering. Earn 4 PDHs.

  • WHEN: January 19, 2012, 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Sheraton Music City Hotel, Nashville, TN
  • Keynote Speaker: State Senator Andy Berke (D-Chattanooga)
  • Register Online or (800) 548-2723

Introduction to Northwest Earth Institute Small Group Discussion Courses

Friday, February 3 from 6:30-8:00 p.m., David Lipscomb University, Ezell Center-Room 138
Since 1996, over 100,000 people nationwide (in work places, faith communities, schools, nonprofits, and neighborhoods) have participated in these courses developed by NWEI (a nonprofit based in Portland OR). Now they're coming to Nashville! Come and learn more. Some example course titles are "Menu for the Future," "Voluntary Simplicity," and "Healthy Children - Healthy Planet." For details, visit the Transition Nashville Meetup Page.

Stay Connected and Spread the Word!


Upcoming Events

1/19 4:10 p.m.
Lewis Hyde, Defending the Cultural Commons

1/25 12:00 p.m.
Green Bag Luncheon Series: Sustainable Food Choices

Road Trip: Nashville Environmental Justice

2/9 4:10 p.m.
Peter Gleick, Conflicting Visions for Water: Common Property or Private Good?

2/23 All Day
Spring Literary Symposium: Sustainability and Creative Writing

Symposium: "Barriers to Renewable Energy"

3/1 4:10 p.m.
Elinor Ostrom, 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


Contact Us: 132 Buttrick Hall (615)343-8724
Vanderbilt Operator (615) 322-7311