Conferences & lectures

ATMOSPHERES: Imaging the Air We Breathe - Developing sociological and ecological imaginations

Thursday, October 29, 2020
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Dr. Kari Marie Norgaard (University of Oregon)


This event is free




Allison Peacock



CISSC ATMOSPHERES virtual lecture series

What if you were surrounded by an invisible force that structured everything about how you understand yourself and your world, shaped not only what you are able to see and understand, but dictated what you don't see and don't understand? What if the society in which you lived faced profound crises to its survival, but still nobody talked about this force?

As a sociologist, Dr. Norgaard generally find herself trying to bring attention to dimensions and factors of the climate crisis that few people (especially few Americans) acknowledge to exist. In order to imagine or talk about atmospheres and our relationships to them, we need to be able to "see the air we breathe." Just as with air itself, our relationships to one another are invisible. Yet to move beyond our present situation we must acknowledge the social systems within which energy and climate gases are produced and the power structure that this energy fuels - most of which are highly destructive to human and ecological communities.

We need to employ what sociologist CW Mills calls a sociological imagination (Mills 1959) in order to be able to see the relationships within society that make up this environmentally damaging social structure and imagine beyond them.

About Kari Marie Norgaard

Dr. Kari Marie Norgaard is Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies who lives and thinks in Kalapuya lands at University of Oregon. Over the past fifteen years Dr. Norgaard has published and taught in the areas of environmental sociology, Indigenous environmental justice, gender and environment, race, and sociology of emotions. She is the author of Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People: Nature, Colonialism and Social Action (Rutgers University Press, 2019) and Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life (MIT Press, 2011) and a recipient of the Fred Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award, a Sociology of Emotions Recent Contribution Award and the Pacific Sociological Association’s Distinguished Practice Award. Dr. Norgaard Chaired the Section on Environmental Sociology, American Sociological Association from 2018-2019. Her latest book Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People: Nature, Colonialism and Social Action was a 2020 finalist for the C.W. Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

All lectures and ensuing discussions will be live on zoom at the designated hour and last about 90 minutes.

Please write to Allison Peacock to register (include ATMOSPHERES in the subject line). You will be sent a zoom link by return email.

This Virtual Lecture series is curated by David Howes, the outgoing director of CISSC. It is co-sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and the CISSC Gardens, Sensing Atmospheres, and Colonial, Racial and Indigenous Ecologies (CRIE) Working Groups.

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