We are an interdisciplinary group

of faculty at the University of Oklahoma dedicated to exploring the intellectual and ethical challenges raised by the Anthropocene. Through this blog we seek to foster and expand our conversation: by presenting our own reflections on the topic, and also by presenting readings from our various disciplines that we think contribute to the broad intellectual outlook the Anthropocene demands. Though we are based at OU, we list that affiliation solely for purposes of identification; posts here do not reflect the policies or positions of the institution, but are expressions of our own individual viewpoints.

Please click on an author’s name to see his or her posts–and for more on our goals and the organization of this site, please click the “About our blog” tab. To contact an author please use the form on the Copyright page.

We also present occasional posts by colleagues from outside of OU; see the “Guest Contributors” page for their bio’s. And some former colleagues have moved on to other universities; their bios are on the “Our Alumni” page.

Robert Bailey photo
ROBERT BAILEY is an art historian and assistant professor in the School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma. He researches the history of modern and contemporary art as well as the historiography and methodology of art history with a focus on relations of theory and practice in art and art history..

Brian Burkhart photo
BRIAN BURKHART is a Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma citizen and an associate philosophy professor at Oklahoma University. His work centers around Indigenous concepts of knowing, being, and valuing in relationship to land. Recent book: Indigenizing Philosophy from the Land.

Tom Burns photo
THOMAS J. BURNS is Professor of Sociology at the University of Oklahoma, and is active in the Religious Studies and Environmental Studies programs and the Center for Social Justice there. His research focuses on the outcomes, evolution and emergence of social institutions from a comparative and historical perspective, particularly as they pertain to issues of well-being and sustainability.

Kirsten deBeurs photo
KIRSTEN deBEURS is an associate professor in the department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, and current chair, at the University of Oklahoma. She has a background in remote sensing research with a strong understanding of the effect of institutional changes on the land surface, in particular in dryland regions, and is an author on more than 50 manuscripts and a PI or Co-PI on several large NASA and NSF funded projects.

 Stephen Ellis photo
STEPHEN ELLIS is Associate Professor and Graduate Liaison in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. He is interested in Decision Theory (both descriptive and normative) and Philosophy of Social Science (particularly in Philosophy of Economics).

 Cathleen Faubert photo
CATHLEEN FAUBERT is an Assistant Professor of Art, Technology & Culture at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Visual Arts. Her artistic practice is multi-disciplinary, including olfactory artworks. Research and creative activity focus on our sense of smell as a language to access ideas and tell stories about expectations of place, the American landscape and our cultural connections to the land.

 Brian Grady photo
BRIAN GRADY is the Douglas and Hilda Bourne Chair of Chemical Engineering in OU’s School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering and currently is the Director of the School. He served on the Executive Board of the Society of Plastics Engineers from 2008-2012 and 2017-present and served as Secretary of the Society in 2010-2011 and President in 2018-2019.

 Scott Greene photo
SCOTT GREENE is a professor in OU’s Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. His research interests focus on renewable energy, climate adaptation, and K-12 geography education. He has taught courses on statistical methods, renewable energy, and a range of physical geography topics. Dr. Greene served as director of the Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative.

Kyle Harper photo
KYLE HARPER, a historian of the classical world, is Senior Vice President and Provost, as well as Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma. His most recent book, The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire (Princeton, 2017) argues that climate change and pandemic disease were integral to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Jonathan Hils photo
JONATHAN HILS is an associate professor of sculpture in the OU School of Visual Arts. His creative research focuses on systemic and emergent artworks fabricated through traditional and digital technologies that examine the notion of form, solidity and logic.

Sarah Hines photo
SARAH HINES is an assistant professor of Latin American history at the University of Oklahoma. Her research explores human-nature relationships and social struggle over territory and natural resources in modern Latin America. She is working on a new book on glaciers in the Bolivian Andes tentatively titled, “Mother of the Waters: The Life and Death of the Glaciers of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real.” 

Tassie Hirschfeld photo
KATHERINE HIRSCHFELD is a medical anthropologist focused on political economy of health, with a special interest in the economics of corruption and emerging infectious disease. Her current research combines remote sensing with qualitative research to explore malaria resurgence during the Caucasus conflicts of the 1990s. She is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma.

