Invasive Plantimacies? Queering Kinship. The Posthumanism Research Network Presents Dr. Catriona Sandilands

Following a long line of queer and feminist thinkers who have taken up intimacy as a key terrain of biopolitical struggle, this talk will explore possibilities for living intimately with plants, and especially so-called “invasive” plants, as an important invitation to rethinking ecological relationships in and for the [M]Anthropocene.

The talk will focus on mulberries in Southern Ontario – both Morus alba and M. rubra – as a way of considering the historical and ongoing biocolonial linkages between the regulation of mulberry intimacies and the regulation of human intimacies. Mulberries are particularly good plants with whom to think to imagine revived multispecies intimacies and kinships for these biopolitically complicated times.

Catriona (Cate) Sandilands is a Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, where she teaches in the Environmental Humanities. Her most recent book (edited) is Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate-Changing Times (Caitlin, 2019); her in-progress book
is Plantasmagoria: Botanical Encounters in the [M]Anthropocene, and she is still fielding questions about Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire (Indiana, 2010).

Tue, 12th November, 4:00-6:00 PM, Brock University
Read more here
Posthumanism Research Institute

Open Humanities Lab Symposium: New Humanities & the Anthropocene (14-15 May)

Welcome to the Open Humanities Lab Symposium: New Humanities & the Anthropocene, taking place on 14th & 15th May at Openlab, Stockholm.

In order to register for the event, please send an email to: the.posthumanities.hub[at]gmail.com

New Humanities & the Anthropocene (Uncertainty, response-ability and humankind)

Now, the environment is in us, and we humans are fully in the environment: that much is clear in this new planetary era of uncertainty some call the Anthropocene. This new geological period, the environmental ‘Age of Man’, is often defined by unparalleled human disturbance of the Earth’s ecosystems, climate, and biodiversity. Almost half of the wildlife on Earth has been lost in the past forty years. Perhaps we will soon have spawned more transgenic organisms, synthetic biological systems, hybrid creatures or artificial intelligences than we ever asked for. In the age of the Anthropocene, humans have become a ‘force of nature’, making nature – in its classical sense – over.  The old idea of Universal Man  in its classical and imagined sense of a bounded individual, safely zipped up in a white skin of his own, guided by rational thought rather than sociability, preconceptions and desires, along with his anthropocentrism seem dated, if not down-right detrimental to our planetary existence. Conventional divides between nature and culture, sex and gender, body and technology, human and animal, and between science and society, have collapsed.

During the past several decades, emerging research in the humanities has turned its attention to subjects that were previously conceived as ‘not human enough’: women, queers, children, migrants, people of colour, elderly, and other groups. Simultaneously, popular culture, technologies, animal subjects, insects, plants, whole ecosystems, along with all kinds of human and more-than-human infrastructures, call for our attention. After all, values, purpose, existential conditions and sociocultural formations that are historically sustained, or not, on local or larger scales, are the expertise of the humanities (and its sibling social sciences). The human exceptionalism of the humanities is increasingly abandoned in favour of planetary ethics, societal accountability, and a more-than-human humanities of conviviality. We witness now the exciting emergence of new humanities, responding to present societal challenges.

How can the humanities accommodate the transformations associated with advances in science, technology, medicine, with the Anthropocene and the ‘great acceleration’ of planetary damage following suit with ’progress’ and ‘growth’? Is there a solidarity in our precarious diversity as we now all have to learn to live with the wounds of the world, to live on a damaged planet? Can we, like Timothy Morton, re-imagine kindness in its human and more-than-human sense? How can the new humanities, like environmental humanities, feminist bio-philosophy, cyborg studies, architectural philosophy, multispecies studies, eco-art, citizen humanities, gender studies, human-animal studies, plant theory, techno-humanities, media studies and digital humanities, respond to the challenges of the Anthropocene? Such forms of posthumanities – or new humanities – often share a sense of belonging in a world not divided across nature and culture, arts and sciences. For new humanities, postdisciplinary bridge-building and collaborations are crucial. So is responsibility, response-ability, and situated knowledges, as Donna Haraway and decades worth of feminist theorising on what gets to count as human or natural remind us.

Can the new humanities, transformative and integrative in nature, become not just relevant to society but also enact real change? Can we have research that is participatory, communicable, and, as Rosi Braidotti puts it, ‘worthy of our times’?

Come join the conversation on uncertainty, response-ability, and humankind in the age of the Anthropocene, and see if the new humanities’ cultivation of attentiveness, curiosity, care, concern, and critique can do something for you, co-existentially with others.

Warmly welcome to an open dialogue amongst various artists, scholars, educators, citizens, academic activists, and journalists, a symposium where we break bread together in public and forge new brave alliances in the face of the unexpected!

After all, humanities is for everybody.

Speakers:

Katja Aglert, independent artist and researcher, SE

Marco Armiero, KTH, SE

Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht University, UK

Christine Daigle, Brock University, CA

Hayden Lorimer, University of Glasgow, UK

Christina Fredengren, Stockholm University, SE

Hélène Frichot, KTH, SE

Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, UK

Myra Hird, Queen’s University, CA

Janna Holmstedt, KTH, SE

Lauren LaFauci, Linköping University, SE

Nina Lykke, Linköping University, SE

Tara Mehrabi, Karlstad University, SE

Norie Neumark, LaTrobe University, AU

mirko nikolić, independent artist, SE/FI

Jesper Olsson, Linköping University, SE

Marietta Radomska, Linköping University, SE/University of Helsinki, FI

Lina Rahm, Linköping University, SE

Margrit Shildrick, Stockholm University, SE

Sverker Sörlin, KTH, SE

Lotten Wiklund, journalist, SE

Cecilia Åsberg, KTH, SE/Linköping University, SE

Full programme in PDF

UPDATE (13.05):

The registration for the event is now CLOSED as we have reached the capacity of the venue. There might be a few spots left in case anyone from the registered participants cancels last minute.

 

OpenHumanitiesLab new version-page-001

SYMPOSIUM: Deterritorialising the Future

Deterritorialising the Future - Poster-page-001

Deterritorialising the Future: A symposium on heritage inof and after the Anthropocene

14th September 2018, 9:30 – 17:30
Senate House London
UK

What does it mean to conserve, collect, curate or interpret ‘the past’ in the shadow of the Anthropocene? How might we reimagine issues of care, vulnerability, diversity and inheritance in this new geological/conceptual framework? Drawing on current investigative work in the environmental humanities, comparative literature, media studies, archaeology, museology, and cultural geography, this transdisciplinary symposium seeks to ‘deterritorialise’ the future by exploring new modes of doing and thinking heritage in more-than-human worlds.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Cecilia Åsberg, Stockholm University
  • Denis Byrne, Western Sydney University
  • Rick Crownshaw, Goldsmiths University of London
  • Caitlin DeSilvey, University of Exeter
  • Christina Fredengren, Stockholm University
  • Franklin Ginn, University of Bristol
  • Þóra Pétursdóttir, University of Tromsø
  • Mary Thomas, Ohio State University
  • Adrian Van Allen, Musee du Quai Branly
  • Kathryn Yusoff, Queen Mary University of London
  • Joanna Zylinska, Goldsmiths University of London

Register for Tickets

 

* SAVE THE DATE *

The symposium will be preceded by a public lecture from Professor Claire Colebrook, Penn State University, on Thursday 13th September. See the AHRC Heritage Research Events Page for further details.

The lecture and symposium form part of the AHRC Heritage Research programme. Please visit the website to find out about our other events and activities.

To keep up to date with news and events follow us on Twitter: @AhrcHeritage

Feminist posthumanities is for everybody!

Human nature is not the oxymoron we imagined it to be. In this new planetary age of the Anthropocene, defined by human-induced climatic, biological, and even geological transformations, we humans are fully in nature. And nature is fully in us. This was, of course, always the case, but it is more conspicuously so now than ever before: people are entangled in co-constitutive relationships with nature and the environment, with other animals and organisms, with medicine and technology, with science and epistemic politics. We live and die, play, thrive, and suffer by each other. For example, think of “mad cow” disease, where humans feeding cows with by-products from slaughtered sheep infected with the prionic disorder “scrapie” in turn generates prion disorders in cows that get transmitted to human beef consumers through a series of transcorporeal (Alaimo 2010) gestures across species. We can think, too, of pollen allergies and their increased prevalence as an index of our environed embodiment. Or how hormone-like substances seep from plastics into microorganisms, fish bodies, human infants in increasingly aggressive polymere ecologies. While culture and nature never were in fact separated but for academic divisions of labour, we live in a time when the so called “human mastery”, alterations, and especially the “slow violence (Nixon 2011) of these naturcultural relationships of embodied environments and environed embodiments appear to us more clearly. For such power-imbued yet generative relationships, we need a more-than-human humanities. We also need expertise on human differences; those between men and women; between men and men, or women and women; transgender, and internal to our, after all, not-so-fully rational human (and microbial) Selfhood. More-than-human and human differences (gender, class, race, nationality, age, sexual orientation, specie- or land relationality, etc) interplay in intricate ways, socially. Our work at the Posthumanities Hub, take such differences very seriously as we make our case for diverse feminist forms of the posthumanities (Wolfe 2003). Our starting points are diverse too; a love for science, art and philosophy,  postnatural feminisms, technological empowerment, humanities disciplines like history, literature, philosophy, languages, the cyborg ontology and situated epistemology of Donna Haraway (1991), anti-racist justice movements and anti-colonial environmentalism, veganism, plant theory, and multispecies justice. All of these are critical and creative endevours that provide mind-sets and society’s psyche with new concepts to guide thought and practice.  At The Posthumanities Hub, we embrace a feminist posthumanities that stands able to frame naturecultures unfolding and recalibrate humanities analytics for an Anthropocene of many differences. We aim for alliances and research worthy of our complex times, a humanities for our  “postnatural” condition of human and nonhuman co-constitution of the planetary.