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Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics

February 16, 2023—7:00 pm9:00 pm

Join us for a book talk with author Lisa E. Bloom on her new book Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics: Artists Reimagine the Arctic and Antarctica, out now from Duke University Press!

In this new publication, Bloom considers the ways artists, filmmakers, and activists engaged with the Arctic and Antarctic represent our current environmental crises and reconstruct public understandings of them. Bloom engages feminist, Black, Indigenous, and non-Western perspectives to address the exigencies of the experience of the Anthropocene and its attendant Necosystem failures, rising sea levels, and climate-led migrations. As opposed to mainstream media depictions of climate change that feature apocalyptic spectacles of distant melting ice and desperate polar bears, artists such as Katja Aglert, Subhankar Banerjee, Joyce Campbell, Judit Hersko, Roni Horn, Isaac Julien, Zacharias Kunuk, Connie Samaras, and activist art collectives take a more complex poetic and political approach.

In their films and visual and conceptual art, these artists link climate change to its social roots in colonialism and capitalism while challenging the suppression of information about environmental destruction and critiquing Western art institutions for their complicity. Bloom’s examination and contextualization of new polar aesthetics makes environmental degradation more legible while demonstrating that our own political agency is central to imagining and constructing a better world.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at a discount for attendees.

“Ever since the publication of Gender on Ice, Lisa E. Bloom has been one of the most innovative scholars in the field of polar aesthetics and the cultural history of the polar regions… This is a book for dark times, but it is hopeful, resilient, and socially just.” — Klaus Dodds, Professor of Geopolitics, Royal Holloway, University of London

About the Author

Lisa E. Bloom is the author of many feminist books and articles in art history,  visual culture, and  cultural studies including her book Gender on Ice: American Ideologies of Polar Expeditions (University of Minnesota Press, 1993), the first critical feminist and postcolonial cultural studies book on the polar region, and her anthology With Other Eyes: Looking at Race and Gender in Visual Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 1999) that demonstrates that feminist, postcolonial and antiracist concerns can be incorporated into the history of art.

Her latest book, Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics: Artists Reimagine the Arctic and Antarctic (Duke University Press, 2022) examines aspects of feminist and environmentalist art that conjoins issues routinely kept apart in climate change debates such as the fate of indigenous communities, resurgent nationalisms, globalizing capitalism as well as questions of gender, race, and persistent postcolonial relations. She has taught and had been a researcher at numerous universities and art schools over the years including the University of California, Berkeley, (2018-2022) where she is a scholar-in-residence at the Beatrice Bain Center in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.


February 16, 2023
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm