T103
Stoking the Anthropocene?

Convenors:
Saurabh Arora (University of Sussex)
Andy Stirling (University of Sussex)
Stream:
Tracks
Location:
114
Start time:
3 September, 2016 at 16:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

Engagements with the Anthropocene have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. We invite contributions that consider the relational implications of diverse interventions in the anthropocene debate, particularly in terms of the interveners' responsibilities.

Long abstract:

Engagements with the anthropocene have become increasingly prevalent in STS (and other reflective strands in the social sciences and humanities). These engagements have taken myriad forms. Some influential voices have strongly endorsed the concept, deeming it necessary for addressing issues of agency in relation to (representations of) the planet and for dismantling the 'modern' divide between nature and culture. Others have been more critical, highlighting how the concept unifies the Anthropos into a homogeneous mass, ignoring the many peoples who have lived without fossil fuels and those who never imagined themselves as members of a species named homo sapiens. The concept has also been questioned for embedding an understanding of human agency as control rather than care or solidarity. Some have even proposed alternatives such as Capitalocene and Chthulucene. This track aims to go beyond simply taking stock of this debate on the Anthropocene and 'companion' concepts. We invite contributions that consider the different relational implications of orienting interventions around this particular axis of discourse. Given the high stakes, even ostensibly critical tinkerings can have the effect of stoking the fires. Those enjoying access to the burgeoning academic anthroposalons thus bear responsibilities to take seriously their privileged roles as mediators of concepts which - for all the many radical ambiguities - can hold very concrete material, social and ecological implications. It is exactly these implications and associated responsibilities that are central to engagements in spaces where divergent futures are realised, not just of but also on the planet.