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ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES SEMINAR WITH NATAYA FRIEDAN
Thursday, April 18, 2024, 3:00pm
Plimpton Room (Barker Center 133)
"CHARISMATIC FACTUALITY: THE AFFECTIVE LABOR OF OIL INDUSTRY BOOSTERS"
REGISTRATION FORM COMING SOON
Speaker: Nataya Friedan, 2023-24 MHC Postdoctoral Fellow
Respondent: Naomi Oreskes
Nataya Friedan is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on climate change misinformation in North America. Her current book project, Selling Swampland to Yankees, is about the political life of scientific evidence in Houston during intensified flood infrastructure planning process after Hurricane Harvey. Drawing on eighteen months of ethnographic and archival research, she analyzes anti-science sentiment at the center of oil-based capitalism where engineers, lawyers and business professionals negotiated facts and factuality across concrete and through floodwaters. Her ethnography puts climate misinformation into a longer history of industrial story telling from nineteenth century booster narratives to present day public relations campaigns. It explores how campaigns against specific facts react with other public lies rendering a more three-dimensional portrait of post-truth America. Nataya received her PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner Grenn Foundation, and the Bill Lane Center for the American West. She also co-founded and developed curriculum for Catalyst, an education program that brought young people and educators from across North and South America to Mexico City to rethink drug education and the War on Drugs.
Naomi Oreskes is Henry Charles Lea Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.
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