P27
Climate change as 'end of the world': mythological cosmogonies and imaginaries of change

Convenors:
Rosalyn Bold (University College London)
Format:
Panels
Location:
Senate House - Court Room
Start time:
27 May, 2016 at 11:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

Mythological narratives of climate change as 'end of the world' furnish viable narratives through which humans can envision situations of dramatic world change and renewal. We welcome local visions of climate change challenging hegemonic cosmological categories and showing ways to worlds otherwise.

Long abstract:

Viveiros de Castro explores the relevance of the mythopoeic register as a vehicle for imagining 'the end of the world'. Actors employ the term climate change to embody and express such scenarios of dramatic change, envisioning it according to cultural context. Anthropology can provide a platform for non-hegemonic local views to challenge existing perceptions of what climate change constitutes and can extend to, thus clarifying responses and strategies to mitigate it. In the contemporary context of collapse and crisis, existing cosmologies are challenged. Assigning agency in climate change can lead to a re-examination of categories of nature/culture, and open the way for non-modern ontologies to show us how we might otherwise construct worlds and actors. Challenging hegemonic narratives of climate change and their epistemological and ontological bases, we create cracks that can open up the way for new worlds to come into being. This panel will explore how mythologies of climate change as 'end of the world' furnish viable narratives through which humans can envision situations of dramatic world change and renewal. We welcome research on local perceptions of climate change which might for example, incorporate consumption and cultural change, or challenge categories of causality and nature/culture in constructive ways. We welcome relevant attempts to illuminate the everyday meanings of a vast discourse, especially imaginings that lead to communities' means to adapt to and come to terms with collapse and change, and open the way for 'worlds otherwise'.