Sydney Environment Institute


Encountering the Anthropocene


The role of the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences

Wednesday 26 - Friday 28 February 2014

Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Park, Sydney.

Human beings now control the very life processes of the Earth; we have moved from being serial depleters of local environments to becoming a geophysical force that shapes the planet. While geologists make their case to formalize and adopt this epoch, the role of environmental humanities and social sciences has become crucially linked with our allies in the natural and technological sciences in seeking to understand and meet the challenges and changes thrown up by the new epoch. Our role is to help interpret the impacts, understand the implications, and engage the public in developing alternative ways forward. How to do all this will be explored and debated in the conference and its related events and workshops.

We will interrogate such issues as:

1. The relationship between the natural and technological sciences and the humanities as we engage from different perspectives in the new geological era of the Anthropocene.
2. The social and cultural meaning and significance of the planet’s entry into an Anthropocene epoch.
3. The roles that artists and writers play in the interpretation and popularization of scientific ideas and themes in the broader cultural landscape.

Draft Programme & Venue Map

Photo: Jason de Caires Taylor