A virtual roundtable series at Arizona State University (ASU), brings together artists, writers, scholars, activists, land managers, and others to inspire respect for arid environments and the people, plants, animals, histories, and geologies that make them up.
Funded by a seed grant from ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research, this series explores the concept of the “inter/desert” as a way of understanding deserts as highly complex, culturally and ecologically rich environments.
In settler-colonial imaginaries, deserts have often been cast as barren, unpeopled, and/or unproductive environments in need of “improvement.” Those who work with and in these culturally and ecologically complex environments, however, document rich and varied understandings of arid ecologies. To that end, each roundtable in the Inter/Desert Dialogues series centers the creative, scholarly, and/or public work of three to five individuals as points of departure for discussing “desert futures” with a small group of virtual attendees. The panelists represent a range of fields, identities, and backgrounds, both within and beyond academia. Their diverse voices and perspectives underscore the complexity and rich, interdisciplinary potential of desert ecologies.
Topics for the four-part 2023 series include Attunements, Energy and Infrastructure, Desert Ethics, and Deserts in Sound and Image. It is our hope that these dialogues will inspire work being done in the desert and environmental humanities and culminate in future discussions and collaboration across both disciplinary and geographic boundaries.
*Funded by ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research Seed Grant with additional support from the Environmental Humanities Initiative, Desert Humanities Initiative, and College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.