December 12, 2022
Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,
I am writing to invite you to our next President’s Distinguished Lecture with acclaimed environmental writer Elizabeth Rush. She will be speaking at 7 p.m. on April 10 at the Athey Center for Performance and Research at Palmer Auditorium.
Rush is the author of The Quickening: On Motherhood and Antarctica in the Twenty First Century and Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She is one of the leading voices in the global conversation about climate change, sea level rise and the resulting impacts on our lives, our communities and our planet. Her writing is elegant, haunting, rigorously reported and deeply intelligent. It sheds new light on the human condition and our capacity for hope and our ability to imagine and thrive in a world transformed by climate change.
Central to Rush’s writing practice is the act of listening: listening to those who live in front-line communities transformed by the climate; listening to Antarctica’s great glaciers as they go to pieces; listening to all those voices long locked out of environmental conversations. Her work explores fundamental questions: what does our broken world ask of us? How can we continue to live and love while also losing much?
Rush spent many years reporting from coastal communities experiencing the pressure of higher tides and stronger storms. In Rising, she weaves together her personal experience with first-hand testimonials of those living on the front lines of climate change, guiding readers through some of the places where sea level rise is a reality.
In 2019, Rush joined 57 scientists and crew onboard a research icebreaker for months in Antarctica to learn about the Thwaites Glacier, nicknamed the Doomsday Glacier because of its instability and potential to make a catastrophic impact on global sea-level rise this century. In The Quickening, Rush documents their voyage, offering sublime observations alongside the workaday moments of this groundbreaking expedition. Along the way, she takes readers on a personal journey around a more intimate question: What does it mean to bring a child into the world at this time of radical change?
Rush is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Howard Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation and Metcalf Institute. She lives in Providence and teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University.
Her visit to Connecticut College, organized in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, will include discussions with students earlier in the day in addition to the main event at 7 p.m. I look forward to seeing you there.