HumanNature: The Sydney Environmental Humanities Lecture Series

We have just finalised the lineup for HumanNature, the inaugural Sydney Environmental Humanities Lecture Series.

The series includes nine esteemed international and domestic speakers. There is one lecture scheduled each month from February through to October.

From climate change and the sixth mass extinction event, to the pronouncement of a new geological epoch—the ‘Anthropocene,’ the age of humanity—we are increasingly being told that our contemporary period is one of incredible environmental change, and at the same time that human activity is playing an increasingly significant role in shaping the earth and its future possibilities.

In addition to being important scientific and technical challenges, these environmental problems are also profoundly and inescapably social: they are about how we organise our societies and our cities, how we approach questions of ethics and justice, how we find meaning and value in the world. In other words, they concern the deepest dimensions of our human nature, and in so doing perhaps call out for a reconsideration of what it might mean to be human in times like these.

Taking up these important themes, this lecture series will offer a series of talks by leading international scholars in the Environmental Humanities. This emerging, interdisciplinary, field of scholarship draws on the insights of history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, and related disciplines to explore the important roles that the humanities might play in addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our day.

The Lecture Series is jointly funded and coordinated by the Australian Museum, the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, and the University of Sydney. The organising committee for the series is comprised of Thom van Dooren and Astrida Neimanis (Sydney), Emily O’Gorman (Macquarie), Judy Motion (UNSW), and Juan Francisco Salazar (Western Sydney).

Further information is available at the series website:

2018 Lecture Series

15 February 2018
Tom Griffiths: “Radical histories for uncanny times”

8 March 2018
Deborah Bird Rose: “Gifts of Life in the Shadow of Death”

23 April 2018
Mike Hulme: “Cultures of Climate”

24 May 2018
Oron Catts: “Living Biological Objects on the Pedestal”

14 June 2018
Alice Te Punga Somerville: “Taupata, taro, roots, earth: the (Indigenous) politics of gardening”

12 July 2018
Catriona Sandilands: “Feminist Botany for the Age of Man”

23 August 2018
Kim TallBear: “American Dreaming is Indigenous Elimination”

18 October 2018
Bruce Pascoe: “Dark Emu”

1 November 2018
Rob Nixon: “Environmental Martyrdom and the Fate of the Forests”

Banner Image:Janet Laurence, Deep Breathing (Resurrection for the Reef) (detail).