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Jeffrey Cohen
Works at George Washington University
Attended Harvard University
Lives in Washington, DC
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Jeffrey Cohen

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Today's the last meeting of my Folger Institute seminar "The Scale of Catastrophe: Ecology and Transition, Medieval to Early Modern." I've had some superb teaching experiences at GW over the years, but this weekly gathering of astute, adept, creative minds from ten universities (geographically ranging from Cambridge MA to to Chapel Hill NC) has been in its own league: what a privilege. Some of the things that made the seminar so special: the primary texts; the fact that we could examine many of these works in their earliest printed forms as part of the class; the rich work in ecotheory through which we were able to frame our encounter with the historical materials; the absence of assessmentphilia (the only outcome of the seminar is cognitive expansion, to be measured by NO ASSESSMENT TOOL AT ALL); and the helpfulness and good cheer of the Folger staff (this must be what it is like to work at an institution that spends money on supporting pedagogy rather than stripping such funding away: a clean and well lit room with good acoustics; never having to worry about technology or accommodating a guest scholar; having publicity, set up, organization of desired materials and even scanned PDFs be the purview of someone other than the seminar leader, who is thereby freed to put all energy into teaching; enthusiasm for innovation rather than a weary list of why such and such won't work; treating seminar participants as people whose intellectual growth is the be-all and end-all of the seminar, so that resources were dedicated to rather than extracted from us). And of course the participants. My seminar skewed young, with only one member already postdoctoral and most in that exciting period when coursework is ending and the future brims. The eleven who enrolled have been utterly engaged and yet deeply kind to each other -- no drama! no palpable anxiety! What could be better?

But we end with Thomas Dekker, Walter Ralegh, Tim Ingold, Lowell Duckert (I am calling them the Four Weather Men). We'll wonder about saturation, elementality, and (an ongoing concern in the seminar) the gender and race of catastrophe (the primary materials are all about Amazons, virgin queens, and abducted "naturals"). Then we will reflect back on our time together, share a drink and a meal, and carry this little community forward in ways I hope will endure.
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Jeffrey Cohen

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Teaching Medieval and Early Modern Cross-Cultural Encounters: The Pleasures and Perils of Research on Teaching
a guest post by Karina F. Attar and Lynn Shutters Teaching Medieval andEarly Modern Cross-Cultural Encounters :  The Pleasures and Perils of
Research on Teaching Many academic projects are born out of naïveté, a not
knowing just how much work an article or ...
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Jeffrey Cohen

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Dr. Jami Rogers "Shakespeare and (the lack of?) Diversity" April 24
Please join us for the last two events of the 2014-15 year! Entangled Trajectories:  Integrating Native American and European Histories Register by April 1 to attend. Complete information HERE . AND Dr. Jami Rogers "Shakespeare and (the lack of?) Diversity:...
Please join us for the last two events of the 2014-15 year! Entangled Trajectories:  Integrating Native American and European Histories Register by April 1 to attend. Complete information HERE. AND Dr. Jami Rogers "Shakespea...
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Jeffrey Cohen

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"Geophilia, or the Love of Stone" in the latest Continent.
by J J Cohen The new issue of Continent.​ is out -- and contains a modified excerpt from the first chapter of my book Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman (" Geophilia, or The Love of Stone "). You can access the essay in a web version or a nice PDF by followin...
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"It is unethical."
by J J Cohen A year ago I placed this update on FB where it engendered quite a lively conversation. Having come across it by accident this morning, I'm offering it here now because of late I've grown weary of the gated community that platform fosters. And I...
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Jeffrey Cohen

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NCS 2016 CFP, and thinking about the future of the field
by J J Cohen I posted this on Facebook , where it has triggered a conversation on diversity in early fields of study that you may want to peruse. I want to ensure, though, that more people have access to the post than Facebook friends and followers. I worry...
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Jeffrey Cohen

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GW MEMSI, Environmental Humanities and a few thoughts about the future of the past
by J J Cohen Has it been a week already? Feels like I'm just done with what turned out to be an energetic, intimate, invigorating symposium: Transition, Scale and Catastrophe, sponsored by GW MEMSI . The six presenters worked so well in their pairs, intensi...
by J J Cohen Has it been a week already? Feels like I'm just done with what turned out to be an energetic, intimate, invigorating symposium: Transition, Scale and Catastrophe, sponsored by GW MEMSI. The six presenters worke...
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Jeffrey Cohen

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Dana Luciano has composed a brilliant essay on the stakes of naming when the Anthropocene (the geological epoch during which human impress becomes evident) begins. Some scholars have suggested a fairly recent date (aligning its commencement with nuclear weapons / elite technology), but the climate scientists Simon L. Lewis and Mark A Maslin argue for 1610 to emphasize an origin in colonialism, genocide in the Americas, and coal (with Dana rightly adding: SLAVE TRADE). A key reason for the earlier date is to signal "the spread of a humanism that has failed much of humanity, a failure to which even the Arctic ice cores can bear witness, and that in doing so has deeply damaged the planet as well: an inhuman humanism. The contradiction that some have seen in the name of the proposed epoch—that the “Anthropocene” was not brought about by all members of the species it names—is precisely the problem it is now up to us to solve." The earlier date thereby stresses embodied human responsibility and renders the Anthropocene intimate to longue durée environmental justice.
Read the essay!
with intense eagerness
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Jeffrey Cohen

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Check it out! So happy to be in this issue.
 
