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“Dystopia isn’t where things go wrong. Dystopia is when things go wrong, and nothing can be done about it.” —Cory Doctorow
A few upcoming talks and activities:
I’ll be giving a research-oriented presentation on walking (and walkability) and its role in personal and community well-being at the annual MTRPA (Montana Trails, Recreation and Parks Association) conference being held April 2–5 in Whitefish, Montana.
I am incredibly grateful to the Dear Butte board for granting me a residency with them this year. I’ll be in Butte, Montana, in June, working on No Trespassing. I’m mentioning this mostly because the residency requires a community engagement aspect (which is such a cool idea for a residency), and what I’m working on will be—I hope—a walk through Butte led by a local (not me), with discussion of how communities can center and frame their collective stories, and that’s something I’d love to see considered everywhere.
This idea came from a middle school photography project presented a few years ago here in Whitefish. The essence is that national and international media usually tell one story about a place and people, often a misleading one. How, in contrast, would the people in that place themselves represent their stories? It’s not exactly a new idea, but it’s good to be reminded that those who don’t know your place and people don’t get to define who you are. Maybe you can run with it where you live. Or where you spend time. (How does this change in communities whose members are physically distant, or mostly online?)
July 9–12 the international Reclaiming the Commons conference (hosted jointly by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment [ASLE] and The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences [AESS]) will be held in Portland, Oregon, and I’ll be there giving a presentation on using narrative to reframe understanding of the commons. Not sure exactly what that will look like, but it will be similar to how I approach science and research-driven nonfiction writing.
I am very, very excited about attending this conference. They haven’t even built the full schedule yet and it already looks amazing.
The Threadable reading circle on Land Ownership will be wrapping up soon, though the discussions are always ongoing.
I’ve agreed to do a second reading circle and am going for something still related to this commons/ownership work but from a different perspective: Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Belonging. We’ll be reading science fiction, fantasy, and speculative short stories that bring to life a sense of home, belonging, and identity. I haven’t chosen the readings yet, but the authors whose stories I’m tentatively choosing from include several of my favorites: N.K. Jemisin, Cherie Dimaline, Nnedi Okorafor, Hao Jingfang, Octavia Butler, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Anjali Sachdeva. I’ll provide links when the time comes!
It’s bitterly cold here in northwest Montana. I hope you’re adequately sheltered, wherever you are, and finding ways to take care of one another.