faculty lecture man

Adams State University presents a special guest lecture
by Paul Formisano, Ph.D., “Tributary Voices and Alternative Water Ethics in the Colorado River Basin,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, in McDaniel Hall 101. The event is free and open to the public.

ONE hundred years ago this November, officials from seven western states and the federal government convened to ratify the Colorado River Compact, the foundational document that has governed the river’s management over the last century. “In light of today’s unprecedented drought throughout the Colorado River Basin, many are questioning the document’s future as states and nations debate over how best to allocate a dwindling resource,” Dr. Formisano said.

“Such reflection encourages us to think beyond the typical avenues for addressing water shortages found in science, law, and policy to consider alternative viewpoints that need to join the conversation and informed water use.”

In his presentation, Dr. Formisano speaks about his book “Tributary Voices: Literary and Rhetorical Explorations of the Colorado River” and the value tributary voices—the non- traditional, often overlooked perspectives from the watershed—possess in fostering a more informed and sustainable water ethic to guide us in an unpredictable future.

Dr. Formisano, associate professor of English and director of writing at the University of South Dakota (USD), received his Ph.D. in English from the University of New Mexico in 2012. He was a National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Institute Scholar at Hoover Dam, a Visiting Fellow at the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, and, most recently, the recipient of USD’s Doyle Award for excellence in teaching in the humanities. Dr. Formisano’s research and teaching in the environmental humanities examine how western American literature and environmental literature and rhetoric inform our understanding of and provide solutions to current water resource challenges.

He has published book chapters and articles on this subject, most recently in the Review of International American Studies (2021) and Reading Aridity in Western American Literature (2020). He has a forthcoming chapter in a collection on the western writer/historian Wallace Stegner by University of Nebraska Press. His monograph Tributary Voices: Literary and Rhetorical Explorations of the Colorado River was published by the University of Nevada Press in 2022.

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