This month’s Science Café, Climate Change, Art and Literature, is timely indeed, as we emerge from a week of record-breaking, sub-zero temperatures here in Colorado. The Al Gore jokes were flying around my office like bitter, errant snowflakes. So what do a couple of English professors from CSU – each with several published books and countless articles between them – have to say about global warming and the arts?
Believe it or not, plenty.
Professor John Calderazzo and Dr. SueEllen Campbell – colleagues in education and marriage – have taught English in Northern Colorado for more than twenty years, bringing not only their literary credentials but also a life-long passion for nature, ecology and the world we were gifted.
“We were always interested in the way nature and culture interact,” said Calderazzo of his and Campbell’s career evolution. Campbell’s course studies include nature and environmental literature, while her husband’s focus is non-fiction creative writing. “Climate change came to our attention and it wasn’t that large of a leap,” he went on to explain.
The couple has written articles for such magazines and periodicals as Audubon and Orion, and both have authored books in their field of interest, including Rising Fire: Volcanoes and our Inner Lives by Calderazzo and Even Mountains Vanish: Searching for Solace in an Age of Extinction by Campbell.
Then three years ago, the couple decided to reach out to all the departments at CSU that were involved in the research of climate change. This hotbed subject was and is a source of interest to many disciplines – science, politics, sociology and yes, English.
“The core of the word ‘university’ is universe,” said Calderazzo. A lively series of talks followed the creation of Changing Climates at CSU, and continues today with the professors co-directing.
This Wednesday’s Science Café promises to be as interesting as the weather in Colorado. The colleagues are popular at the university and enthusiastic about their subject. Rather than a dry dissertation on the perils of melting polar caps, the pair will take a literary and visual look at the effects of changing climates on writing and the arts. They’ll present artwork by children, speculative photography of our changing world and even poetry.
So, get to Avo’s this Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 5:30, order a cold drink and warm up to a thought-provoking topic from a refreshing angle. What about you creative types? Do you find yourself inspired by a change in the weather?