Amitav Ghosh visits the Libraries for a free, public talk on April 4

Portrait of author Amitav Ghosh. Image credit: Ivo van der Bent

Portrait of author Amitav Ghosh. Image credit: Ivo van der Bent

Author Amitav Ghosh, one of the best thinkers about the role of the humanities in grappling with climate change, visits the Libraries for a public talk about the roles of class and being in environmental crisis on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hunt Library’s Auditorium.

Ghosh’s talk is free and open to the public but tickets are required. The special event, hosted by the Libraries and NC State’s Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs, is part of a National Humanities Center series, "Restoring Our Vitality: The Heart of the Matter and the Future of the Humanities," administered jointly with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In his talk, "Can the non-human speak? Other Beings in Myth, Literature and Ethnography," Ghosh will address our era of accelerating man-made climate change by considering some of the ways in which non-human consciousness figures in various narrative traditions.

“At this moment in time, when we look back on the history that has brought us to the point of a planetary catastrophe, we cannot but recognize that our plight is in large part a consequence of the ways in which certain classes of humans have actively muted all other beings by representing them as brutes; that is to say, creatures whose presence on earth is solely material,” he notes.

The now-ubiquitous spice nutmeg is at the center of Ghosh’s narrative. Its history is one of conquest and exploitation—of both human life and the natural environment. In Ghosh’s hands, nutmeg offers a parable for our environmental crisis, revealing the ways human history has always been entangled with earthly materials such as spices, tea, sugarcane, opium, and fossil fuels.

Ghosh's books The Nutmeg’s Curse, The Great Derangement, and Gun Island will be available for on-site purchase through Quail Ridge Books. 

About the author
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria and is the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, and The Ibis Trilogy, consisting of Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire. His nonfiction book The Great Derangement; Climate Change and the Unthinkable was published in 2016. His most recent book is The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis.