Reason and Affect in the Anthropocene, University of Copenhagen, 19-20 May 2016
This two-day international conference interrogates the intersection of two issues important to contemporary debates about political culture, public discourse, and social activism. First, the relationship between reason and affect and its implications for how broad-based movements work can frame and inspire political change at both the local and the global level. Second, the political and social implication for a new geological epoch called the “Anthropocene.” Read more about the conference below.
While reason and affect continue to constitute an issue in and of itself, recent research suggests that the age of the Anthropocene has significant implications for how we might understand the broader context(s) in which both develop across time and space. On the one hand, the Anthropocene poses questions about both the affective side of culture and the appropriate scale of politics, encouraging us to reconsider basic assumptions about agency and power. On the other hand, the Anthropocene also suggests that the single most important issue for socio-political transformation today is climate change, in particular in relation to consumption, ecology, and sustainability.
This conference proposes to bring these challenges to the forefront of the debate in the social sciences and humanities broadly understood. We are particularly interested in papers that consider reason and affect in the Anthropocene in relation to questions about subjectivity, the nonhuman, materialism, social movements, cosmology, media, public discourse, and political agency. Papers can be theoretical or empirical (or both).
Please note that the conference is preceded by a two-day Ph.D. seminar with William Connolly and Jane Bennett. Participants in the conference are invited to participate in that seminar as well. Papers presented at the conference may be eligible for inclusion in forthcoming special issue of the journal Distinktion – Journal of Social Theory, edited by Mikael Carleheden, University of Copenhagen, and Nikolas Kompridis, Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University.
Professor William Connolly, Johns Hopkins University
“Extinction Events and Entangled Humanism”
Professor Jane Bennett, Johns Hopkins University
“The Shapes of Sympathy: Walt Whitman and the Love of Things”
Thursday, May 19, 2016
All events this day take place in Anneks A, Studiegården, Studiestræde 6, University of Copenhagen.
- 9.30am: Welcome
- 10.00am: Jane Bennett, Johns Hopkins University, “Modes of In-fluence: Whitman Caillois, Whitehead.”
- 11.00am: Coffee break
- 11.15am: Discussion with remarks by Stine Krøijer, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, and Anders Berg-Sørensen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen.
- 12.30pm: Lunch break
- 2.00pm: William E. Connolly, Johns Hopkins University, Post-Colonial Ecologies, Extinction Events and Entangled Humanism.”
- 3.00pm: Coffee break
- 3.15am: Discussion with remarks by Christiane Mossin, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, and Bjørn Schiermer, Copenhagen Business School.
- 4.30pm: Roundtable and conclusion
Friday, May 20, 2016
All events this day take place in CSS 5.1.46, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
- 9.00am: Panel 1: What Does the Anthropocene Look Like?
- Dehlia Hannah, Arizona State University, “A Year Without a Winter: Anthropocene Scenarios."
- Connor Pitetti, Stony Brook University, “The Rhetoric of Novelty and the Crises of the Anthropocene.”
- Adam Bencard, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen, “Bugs on the Brain – Thoughts on Microbial Subjectivity and Complex Selves.”
- 10.30am: Coffee break.
- 11.00am: Panel 2: Critique and Social Life in the Anthropocene
- Silvia Cernea Clark, Brown University, “Ontological Difference in the Anthropocene.”
- Bjørn Schiermer, Copenhagen Business School, “Intensifying the Affective: Bringing Back the Concept of the Social.”
- Nils Langer Primdahl, Danish School of Education, “Criticizing the Power of Things? The Prospects of Social Critique in Bennett’s New Materialism.”
- Gulshan Kahn, Nottingham University, “Dependency, Domination, and the Anthropocene.”
- 1.00pm: Lunch break.
- 2.30pm: Panel 3: Economy and Ecology
- Lukáš Likavčan, Masaryk University, “Living in the Age of Nonhuman Reason: Capitalism as an Organization of Nature.”
- Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen and Salla Jarske, University of Tampere, “The Anthropocene as Financial Opportunity: Reinsurance and the Management of Climate Change Insecurity.”
- Malte Tellerup, University of Copenhagen, “Libidinal Ecology – Questioning the Human Desire!”
- 4.00pm: Wine reception
Associate Professor Lars Tønder, Department of Political Science (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Associate Professor Mikael Carleheden, Department of Sociology (e-mail: email@example.com).