April 15, 2024

CRITIQUE Seasonal Session: Spring in the Meadows – 8 May 2024, 1pm

Cherry blossom

This year’s Spring Session* takes place in the Meadows, Edinburgh, against the backdrop of the cherry blossoms in late bloom. Attendees are asked to pre-read two short texts, and the structure of the outing includes an open discussion, a solo reflective exercise, and contributions from an invited ‘provocateur’.

Themes for this session: responsibilities to and appreciation of place, ecological time, and the ethics of politicising the more-than-human.

These sessions are informal, reflective, and creative. In this spirit, we limit the group size to 20. We meet outside the Chrystal Macmillam Building at 1pm and walk together to a spot on the Meadows. Please bring something to sit on, and appropriate clothing for Edinburgh’s changeable weather. In the event of rain, we move to a seminar room inside CMB. In short:

  • All interested in critical ecological reflection are welcome to join. No special expertise required.
  • Yes, there is pre-reading: “Some Thoughts on the Common Toad” by George Orwell, 1946 (available here), and “Shadow Places and the Politics of Dwelling” by Val Plumwood, 2008 (available here).
  • Invited speaker/ provocateur: Adam Frank, PhD student in philosophy at Dundee University, whose work explores pedagogical methods that facilitate philosophical attentiveness in nature conservation spaces. (More on Adam here!)
  • Meeting place: outside CMB at 1pm sharp.
  • REGISTER: Places are limited to 20 attendees. To register and receive further coordination info, please follow this Eventbrite link.


*Seasonal Sessions is in its third year! We organise mini-fieldtrips to different settings outwith the university at different time of year, under the aegis of CRITIQUE, and supported by the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network (EEHN). The main aim of these events is to cultivate a practice of critical ecological reflection in an informal and exploratory environment. The sessions are part of a broader experimental project in collaborative place-based learning, and contribute to an emergent understanding of what it might mean to ‘environmentalise’ learning and teaching in higher education. For further information, please contact Grace Garland, at