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Sahara Haze: Harmattan Wind and Tropospheric Histories

Event poster with speaker photo and registration info
Thursday, January 19, 2023
1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
May Joseph, Pratt Institute / Harmattan Theater
Climate Change, Decolonization, and Global Blackness

Please join the Climate Change, Decolonization, and Global Blackness Lab (CCDGBL) at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute for our 2022-23 speaker series. CCDGBL is part of The Entanglement Project, a new FHI initiative focused on the intersections of race, health, and climate. More info:

All talks are hybrid:
- In-person registration (w/ COVID safety info):
- Zoom registration:

ABOUT THE LECTURE: We are all Sahara. The Eastern seaboard of the United States is extensively impacted by the Sahara desert through the tropospheric ecologies of the Harmattan wind. The Sahara Haze, as the Harmattan Wind is called, is little understood in its sweeping planetary reach, affecting the Caribbean, the Brazilian rainforest, the Mediterranean, and vast regions of South Asia. This talk combines memoir, photographs and data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to shed light on our shared atmospheric futures through the escalating impact of climate change on the Sahara haze across Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the Caribbean, and the Americas.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: May Joseph is Professor of Global Studies in the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute and founder of Harmattan Theater, Inc., an environmental theater company based in New York City. Combining critical cultural theory and environmental practice in her scholarly research, Joseph has written widely on globalization, urbanism, performance and visual culture. Her work explores the junctures between cities, performance, water ecologies and coastal futures. Her books include Fluid New York: Cosmopolitan Urbanism and the Green Imagination (Duke University Press, 2013); Nomadic Identities: The Performance of Citizenship (Minnesota, 1999) and (as co-editor) Performing Hybridity (Minnesota, 1999). Since 2009, she has created community based, site specific performances addressing water issues along river and ocean cities around the maritime world including Istanbul, Venice, Amsterdam, Cochin, Delhi, Cape Town, Lisbon, New York. Her directorial interests lie in bringing together questions of Water politics, dance, trance movement traditions, ritual, performance art, mime, images and text into conversation with coastal societies. More info:

Contact: FHI