New issue of +continent. is now available for your consumption, features icons from Carl Emil Carlsen,
"The images illustrate the texts in this issue of continent., stripped from all qualitative information. Starting from the centre and spiraling out, every word is represented by a box. The more times a word is repeated the further it is pushed into the background, in effect placing it under the shadows of surrounding words."
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Noah's Arkive
by J J Cohen Below you'll find an essay in progress on Noah's Flood and the stories we tell about climate change. It's a draft, and already too long for the forum in which it will appear (a massive anti-keywords in ecotheory project that I will blog about e...
by J J Cohen Below you'll find an essay in progress on Noah's Flood and the stories we tell about climate change. It's a draft, and already too long for the forum in which it will appear (a massive anti-keywords in ecotheor...
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Jeffrey Cohen

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If you are attending ‪#‎Shakeass15‬ in Vancouver ... please spread the word. My wonderful colleague Ayanna Thompson in league with the Folger Shakespeare Library enabled this event to happen.
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I am hoping that you will help to spread the word about the Shakespeare Association of America’s FIRST Scholars of Color Social, a networking event in Vancouver on Saturday, April 4 from 6-8pm (open bar!). The SAA, in conjunction with the Folger Shakespeare Library, invite scholars of color and all conferees to socialize, network, and celebrate the vibrancy of our field. If you are attending the conference, please come to this event. If you are unable to attend, please help to spread the word. I’m not on social networks so please forward this email to others, Tweet about it to your network, post something on Facebook, etc.
I hope to see you all there!
All best,
Ayanna Thompson
SAA Trustee 2013-2015
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Jeffrey Cohen

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Two important, interrelated objectives for medieval studies: the fostering of a more ecologically aware field through an environmentality that connects present to past; and the creation of a more diverse discipline by researching and narrating more complicated [polyglot, multicultural, postcolonial] stories about the Middle Ages and by cultivating a more heterogeneous professoriat than the one we now possess. Well, these two things are important to me at least, and they motivate the two proposals I submitted for New Chaucer Society sessions. I am guessing some others share these concerns.
PLEASE consider submitting an abstract for NCS 2016 in London. My two session descriptions are below, and I will place a link to the submission page at the bottom.
4. Environing London
Organizer: Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (jjcohen@gwu.edu)
Roundtable
This roundtable gathers some recent work by medievalists and others on ecology and ecotheory. It asks participants to discuss, what happens when we consider London as an urban ecosystem that surrounds (that is, environs) overlapping systems of life while being environed by others (the Thames as estuarine microclimate, weather in constant flux or as part of a Little Ice Age, the long durations of geological history)? Short papers will provoke a lively discussion of the impress of ecosystem on text, and of the possibility of reading ecological change and catastrophe from the literary archive. This session will welcome papers that ruminate over longues durées, so that A Burnable Book meets the Book of the Duchess meets the fossil record and archives of ice and fire.
47. Are We Postcolonial Yet? Pale Faces 2016 
Organizer: Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (jjcohen@gwu.edu)
Paper panel
This session will ponder the ways in which literary medieval studies has both changed and resisted some profound challenges to its self-identity over the past decade and a half. Returning to the theme of Carolyn Dinshaw's 2000 Biennial Lecture in London ("Pale Faces: Race, Religion and Affect in Chaucer's Texts and Their Readers"), presenters will wonder about diversity among medievalists, the place of the personal, the matter of race, and the decolonization of medieval studies as a discipline. Sixteen years after Dinshaw's lecture, in the wake of important work by scholars like Ingham, Heng, Warren and Davis (among many others), we will ask if we are postcolonial yet, and wonder why we remain so pale.
http://newchaucersociety.org/2016-call
The New Chaucer Society provides a forum for teachers and scholars of Geoffrey Chaucer and his age.
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Professor of English and Director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute, George Washington University, Washington DC
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  • Harvard University
    English Literature and Language, 1987 - 1992
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Jeffrey Cohen's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Bethesda TV tower violating light pollution rules again
robertdyer.blogspot.com

Crown Castle, yet again, is failing to properly maintain and operate the aircraft warning lights on its 850' telecommunications tower in the

"Vous êtes joignable"
medievalmeetsworld.blogspot.com

Happy arrival Here is Eleanor perching on the front stoop of our house in Courbevoie (still on the Metro line but definitely a marvelous wor

