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College of Arts and Sciences

FGSS event to explore fracking, environment and citizen impacts

By: Yvette Lisa Ndlovu,  A&S Communications
October 24, 2018

Acclaimed poet Julia Kasdorf and award-winning documentary photographer Steven Rubin, co-authors of “Shale Play,” will be reading on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. at Buffalo Street Books. This will be followed by the event, “F Word: Poems + Photographs of Witness from Pennsylvania’s Fracking Fields,” on Nov. 12 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in 122 Rockefeller Hall.

“Julia Kasdorf and Steven Rubin use their art to allow people to express their deeply felt emotions and opinions,” said Jane Juffer, professor of English and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. “They see their work as a kind of witnessing, attempting to represent the voices of people whose opinions are not often sought out.”

The term shale play refers to a region exploited for its natural gas. The book gathers stories from people living in small towns in Appalachian Pennsylvania. The Nov.12 event will feature Kasdorf reading poetry and Rubin presenting his photography through projected slides. The talk will be an opportunity to listen to and see the citizens living amid the changes brought about by shale gas development.

“Students will be interested in both the content matter and the approach,” Juffer said. “Fracking speaks to a host of environmental concerns: how do we preserve the land and its resources while still respecting people’s need to make ends meet? How do local communities maintain control over their land in the face of powerful energy companies?”

The event is sponsored by the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, American Studies Program, the Department of English and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The event is free and open to the public.

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a communications assistant for the College of Arts & Sciences.

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle