Visiting Writer to Discuss Dams

October 17, 2011 — The University of Virginia's Brown College will host Sean Borton, a U.Va. doctoral student in English, in its Visiting Environmental Writers and Scholars Series, which is free and open to the public.

Borton's talk, "Dam U: Thirteen Ways of Looking at Hydrological Infrastructure," will be held Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Jefferson Hall, Hotel C., on the West Range.

Borton, who lives in Underwood, Wash., is participating in watershed restoration as part of the decommissioning of the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River in south-central Washington. His talk will compare the usefulness and destructiveness of dams in general, whether more of them should be built and existing ones torn down. 

Borton's dissertation research assesses the proliferation of writings that express grief for the condition of the physical environment and how it relates to the contemporary environmental movement.

In Washington state, he is spending time helping in his family's orchard, as well as writing his dissertation and working as the language arts and science editor at a educational software company, Renaissance Learning. His articles and reviews have appeared in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment and the Oregon Encyclopedia Project.

For information, contact Bart Elmore at 434-924-7859 or

— By Anne Bromley