Oct

06

CJ Alvarez: The Natural and Built Environments of the U.S.-Mexico Border

Date

Thu

,

Oct 6

Time

6:00 pm

-

7:30 pm

How

Hybrid

Type

Talk

Location

Sciame Auditorium (Room 107) 141 Convent Avenue New York, NY 10031

Partner(s)

The City College of New York, The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture

"The Natural and Built Environments of the U.S.-Mexico Border": The political divide that separates the United States from Mexico passes through six different ecological regions. Each one of these “ecoregions” has a distinctive climate, specific configurations of plants and animals, and unique topography. The political border does not conform in any meaningful way to these environmental boundaries. The political divide does, however, commandeer two rivers -- the Colorado and the Rio Grande -- and for part of their lengths demands that they adhere to the predictability and fixity required of modern political borders. In his book Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the U.S.-Mexico Divide, Alvarez explains the border as a history of accretion, an ever-more complicated system of barrier infrastructure on land and hydraulic engineering projects on the rivers. Today, the environmental unity of border regions has been eclipsed by the built environment which has, in turn, impoverished our imaginations. But his current research and book project go beyond the built environment, deeper into time and further into the realms of the nonhuman world. This talk is about the relationship of political borders and environmental boundaries, the contrast between contemporary political developments and the multimillennial history of environmental regions and rivers, and the tension between anthropocentrism and ecocentrism.

Date

Thu

,

Oct 6

Time

6:00 pm

-

7:30 pm

How

Hybrid

Type

Talk

Location

Sciame Auditorium (Room 107) 141 Convent Avenue New York, NY 10031

Partner(s)

The City College of New York, The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture

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