Monday, February 25, 2019,
Room 100, Lovejoy Building

A lecture in the “Presence of the Past Series” with Nathan Hensley, associate professor of English at Georgetown University. When Alice falls into Wonderland in Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic, she wonders how anything in the world will ever feel normal again. In this lecture, Hensley draws on the experience of Alice and other 19th-century literary figures to sketch how it feels to live at the tail end of a long history of climate crisis. With our upside-down contemporary world in view, the talk will trace our climatic unwinding from its origins in 19th-century coal extraction to our moment of capital intensive “tight oil” and shale gas fracking. The goal will be to show how poetic and literary thinkers from this long modern period invent new languages, poetic resources by which we might begin to imagine, and then to create, a just and livable future. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Contact: Megan Fossa,, 207-859-4165

Public event