Mihaela Mihai Lecture: Representing Environmental Grief

When: Wednesday, April 19, 2023 4:00 pm
Where: Kaplan Hall 193

We’re excited to announce a series of in-person events with the political theorist Mihaela Mihai (Edinburgh) sponsored by the UCLA Working Group in Memory Studies. Professor Mihai will be in residence the week of April 17-21 and will give a public lecture, lead a seminar, and respond to graduate students in a mini-conference. These events will all take place under the rubric of “Landscapes of Political Memory.” Professor Mihai will also be available for one-on-one meetings with graduate students or anyone else who would like to talk with her about relevant issues. Please contact Michael Rothberg if you would like to set up a time to meet (

All the necessary readings for the reading group session and seminar are available in our Box folder. All events will take place in Kaplan Hall 193, except for the Friday morning seminar, which will take place in Kaplan Hall 348.

Tuesday, April 11 at 1:00-2:30pm in Kaplan Hall 193: Reading Group Session

For this session, we will familiarize ourselves further with Mihai’s work by reading the introduction and first chapter of her recent book Political Memory and the Aesthetics of Care: The Art of Complicity and Resistance as well as a forthcoming essay from the journal Memory Studies on environmental commemoration. All necessary readings for the reading group session are available in our Box folder.

Wednesday, April 19 at 4:00pm – 5:30pm in Kaplan Hall 193: Representing Environmental Grief

Despite growing public concern, environmental loss—accumulating more-than-human deaths, extinct species, ravaged ecosystems—is mostly grieved by environmental scientists, activists, victims, and witnesses of devastation. Thus, over the last decade, numerous autobiographical texts have chronicled environmental grief and attested to a temporal gulf between those who inhabit the accelerating catastrophe and condemn the slow pace of redress, and those trapped in a “business-as-usual” temporality. Building on constructivist theories of representation and political theorists’ engagements with autobiography, Mihai reads these texts as sources of self-authorized representative claims targeting two objectives: first, to summon the already grieving into a constituency of shared experience built around a vision of grief compatible with both hope and action; second, to bridge the “segregated temporalities” of hegemonic time and that of environmental activists, scientists and survivors.

Friday, April 21 at 10:00am – 12:00pm in Kaplan Hall 348: Seminar – Architecture, Political Violence, and Collective Memory

For this seminar, there will be two readings on architecture, political violence, and memory, also available in our Box folder. This event will be held in Kaplan Hall 348 and will be followed by lunch.

Friday, April 21 at 1:30pm – 3:30pm in Kaplan Hall 193: Mini Conference

Following the seminar on Friday afternoon, three UCLA graduate students, Yair Agmon (Information Studies), Ivanna Berrios (Comparative Literature), and Naomi Ellis (Political Science) will be presenting short papers in a mini-conference.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 4:00 pm America/Los_Angeles Mihaela Mihai Lecture: Representing Environmental Grief Kaplan Hall 193 UCLA English