“Chesapeake Requiem” author and journalist Earl Swift will visit Appalachian State University’s campus on Nov. 13 to share his experience writing the story of an American community impacted by global warming. He will present a book talk at 11 a.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Parkway Ballroom and host a book reading and signing at 5 p.m. in the union’s Solarium. Both events are free and open to the public.
“Chesapeake Requiem” takes an intimate look at Tangier, Virginia, a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay known for softshell crabbing. Fewer than 500 people inhabit the island, and most make their living on the water. To craft the book, Swift spent two years living on Tangier, working with residents and observing the island’s traditions. His book sounds a warning on the coming fate of countless coastal communities like Tangier unless action is taken to mitigate and prevent climate change.
“Having worked with Earl at The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk for many years, I have been privy to the quality of his reporting firsthand," said Dr. Lynette Holman, associate professor of multimedia journalism. "I am so pleased that he is coming to Appalachian State University to share his storytelling expertise with us and especially because this is such an important story to tell.”
Laura England, co-facilitator of the Climate Stories Collaborative and lecturer in the Department of Sustainable Development, agreed. “Swift’s work helps us understand climate change in a deeply personal way,” she said. “Climate change is not just an issue of science or politics, but a source of disruption for millions of lives and livelihoods around the globe.”
Swift is a residential fellow of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia. He has authored seven books and written for newspapers in St. Louis, Anchorage and Norfolk, VA.
Swift’s visit is hosted by the university’s Climate Stories Collaborative, a faculty-led initiative aimed at growing the capacity of faculty and students to use a variety of creative media to tell the stories of those who are already affected by, and/or taking action to address, climate change. The event is brought to you by the College of Fine and Applied Arts and supported by Appalachian’s Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development and Department of Communication.
About the Department of Communication
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University focuses on preparing students to succeed in the varied fields within the communication industry. The department offers five majors – advertising, communication studies, electronic media/broadcasting, journalism and public relations – and a minor in communication studies. Graduates work in a wide range of positions in media, corporate, agency, government and nonprofit organizations.
About the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University prepares students to thoughtfully analyze human development while focusing on the applied practice of pursuing transformative, community-driven development and social change. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable development with concentrations in agroecology and sustainable agriculture; community, regional and global development; and environmental studies; as well as a Bachelor of Arts and minor in sustainable development.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance.