2015 Stockholm Archipelago Lecture
Time: Mon 2015-11-02 15.00 - 17.00
Lecturer: Noel Castree
Location: D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5 (3rd floor), Main building, KTH Campus
4th Stockholm Archipelago Lecture
The environmental humanities and global change research:
Building new relationships for a new Anthropo(s)cene
2 November 2015, 15.00-17.00
D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5 (3rd floor), Main building, KTH Campus
Global change researchers are alerting us to the unprecedented magnitude, scale and scope of human impacts on the Earth. At the same time, some historians, philosophers, anthropologists, literary critics and others now advertise the virtues of ‘environmental humanities’ as an essential way to understand the causes and consequences of these impacts. In this lecture I explore the relationships between global change research – which is dominated by various geoscience disciplines – and the environmental humanities. Such exploration is timely because several global change researchers are now making positive mention of the ‘people disciplines’ in their writings. However, I show that the current form of engagement between the two multidisciplinary fields are based on an unhelpful combination of ignorance and distance. I examine several published calls in which the relevance of the two fields to each other is mentioned positively. These calls are, however, largely rhetorical and fail to differentiate the roles environmental humanists can usefully play in relation to global change research. To give them substance, global change researchers and many environmental humanists will need to engage in new ways that will alter the working practices of both epistemic communities. I discuss these new ways in the context of a ‘new social contract’ for global change research that several leading geoscientists are now calling for.
Noel Castree is Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester, England, and the University of Wollongong, Australia. He has long standing interests in how what we call ‘nature’ is represented by a range ofknowledge communities, ranging from environmental scientists to news journalists. He is author of Nature (Routledge, 2005) and Making Sense of Nature (Routledge, 2014), and co-editor of Social Nature (2001, Blackwell).