Seminar Series: 'Hope and Grief in the Anthropocene' by Prof Lesley Head
16 August, 2016
Carslaw Lecture Theatre 175
USYD Geoscience Society
Title: Hope and Grief in the Anthropocene
When: August 16, 2016 @ Carslaw Lecture Theatre 175, 2-3pm
I explore how responses to Anthropocene challenges are hampered by grief for a pristine and certain past. We in the affluent West are grieving for the loss of modernity and its investment in a future characterised by hope, seen most particularly in the idea of everyday denial. More open acknowledgement that grief will be our companion will strengthen our collective capacities.
Much of our environmental thought is anchored in aspiration towards pristine past baselines. This is historically inaccurate and of limited assistance in times of potentially rapid threshold changes requiring transformative socioecological action. More contingent and dynamic understandings of both past and future are important. Australian evidence and perspectives are well placed to help articulate such understandings.
Hope is conceptualised as a risky and complex process of possibility. I decouple hope and optimism to recognise that a broader range of emotions, including painful ones, are entangled in hope. Hope is conceptualised as embodied practice – it is something to be practised rather than felt.
Professor Lesley Head
School of Geography, The University of Melbourne
Lesley Head is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Head of the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. She was until 2015 ARC Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at the University of Wollongong, where the book on which this talk is based was written. Hope and Grief in the Anthropocene. Rethinking human-nature relations was published earlier this year by Routledge.
Check out the full schedule of talks: http://sydney.edu.au/science/geosciences/news_events/bigdata.shtml