upcoming seminar series Life After the Anthropocene
Life After the Anthropocene
An interdisciplinary seminar series for 2014-2015 Organisers
Jamie Lorimer and Jamie Castell Theme
The Anthropocene heralds a new epoch, initiated once humans became a
geological force. It marks a planetary event: the moment when the
‘earth system’ tipped out of Holocene. This transition jeopardises the
conditions that enabled human flourishing and informs alarming
predictions for the future of life on Earth.
The veracity, utility and nomenclature of this epochal scientific
diagnosis are contested. But it nonetheless propels and intersects with
recent political and intellectual events in the environmental humanities
and social sciences. In particular the Anthropocene resonates with a
shared consensus on the end of a ‘Nature’ defined by Human absence and
of a figure of the ‘Human’ marked by biological exemption. Diverse
scholars accept that there is nowhere Natural on earth, nor are there
bounded Humans immune from the risks of biological and geological
Nature and the Human have been central to modern Western thought.
Their demise unsettles familiar conceptual foundations of human and
nonhuman life and calls for new ways of living. Popular responses to
these challenges track in two directions. The first and most prevalent
encourages more modernisation. A final escalation of human domination,
with ‘Man’ as the ‘God Species’ able to fully domesticate our unruly
planet and its lifeforms. Better markets, new technology and rational
administration are the prescription. The second advocates retreat. A
return to Nature through a disavowal of any or all of the above forms of
modernity. Its most misanthropic incarnations offer a world without us.
Neither of these is sufficient.
This seminar series engages speakers and audiences in search of
alternative forms of life and ways of living after the event of the
Anthropocene. Taking this event as a provocation, it encourages forms of
‘multinatural’ and ‘more-than-human’ thought through which we might
learn to love the monsters and nurture the multispecies ecologies of an
inhabited posthuman planet. Cast off from Nature it will gather a
diverse range of thinkers to offer imaginations of life after the
Anthropocene, conceiving and performing new relations for a further
The series will involve bi-weekly afternoon workshops with key
commentators on the Anthropocene, followed by a keynote address. If you
are interested in participating in these workshops please contact us
Confirmed speakers include Jane Bennett, Tim Ingold, Eben Kirksey, Thom van Dooren, Sarah Whatmore and Kathryn Yusoff. Please click here for the workshop programme. An Anthropocene Reader Please click here for a series of references on the Anthropocene.