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A new Earth conversation


A new Earth conversation (NEC) is a campus-wide climate change initiative in which we reckon with and reflect on the human impact on Earth's ecosystem, and explore what is possible from here.

This fall, with generous funding from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, we begin to fulfill the vision for our collective response, generated by the faculty over the last three years. Learn more about the full scope of the initiative on the NEC website


All Together Now — politics, economy, social justice and the climate

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th at 7pm | Fireside Lounge 
  I Am Not Your Negro
A searing indictment of prejudice and hatred in America, guided by the words of the late, great James Baldwin. We will hold small dialogue circles following the film.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th | 9am–4pm
Learn more about our schedule of events on the All Together Now website.

KEYNOTE CONVERSATION | Jefferson 320, 1:30pm
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Minister for Ecological Justice, Bethel AME Church
Melissa Hoffer, Chief of the Energy & Environment Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
with Professor Ellen Foley, IDCE



How to let go of the world 
and love all the things climate can't change 
Filmmaker Josh Fox visits twelve countries as he investigates climate change, and acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences; if so, what is it that climate change can't destroy?
Tim DeChristopher, climate activist, will join us for a conversation after the film.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25 at 7pm | Jeff 320
Listening for Signal (2016)
This short documentary, filmed in northern New Mexico,  immerses us in conversation with members of theCouncil on the Uncertain Human Future on how we wish to conduct ourselves in the face of climate change. 

The World We Wish To See (2018)
The launch of a new short film on a Council held at the Berkshire Waldorf High School, Stockbridge MA. Some of the Council members will join us for conversation after the screenings.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 at 7pm | Higgins Lounge 
Seasons (2015)
An awe-inspiring tale by two acclaimed French filmmakers of the long shared history that binds humankind and nature, focusing on animal life. 
The film celebrates the launch of the NEC program Listening in Nature; information and conversation will follow the film.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29 at 7pm | Higgins Lounge 


A Call to Life Variations on a Theme of Extinction
Kathleen Dean Moore and Rachelle McCabe

A powerful call to action on global warming and mass extinction, A Call to Life is a collaboration between concert pianist Rachell McCabe and writer/philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore. McCabe performs Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme from Corelli while Moore weaves words between the variations, giving voice to humanity’s grief and ferocious hope.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 at 5:30 pm | Razzo Hall


Fall 2018 Collaboratives

Ecologies in Crisis: Views from the Humanities (ENG 256/356) — Steve Levin 
Participants will explore the idea of 'ecology' in cross-cultural perspective, with particular consideration to literary responses to climate change in different cultural and political contexts. 

Technology of Renewable Energy (PHYS 343) — Chuck Agosta
This course explores the technical issues confronting the conversion of the world's fossil fuel economy to one where the major sources of energy are sustainable. The pros and cons of major renewable energy sources (such as solar and wind) will be discussed, along with some of the less universal sources such as tides and geothermal, including, of course, efficiency, the hidden energy resource. A main resource for the Collaborative is the design and building of the Clark microgrid, and related projects and issues.


Collaboratives model dialogic and emergent learning, and cultivate an arc between seeking to know and choosing to act in relationship to the climate crisis. 

In a Collaborative, students, faculty, and community partners engage in a genuine inquiry and collective search for insight around climate-related issue. Starting with a shared Council experience (, members ask What is taking place on Earth, and why is it happening? What are the implications? They then reflect on What  question do we most want to grapple with? What do we need to know now? Given what we have come to know, how do we choose to respond? 

Dynamic, emergent, and iterative, the work of Collaboratives takes shape through this process of inquiry and discernment, which may lead to a shared action or intervention. Its members build horizontal relationships of teaching and learning as they grapple with an issue of collective concern.

Interested in developing an NEC Collaborative course or transforming an existing course into a Collaborative for Spring 2019? We have funding to assist you in course development. Contact Sarah Buie or Ellen Foley.


Affiliate courses consider topics related to NEC questions, and students enrolled in them are encouraged to participate in NEC-sponsored programs and conversations. We are delighted that the following courses are affiliated with the NEC this semester:

Fall 2018 FYIs

EDUC 070: Building Community through Research With — Nastasia Lawton-Sticklor
ENG 113: Speculative Fiction — Betsy Huang
GEOG 106: Water and the City: A Socio-Hydrology of Worcester and its Environs — Rinku Roy Chowdhury
ID 105: Visualizing Human Rights: Culture, Law, and the Politics of Representation — Kenneth MacLean
IDND 052: Writing: Sense of Place — Jessica Bane-Robert
IDND 087: Challenge Convention, Change our World — David Angel

Affiliated Courses

IDCE 395: Culture, Environment and Development — Ed Carr
GEOG 017: Environment and Society — James McCarthy

If you are interested in affiliating a course with A new Earth Conversation, please get in touch with us! Contact Sarah Buie or Ellen Foley.

Students and faculty watching the film Overview at the NEC Evening of Council event in Spring 2018.


Lead Co-Conveners  
Sarah Buie V&PA 
Ellen Foley IDCE

Rinku Roy Chowdhury Geography
Amy Richter History 
Deb Robertson Biology
Core Leadership
Chuck Agosta Physics
Jessica Bane-Robert Writing Center
Ed Carr IDCE
Steve Levin English
Jenny Isler Sustainable Clark
Rachael Shea Library
Walter Wright Philosophy
Copyright © 2022 A new Earth Conversation, All rights reserved.

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