The Grand River Watershed: A Folk Ecology

The Grand River Watershed: A Folk Ecology

Poetry lecture by Karen Houle

Sat. 8 June 2019 _ 5.30-8 pm

How might we grasp the natural history of a river in a way that transcends mere data and description? How might we chronicle the way in which a living consortium of geology, weather, plants, animals and people has impacted, and been impacted by, the existence of a particular watercourse over the passage of time?

In her new book, philosopher and poet Karen Houle employes the wiliest tool she knows—poetry—to contemplate the complexities of the Grand River watershed in southern Ontario, stretching our notions of what can be know about a river.

Houle’s thinking is inspired by and borrows from various strands of scientific inquiry and documentation, and her poems integrate strands of thought from across the fields of entomology, molecular ecology, cultural anthropology and geography.

Karen Houle hails from Northern Ontario but calls Guelph home. Houle’s undergraduate degree is in Biology and Chemistry. She is now a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Guelph, and adjunct graduate faculty in the Schools of Fine Art and Music & the Guelph-Humber School of Creative Writing. Her areas of specialization are political theory, ethics, environmental philosophy, philosophy and literature, and feminist thought.