Making Peace with the Earth

Making Peace with the Earth:  

an interdisciplinary symposium 

Lenoir-Rhyne University 

Before we live with other humans, before all is made political or ethical, we live with the earth. Whether we realize it or not, we relate to the earth and all of its inhabitants deeply, as if to the beloved. We need it to survive, to thrive, to exist. In the way that writers as such as Rainer Maria Rilke mention our being “bees of the invisible” or Robin Wall Kimmerer describes “the chance to be outside in the vital presence of other species” and sitting at their feet and listening, what kind of relationship do we want to model for others? How might we describe the earth as teaching us about the primordial ways of healing? What can we do to be exemplars of living in a way that makes peace with the earth? Is this a past tense or a future tense existential opportunity or imperative? This symposium will look to philosophers, scientists, historians, artists, and poets who wish to explore means and modes of making peace with the earth through ideas, words, notes, colors. 

The symposium will be held entirely in person over two days in Hickory, NC on April 7th – April 8th, 2022.  


Thursday, April 7, 2022 

LRU Visiting Writers Series presentation by Robin Wall Kimmerer 

6:00-7:00          Round Table with Professors from LR inspired by Kimmerer’s work 

7:00-7:10          Welcome & Introduction 

7:10-7:50          Presentation 

7:50-8:05          Audience Q&A 

8:05-8:25          Book signing 

8:25-9:15          Reception 

Friday, April, 8, 2022 

8:00-8:15          Welcome 

8:15-9:00          Plenary Address, Laura Hope-Gill (Director of the Thomas Wolfe MFA in Creative                          Writing, LR—Asheville), Memory, Place, and Creative Imagination: A Geopoetics                                   for Appalachia 

9:00-10:15        Celeste Jackson (University of California—Riverside, Navajo Nation), As The                               Plot Thickens: Understanding Eco-Erotic’s Place In Environmental Caretaking  

                        Holly Watkins (Eastman School of Music), Listening Naming Thinking  

10:30-11:45      Presian Burroughs (Wake Forest), Stories of Slavery and Liberation: A Pauline Account                              of Earth’s Past, Present, and Future 

                        Gene Tesdahl (U of Wisconsin—Platteville), Bagwaj, Lutheran Stewardship, and                                     Unmaking the Myth of Wilderness  

12:00-1:00        lunch 

1:00-1:50          panel on homesteading (Mike Stiff, Marshal Hartley, Kyi…) 

2:00-2:50          panel on gardening—(Taylor Newton, Jeffrey Smith, Johnnie Story) 

3:00-3:50          Eric Schramm (Lenoir-Rhyne U), Bananas: From Careless Destruction to Careful Recovery 

Amanuel Isak Tewolde (University of Johannesburg, South Africa), Traditional Medicine and the preservation of plant life 

4:30-5:15          Closing Plenary Address, Keith McDade (Professor of Sustainability, LR—Asheville), Cultivating curiosity, connection, caring, and community with the Earth 

                        live music and dinner of ‘three sisters’ in the evening  

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