Current VPA News

Rob Enslin

Cary Wolfe

Cary Wolfe, a leading cultural theorist at Rice University, will serve as the Central New York Humanities Corridor Mellon Distinguished Visiting Collaborator at Syracuse University. A pioneer of posthumanist thought and animal studies, he will deliver the CNY Humanities Corridor Mellon Distinguished Visiting Collaborator Public Lecture on Wednesday, March 9. Titled “The Poetics of Extinction,” the event will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in 123 Sims Hall. It is co-sponsored by the CNY Humanities Corridor and the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Wolfe’s keynote address will look at how art, science and philosophy respond to the concept of extinction, along with society’s ethical responsibilities to other forms of life.

Wolfe will also headline two other local events. On Thursday, March 10, he will join artist-scholar Maria Whiteman for a program titled “Between Species” at Hosmer Auditorium in the Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., Syracuse. From 6:30-8:30 p.m., the duo will discuss and present a series of curated videos, organized by the CNY Humanities Corridor. “Between Species” is part of an Urban Video Project/Light Work exhibition by the same name.

Wolfe will round out his visit on Friday, March 11, with the CNY Humanities Corridor Mellon Distinguished Visiting Collaborator Mini-Seminar. Titled “After Biopolitics,” the event will run from 9 a.m.-noon in room 304 of the Tolley Humanities Building. Registration is required; please RSVP to by Monday, March 7. The seminar is co-sponsored by the CNY Humanities Corridor and the Syracuse University Humanities Center (A&S). 

All events are free and open to the public.

At Rice, Wolfe doubles as the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English and director of the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory. He is the author or editor of nearly a dozen books, including "What Is Posthumanism?" (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), which is part of a series of books he edits. In addition to being a widely published scholar, Wolfe is an internationally sought-after speaker whose presentations often incorporate elements of the arts and humanities, technology, natural science and social science.

Prior to Rice, Wolfe held faculty positions SUNY Albany and Indiana University Bloomington. He earned a Ph.D. from Duke University.