Anthropocene reflections — ASN Events

Anthropocene reflections (12285)

Lauren Rickards 1 , Lesley Head 2
  1. University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  2. University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW

Still under review as a formal geological term, ‘the Anthropocene’ – the idea that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch due to the accumulated effect of human influences - is, like sustainability, an interdisciplinary concept. To begin with, it brings together multiple scientific disciplines, from geologists and geomorphologists to ecologists and climate scientists. Moreover, it is fast becoming an intellectual meeting point for a far wider range of scholars, including those coming from historical, political, economic, social and cultural perspectives. Combined with the way that the Anthropocene thesis challenges the ontological basis of the disciplinary divisions listed above, and demands close attention to spatial and temporal scale and boundaries, the Anthropocene is a rich theme for a diversity of geographers.
The implications of the Anthropocene for the environmental sustainability project are contested. Some commentators, including some of its originators, see the concept as a call-to-arms for the environmental movement. But others suggest that it exposes environmental sustainability initiatives as out-dated or out-moded: a hopeless or misguided exercise. This session calls for papers that address questions of sustainability in the Anthropocene from a range of critical perspectives. These could include papers on how issues such as climate change, ocean acidification or species extinctions are positioned within the Anthropocene discourse, critique of certain Anthropocene narratives or images, or implications for particular policy questions such as geoengineering, or sectoral contexts such as mining or agriculture. Other possible topics include the relationship between the Anthropocene and debates about ‘human impacts’, planetary boundaries, species thinking, the human-nature relationship and imaginaries of the future.


Normal paper format (4-6 papers), with possible discussant depending on number of papers