Anthropocene Transitions AAS Conference 2016

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Welcome

The 2016 conference of the Australian Anthropological Society will be hosted by The Department of Anthropology, School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney in partnership with the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS).

The AAS is the national representative organisation of Australian anthropologists. The Society seeks to advance anthropology as a professional discipline, promote its responsibility in the service of humankind, and support professional training and practice in anthropology.

The University of Sydney hosts Australia’s first Anthropology department, founded in 1925 by Professor A. R. Radcliffe-Brown. It has a distinguished history of regional engagement with Oceania, The Pacific and Asia, with a current profile of anthropological research and teaching that spans critical theoretical and comparative study of the contemporary world.

Theme

Today human activities are changing geophysical processes on a planetary scale, prompting atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and ecologist Eugene Stoermer to propose a new epoch starting in the eighteenth century when humankind began to remodel the planet’s ecosystems with the chemical revolution and invention of the coal-fired steam engine, the emergence of industrialised societies and modern forms of capitalism.

The idea of Anthropocene goes to the heart of anthropological enquiry. It pushes practitioners to rethink fundamental boundaries, values and suppositions, including expectations of the perpetuity of homo sapiens and the prospect of extinction. It lends urgency to the task of widely communicating our knowledge about the limits and potentials of human adaptive capacities.

This conference calls on anthropologists to bring our skills, knowledge and wisdom to bear on a fleeting and fragile moment in the human career, when the species condition of Anthropos intersects with the transitional epoch of the Anthropocene.

Conference panels will engage with new ideas and debates in areas including:

Climate change
Historical consciousness
Demographic transitions
Anthropological research
Migration
Marine environments
Activism
The body
Governance
Indigenous space time
Global health
The arts
Tourism
Personhood
New media
Urbanisation

Keynote Speakers
Professor Aletta Biersack,
Department of Anthropology,
The University of Oregon

Professor Susan Crate,
Department of Environmental Science and Policy,
George Mason University