Sunday Roundup
www.thismess.net

It's Sunday and it's my birthday. Here's my blog post. I wrote good stuff this week. Please go read it and share it. :) I published three es

Kzoo2014, first thought
www.inthemedievalmiddle.com

by KARL STEEL La bufera infernal, che mai non resta, mena li spirti con la sua rapina; voltando e percotendo li molesta. Quando giungon dava

Get Out Your Dolce & Gabbana: Rogues, Faking It, Worlding, Impossibl...
www.inthemedievalmiddle.com

by EILEEN A. JOY It's hard to believe that the Norman Kingdom of Sicily inspired Dolce and Gabbana's Fall/Winter 2014 collection, but it did

Blaise of Parma (c. 1347-1416), the Doctor Diabolicus, a posthuman, mate...
www.inthemedievalmiddle.com

by KARL STEEL Doctor Devil. From Prize Comics #22. First, have a look at BABEL'S Spring Fundraiser if you haven't yet. And look again if you

Works Cited: Humanities scholarship is incredibly relevant, and that mak...
nataliacecire.blogspot.com

Man, two of them today, one in 3am Magazine (h/t Robin James) and one in the relentlessly regressive WSJ (remember this guy, whose cranky pa

This is Not My (or, Our) Time, so Please Take Ecstasy With Me: The Neces...
www.inthemedievalmiddle.com

by EILEEN JOY for Jeffrey Cohen, Michael O'Rourke, and Karl Steel, scholars-in-arms and also for Carolyn Dinshaw As we navigate the ruins of

I Regret to Inform You That My Wedding to Captain Von Trapp Has Been Can...
www.mcsweeneys.net

Dear friends, family, and Austrian nobility, Captain Von Trapp and I are very sorry to inform you that we no longer plan to wed. We offer ou

Being There
medievalmeetsworld.blogspot.com

Actually, Sts. Cosmo & Damian I wonder if this is how we might have appeared to her, two still strange creatures - high up, transfixed, simi

Parchment, Echo, Nature?, Epochs?, Bristles: Contact Ecologies, 2013
medievalmeetsworld.blogspot.com

Yes, again.I return to Brueghel's Tower of Babel after a conference, this time, in the echo-chamber of the upper reaches of the Tower, whenc

A nervous moment in a Chaucer class, solved.
www.inthemedievalmiddle.com

by KARL STEEL We've all faced and perhaps all been the nervous presenter. Today I hit upon what might be the perfect solution. I suggested t

The Canon Anew
www.gwmemsi.com

The Canon Anew Friday, October 25 Rome Hall 771 801 22nd St NW 3pm Free and open to the public "The Canon Anew" is an event featuring GW Eng

Up Next: The Future We Want / Burn After Reading
www.oliphauntbooks.com

The Future We Want/Burn After Reading Edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Eileen A. Joy, and Myra Seaman a tête-bêche double-volume co-published

ECOLOGY WITHOUT NATURE: Julian Yates on ANT at Rice
ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com

“Outstanding.” —Slavoj Zizek, In Defense of Lost Causes “Dark ecology has the potential to be the punk rock or experimental pop of ecologica

ITM Moderation Policy
www.inthemedievalmiddle.com

by J J Cohen It has been a while since we have spoken about the blog's comment moderation policy, so I thought it would be useful to remind

Really Real
medievalmeetsworld.blogspot.com

Courbet, River Landscape (private collection!) I'd forgotten my camera and kind of cursed doing so and kind of tried to love the freedom you

Lithographia
danieljdavies.blogspot.com

Around a couple of months ago I went to see the Vikings! exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland and was struck dumb by a standing sto

Destabilizing the Jenny McCarthy Public Health Industrial Complex
www.theatlantic.com

Giving the anti-vaccine advocate a platform is dangerous.

Our son started going to Twin Creeks in the 5th grade, and he has returned every year through eleventh (when he was a Junior Counselor -- and in college he hopes to be a counselor). Our daughter started in 3rd grade and is still going with enthusiasm (she is about to enter 6th grade). Both have made very close friends at TC that they continue to see when camp isn't in session. It is hard to imagine a better run, more enjoyable, more safe or more beautiful camp. Iain McClements is absolutely stellar as a director: patient, visionary, friendly, able to handle every crisis, and an incredibly good hearted person. Twin Creeks is an amazing place and we are happy our family has been part of it for so long.
• • •
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Very tasty food, good organic wines. Recommended: vegetable momo (dumplings) and pakoras; Bahigun Bharta (eggplant); Shahi Paneer (cheese in a spicy, creamy tomato sauce -- VERY good); naan.
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
7 reviews
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Reasonable price, good view from the ocean front rooms, Acadia close by, excellent breakfast as part of price. The nature cruise that leaves from the hotel dock is also very good.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago