LASER Talks in New Brunswick - New Stories for the Anthropocene

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LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST's international program of evening gatherings that brings artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations.

CHAIRS: Elizabeth Demaray

On November 12th, 2019, from 6-7:30 p.m., the Zimmerli Art Museum will become a hub for art and science collaboration as the host of LASER, or Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous. These International meetups are a platform for cross-disciplinary exchange and collaboration across the arts, sciences, and technology. Rutgers LASER aims to illuminate the extraordinary research and applied practice taking place across New Jersey in our laboratories, art studios, and classrooms.

This LASER Talk will bring together students, artists, researchers, and the greater campus community to consider the theme of "New Stories for the Anthropocene." "The Anthropocene defines Earth's most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans" ( This definition just scratches the surface; humans are complex and so are our Earth's systems. Our speakers will probe and highlight various experiences in Earth's environments, using ecological, geographic, and poetic lenses.

Focusing on the nexus of art, science, and technology, the evening will consist of lightning talks and a Q&A conversation with RU innovators focused on environmental research and stories.

Speakers include:

Karen O’Neill, Ph.D.: Associate Professor of Human Ecology

Karen M. O’Neill is a sociologist studying coastal climate adaptation, biodiversity, invasive species, and other policies on land and water. This includes understanding who wins and who loses under different policies. Karen has written or co-edited books on the U.S. program for river flood control and the growth of government power (Rivers by Design, Duke University Press), on race and Hurricane Katrina (Katrina’s Imprint, Rutgers University Press), and the book Taking Chances, on changes in institutions in response to Hurricane Sandy (Rutgers University Press). She has worked on coastal adaptation designs for Louisiana and New Jersey.

Evie Shockley, Ph.D.: Professor of English, Poet

Evie Shockley, J.D., Ph.D., is Professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.  She teaches courses on twentieth-century and contemporary African American literature, including her most popular one on Black Poetry, an ever-changing course that investigates the ways poets in this tradition have used the pleasures and possibilities of poetic form to challenge, inspire, delight, and comfort their audiences.  Professor Shockley is also a poet, and she enjoys giving poetry readings and teaching elements of poetic craft here at Rutgers and in locations nationally and abroad.

Kevon Rhiney, Ph.D.: Assistant Professor of Geography 

Kevon Rhiney, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Rutgers University. Prior to joining Rutgers, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford University (UK) and taught for several years at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica). His research explores the developmental and justice implications of global environmental change for coupled natural and human systems in the Caribbean, with a particular focus on the ways ensuing socio-ecological stresses and shocks (ranging from extreme weather events and new plant diseases, to displaced livelihoods) are unevenly experienced. Dr. Rhiney has also written extensively on environmental sustainability issues in the Caribbean and recently served as a contributing author for the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C.


The Team: Elizabeth Demaray (Associate Professor of Fine and Performing Arts RUC, Facilitator New Brunswick LASER), Jessica Mazzeo (Digital Media and Communications Coordinator), Katherine Febles and Taylor Vincent (Event Planning and Digital Media Interns)

New Brunswick Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) is a initiative of Leonardo/ISAST and is an international program of evening gatherings that brings artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations.


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LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 30 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website

The mission of the LASERs is to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of a region and to foster interdisciplinary networking.

November 12th, 2019 6:00 PM   through   7:30 PM
71 Hamilton Street
Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University
MAX Classroom
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

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