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Environmental Studies

University of Mississippi


Camille Dungy

Earth Day Lecture

The 2018 University of Mississippi Earth Day lecture will take place on April 22 at 7 o’clock p.m.

Camille Dungy is author of Smith Blue (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 Crab Orchard Open Book Prize, Suck on the Marrow(Red Hen Press, 2010), and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006).

Dungy, a professor of English at Colorado State University, is editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009), co-editor of From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great (Persea, 2009), and assistant editor of Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem s First Decade (University of Michigan Press, 2006).

A two-time recipient of the Northern California Book Award (2010 and 2011), Silver Medal Winner in the California Book Award (2011), and two-time NAACP Image Award nominee (2010 and 2011), Dungy has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Cave Canem, the Dana Award, and Bread Loaf. Her poems and essays have been published widely in anthologies and print and online journals.


Environmental Film and Lecture Series

Chasing Ice film poster

Chasing Ice film poster

On February 19 at 7PM in the Overby Center Auditorium, acclaimed photographer James Balog‘s award-winning documentary, Chasing Ice, opened the 2014 Environmental Film and Lecture Series.

James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. In Chasing Ice, Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.

The second documentary Last Call at the Oasis, about the world water crisis, screened on March 19 at 7PM in the Overby Center Auditorium. This powerful documentary opens our eyes to the intensifying, world-wide water shortage.

The Earth Day lecture by University of Wisconsin-Madison Rachel Carson Professor of English Rob Nixon examined Slow Violence, Environmental Activism, and the Arts on April 22 at 7PM in the Overby Center Auditorium.

Nixon writes: “Slow violence is a violence that occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all. How can we create stories and images adequate to the pervasive but elusive environmental violence of delayed effects?” He will link the emergencies of the long term to artistic efforts to infuse such emergencies with dramatic urgency.

The films and lecture are free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the University of Mississippi Environmental Studies MinorCollege of Liberal ArtsSouthern Documentary ProjectOffice of SustainabilityCroft Institute for International StudiesSally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, and the Departments of English and History.


Images from 2013 Earth Day Lecture by Janisse Ray

Photographs courtesy of Gaetano Catelli 

Ray was 2003-4 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at UM.

Ray was 2003-4 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at UM.

Environmental Studies Director Ann Fisher-Wirth

Andy Harper, director of Media and Documentary Projects and a member of the Environmental Studies faculty


Green Week Activities Include Potluck, Yoga, Sustainability Fair

The third annual Green Week, a sustainability awareness celebration hosted by the University of Mississippi and the city of Oxford, kicks off April 15 and culminates with an Earth Day in the Park event April 22, 2012.

Coordinated through the UM Office of Campus Sustainability and various community organizations, the weeklong event offers a range of activities including a sustainability fair on the UM campus, an eco-fashion show at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center sponsored by Campus for Clean Energy and kid-tailored events such as after-school crafts and kids’ yoga.

“We specifically designed Green Week to include all ages because the issue of sustainability relates to everyone,” said Jim Morrison, director of the UM Office of Campus Sustainability. “It’s an issue that we all need to be involved and engaged in, so we have events specifically for young kids, families, college students, homeowners and business owners.”

Green Week begins at 5:30 p.m. April 15 with a vegetarian potluck at Honeybee Bakery. At 5:30 p.m. April 18, Oxford Mayor George “Pat” Patterson and Alice Clark, UM vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs, will deliver the Green Week keynote address on community sustainability efforts at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center. At this event, winners of the Sustainability Leadership Awards will be announced.

Another major Green Week event is the Sustainable Living by Design tour and expo, set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. April 21 at Insight Park, the university’s new research park. The expo will feature sustainable products and techniques for home and business owners, while the tour will introduce participants to local green construction, including Rainbow Cleaners, the UM Medicinal Plant Garden and an eco-friendly residence.

“We hope to expose people to new ideas concerning sustainability,” said Katrina Hourin, Oxford assistant city planner. “I think of this more as taking a personal responsibility for our impact on the environment and trying to improve it. The events for younger groups are directed toward education, and with the older groups, it’s more about awareness. Not everybody is aware of the things that they can do that will benefit themselves and the whole community.”

Green Week closes with an Earth Day in the Park celebration April 22 at the Oxford Skate Park, the Oxford Community Garden and the Oxford-Lafayette County Library. Activities run 6 a.m.-7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. The events include yoga, gardening workshops, a “Plot to Plate” Picnic provided by Honeybee Bakery, music, a Double Decker bus tour and a children’s tea party at the library.

Southern Star Yoga Studio and Blue Laurel Yoga offer the following yoga classes and related events on April 22 as part of the Earth Day celebrations:

6 a.m.   Meditation
6:30-7:30 Sun Salutations
8:00-9:00 Tai Chi (led by Dan O’Sullivan)
9:30-10:30 Gentle Yoga
3:30-4:15 Kids’ Yoga

All events are free and suitable for all levels.

Created in 2009, Green Week celebrates the strides the university and Oxford have taken to raise environmental awareness. Successful joint initiatives include the Oxford-University Transit system, recycling programs and the installation of a community garden.

“Our goal this year is to reach people who haven’t necessarily been involved in sustainability in the past,” said Anne McCauley, project coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. “We hope participants realize that these are attainable lifestyle changes and practices. You don’t have to make huge sacrifices to change your lifestyle in a way that’s beneficial to yourself and the environment.”

For a full and updated schedule of events, visit