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College Lodge

During 2016, a number of important events took place at the College. Last summer, renowned sustainability scholar and activist David Orr of Oberlin College (see bio below) came to campus for a private meeting with President McConnell and a select group of invited guests. On Friday, August 26, visual artist Fahamu Pecou opened his solo show at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art ("DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual and Resistance"). Pecou's work pertains to the state of being Black in the U.S., and his show runs through Oct. 8.

Here is a list of events that support the objectives of the QEP, beginning in the fall semester 2016 and ranging through spring 2016.

On Thurs., September 22 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. The Triple Bottom Line.  If you're wondering what is sustainability, a panel discussion on the Triple Bottom Line will help answer that. The panel will feature Seth Pritchard and Deb Bidwell from the Department of Biology, Anthony Green from sociology, Kristi Brian from Women's and Gender Studies, and Elise Perrault and Stuart Williams from the School of Business. Each faculty member will offer a brief presentation on an aspect of the Triple Bottom Line and how it pertains to the College's QEP: Sustianability Literacy as a Bridge to Addressing 21st-Century Problems. The panel discussion will take place in Wells Fargo Auditorium in the School of Business and is open to all campus community members.   

On Friday, September 23 from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m., the Faculty for Compassionate and Sustainable Living Workshops (FCSL) begin. The first workshop will focus on Personal Change. Workshop organizer Jen Wright from the Department of Psychology says "As faculty, we are all role models to our students of what a well-lived life looks like." Thus, this workshop series will begin with participants and leaders identifying ways that each can make positive changes in their lives connected to the workshop topic. This will involve a personal pledge on the part of every member of the FCSL group to make at least one issue-relevant change over the course of the year. The group as a whole will function as a support system to help make these transitions easier and more enjoyable. And the FCSL directors will work with other campus organizations and student groups to coordinate helpful “how-to/do-it-yourself” sessions to further support those changes identified by the group. Find out more at:

On Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 at Addlestone Library (room 227), come see the groundbreaking documentary "Cowspiracy." Follow intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he reveals the innerworkings of one of the most destructive industries on the planet today. (The film will be shown again on Thursday, October 13; also in room 227 of Addleston Library; 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.) These showings, which are open to the public and free, are being presented jointly by the College's Vegan Club, Charleston's Veggies & Vegans, and Faculty for Compassionate and Sustainable Living.

On Wed., September 28, Bryan Caplan from George Mason University will offer a talk entitled "A Radical Case for Open Borders" at Wells Fargo Auditorium in the School of Business at 6:00 p.m. Caplan has published a number of articles on immigration and open border policy. He is also the author of "The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies." This lecture is sponsored by the College's Center for Public Choice and Market Process.

On Fri., September 30, William “Bill” Throop of Green Mountain College (see bio below), will be on campus to offer faculty training sessions in sustainability literacy. All faculty members are invited and encouraged to attend either the morning session (9:00 a.m. to noon) or the afternoon session (1:00 to 4:00 p.m.) in the Stern Center ballroom. For additional information, contact Todd LeVasseur, Director Quality Enhancement Plan or 843.953.3911.

On Mon., October 17, Ethnobiology for the Future – Come hear Gary Paul Nabhan speak about human interactions with plants and animals in the face of increasing planetary climate change at the Beatty Center (Room 115) at 7:00 p.m. Nabhan, a MacArthur Fellow and recipient a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, is the Kellogg Chair in Southwest Borderlands Food and Water Security at the University of Arizona. He is also the author of more than 26 books, including his most recent "Ethnobiology for the Future."  (This event is presented by the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, the Department of Biology, the Urban Studies Program, the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program and the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences.)

On Mon., October 24, author Anand Giridharadas will visit campus to offer a talk about his book, "The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas." (Giridharadas' book was chosen for The College Reads Program this year.) He will be accompanied by Raisuddin Bhuiyan, whose experiences in post-911 Texas are the subject of this book. The lecture will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Sottile Theatre. The presentation will be open to students, faculty, staff and the Charleston community. Giridharadas will also speak to several classes at the College.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 12-20) – A national week of awareness organized by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. Throughout the week before Thanksgiving, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to take part in a series of events and activities that shed light on this pressing social issue. For additional information, contact the Center for Civic Engagement.

Sustainability and the Humanities (February 1, 2017) – Dr. April Merleaux of Florida International University will visit the Department of History to facilitate a discussion of sustainability and the humanities. This forum, which is open to faculty and staff, will take place at noon (as a brown bag lunch) in Addlestone Library room 227. That same afternoon from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., she will offer a lecture entitled "The Environmental History of the Sugar Tariff." The lecture will take place in Alumni Center in the School of Education, Health and Human Performance. This lecture is open to the public.  

Green Germany (February 3, 2017) – If you're up for an early morning lecture, and you're interested in the progress that Germany has made regarding sustainability on so many fronts, come hear Dr. Robin Mishra speak at Wells Fargo Auditorium at 9:00 a.m. His talk, "Green Germany," will focus not just on the progress made to date, but also on the German government's ambitious plans for the future. Dr. Mishra is Minister-Counselor, Head of Section Science and Technology at the German Embassy.

Speaker and Visitor Bios

David Orr is arguably the leading sustainability scholar in North America and has been instrumental in developing exciting initiatives at Oberlin College, and between the college and the town of Oberlin. Orr wrote one of the first books on sustainability (Ecological Literacy, 1992), which helped generate the context for the emergence of sustainability in higher education. He is currently the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics as well as Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College. In the latter role, he dialogues with the President about “full-spectrum sustainability” based on the Oberlin Project that he helped to start. His standing as the leading voice for sustainability in higher education makes him a perfect off-campus consultant to offer workshops and trainings and answer critical questions about sustainability literacy.  

Bill Throop is Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Green Mountain College and was instrumental in developing general education and distribution requirements so that Green Mountain College became the country’s first Environmental Liberal Arts College based on campuswide sustainability-themed learning outcomes. He has served as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at that institution, where he was charged with implementing sustainability initiatives across the campus. His administrative background, coupled with his years of cultivating faculty expertise around sustainability literacy, makes him an outstanding candidate to offer training workshops on how to generate and embed sustainability in classes at the College. Generating more sustainability-centered and sustainability-related courses at the College of Charleston is an important goal and a requirement of the QEP. If you are a member of the faculty, please plan to attend in the training sessions that Throop will offer on September 30th.

April Merleaux is a professor of history at Florida International University. Her research focuses on the 20th century U.S. in international context. She studies the intersections between cultural studies and political economy and is particularly interested in race, environment and power. Her book, Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2015. The book tells the story of sugar from the Spanish American War through the New Deal of the 1930s, describing how workers and consumers in multiple locations came to eat so much sugar. The cultural logic connecting imperial, trade, and immigration policies was the same one that facilitated new habits of sugar consumption within the U.S. and its territories. Merleaux is currently conducting research on the environmental history of the War on Drugs in the U.S. and Latin America from the 1920s through the 1980s and exploring the agrarian origins of drug prohibition.