CAITLIN HODGES is an Assistant Professor of Critical Zone Geoscience in the School of Geosciences at the University of Oklahoma. Trained as a soil scientist, she researches the role that soil minerals play in controlling the cycling of carbon, nutrients, and trace elements.

Jeff Kelly photo
JEFF KELLY is an ecologist specializing on life in the air – aeroecology. He is the director of the Oklahoma Biological Survey and a Professor of Biology at the University of Oklahoma.

ROBERT LIFSET is the Donald Keith Jones Associate Professor of History in the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma where his work examines energy and environmental history with a focus on the United States. He is currently researching and writing a history of the energy crisis of the 1970s.

Bryce Lowery photo
BRYCE LOWERY is an assistant professor of regional and city planning in the College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma. His research focuses on the built environment, food systems, spatial inequality, and access to nutritional opportunity. More on his teaching and research can be found on his website.

Tom Neeson photo
TOM NEESON is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. His research focuses on Conservation Biology, Landscape Ecology, Freshwater Ecosystems, Simulation and Modeling, and Statistics.

Asa Randall photo
ASA RANDALL is an archaeologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. His research, which focuses on ancient hunter-gatherers, considers the role of landscape alteration in the creation of social histories and identities.

Cindy Rosenthal photo
CINDY SIMON ROSENTHAL, recently retired professor of political science and women and gender studies, directed the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. She combines her academic interests in public administration and urban policy with a commitment to public services. She served 12 years on the Norman City Council, including nine years as mayor.

Jennifer A. Ross
JENNIFER A. ROSS, is an assistant professor and Coordinator of Public and Community Health Programs, Norman Campus for the University of Oklahoma. She has been part of multiple teams and written multiple articles on household and occupational pesticide exposure in children and adolescents in South Texas.

Ingo Schlupp photo
INGO SCHLUPP is a Professor of Biology at the University of Oklahoma. He is interested in Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution. He is mainly working on the evolution and maintenance of sex and speciation. You can get an overview of the many projects in his lab on his website: http://ingoschlupp.com. (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2460-5667)

Laurel Smith photo
LAUREL SMITH is a cultural geographer and associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. With archival investigation, visual interpretation, ethnographic inquiry, and video coproduction, her scholarship asks how the access and use of communication technologies amplifies Indigenous participation in the authorship of authoritative geographic knowledge.

Peter Soppelsa photo
PETER SOPPELSA is an assistant professor in the Department of the History of Science and managing editor of Technology and Culture at the University of Oklahoma. His research centers on the interdisciplinary intersection of urban, environmental, and technological history with currents in sociology and geography. He has written for French Historical Studies; French Politics; Culture and Society; History and Technology; Technology and Culture; and Transfers.

Lynn Soreghan photo
LYNN SOREGHAN is is a geoscientist and Director of and Eberly Professor in the School of Geosciences, Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy at the University of Oklahoma. Her research focuses primarily on Earth’s deep-time climate, especially the roles of aerosols (mineral dust) and glaciation in the climate system. (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6925-5675)

Zev Trachtenberg photo
ZEV TRACHTENBERG is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. He focuses on social and political philosophy, and approaches environmental issues from that point of view. His work on the Anthropocene grew out of a longstanding curiosity about the ways human beings interact with and transform the landscape. A summary of his research and teaching interests can be found at his departmental webpage. (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2084-9103)

Traci Brynne Voyles photo
TRACI BRYNNE VOYLES is an associate professor and chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Wastelanding: Legacies of Uranium Mining in Navajo Country (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and The Settler Sea: California’s Salton Sea and the Consequences of Colonialism</em (University of Nebraska Press, 2021).

Stephen Weldon photo
STEPHEN WELDON is an assistant professor in the History of Science Department at the University of Oklahoma. He studies issues in the area of science and religion. He is also the editor of the Isis Bibliography of the History of Science.

Meghan Wieters
K. MEGHAN WIETERS teaches courses in environmental planning, subdivision planning, history and theory, and planning related issues with public health and active living. She was a practicing planner in Austin, Texas for 10 years working in transit planning, neighborhood planning and non-motorized mode planning.

James Zeigler
JAMES ZEIGLER is Associate Professor of English and affiliated faculty in Environmental Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Since publishing a book in 2015 on the influence of anticommunism on the politics of race in the United States (Red Scare Racism), he has developed a research interest in popular representations of climate change and the rhetoric of debate over the Anthropocene.

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