14–15 November 2013 • The University of Queensland
Convened by Professors Gay Hawkins FAHA and Peter Harrison FAHA,
and jointly hosted by the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies and the
Centre for the History of European Discourses, The University of Queensland
The Academy of Humanities 44th
Annual Symposium convened by Professors Gay Hawkins FAHA and Peter Harrison FAHA, is jointly hosted by the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies
and the Centre for the History of European Discourses
. The theme for this year’s symposium is Environmental Humanities: the question of nature
What is the nature of nature? The sciences and humanities have wrestled with this question for centuries, and the variety of answers are testament to how promiscuous and elusive the concept of nature is. In recent years the urgency of this question has intensified as we are confronted with increasing environmental crises and losses. From climate change to species extinction nature presents significant material, social and intellectual challenges. The humanities have responded to these challenges with vigour and the recent growth of innovative work under the rubric of the environmental humanities is evidence of this.
This new work builds on a long history of humanities scholarship that has highlighted the ways in which nature is entangled with culture. From romanticism to natural philosophy the humanities have played a key role in understandings of natural environments and their diverse relations to the social. What is distinctive about the contemporary environmental humanities is the ways in which this work is engaging with and enriching scientific analyses of nature.
The Academy’s 44th
Annual Symposium will showcase some of the most exciting scholarship in the environmental humanities and debate the ways in which the humanities can lay claim to offering significant knowledge about what counts as nature.
A programme is available for download. [.pdf 197kb
Please note that the Academy will not be accepting registrations after Friday 8 November
Waged registration $320, Concession $200
- Download Registration Form for Fellows here.
- Download Registration Form for Non-Fellows here.
Symposium registration includes:
- Attendance at Symposium sessions on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 November
- Symposium Reception at the close of the first day
- Morning, afternoon tea and lunch on both days
Tickets to the 2013 Fellows’ Dinner must be purchased separately. Places for the dinner are now closed, but there is a waiting list – see the section on the Fellows' Dinner in the blue box at the top right of this page.
SESSION ONE: Environmental History
SESSION TWO: Environmental History
Professor Emeritus Jane Carruthers FRSSAf, ASSAf, University of South Africa
'The Question of Nature, or, the Nature of the Question?' [Abstract.pdf 64kb]
Following the address by Jane Carruthers – a view from outside Australia (albeit from a fellow Gondwanan) – this session focuses on environmental history in Australia. It explores how environmental history has been practised by scholars, and traces some of its sources in conservation, art and activism.
Professor Tom Griffiths FAHA, The Australian National University
'Environmental History, Australian Style' [Abstract.pdf 71kb]
SESSION THREE: Natural Philosophy
Professor Iain McCalman AO FASSA FAHA, The University of Sydney
'Discovering Ecology: A Poet, a Painter and a Forester Save the Reef' [Abstract.pdf 67kb]
This panel will examine some of the ways in which the natural world has been conceptualized from antiquity to the present. It will explore how philosophical, scientific and religious ideas have informed particular kinds of engagements with nature. Consideration will be given to how nature has been divided into specific categories for study, and to the impact of the present division of labour between the humanities and the natural sciences.
Professor Peter Harrison FAHA, The University of Queensland
'Nature – Creation – Environment: Conceptions of the Natural World, Aristotle to Attenborough' [Abstract.pdf 71kb]
SESSION FOUR: Visualising Environments
Professor Stephen Gaukroger FAHA, The University of Sydney
'The Problem of the Nature of Life in the Eighteenth Century' [Abstract.pdf 71kb]
This panel is presented in partnership with The University of Queensland Art Museum and their NEW 2013 Exhibition
. A section of this exhibition is devoted to works by contemporary artists responding to environmental issues. Two artists featured in the exhibition, Janet Laurence and Caroline Rothwell, will join scientist Chritian Witte (who uses remote sensing technology to map environmental changes) to discuss their approach to representing environments.
The format will be a panel discussion and conversation exploring how artists and scientists approach the visualisation of nature, what practices and technical devices inform their work, and the kinds of parallels that emerge between the creativity of art and science. The panel will be chaired by Dr Elizabeth Stephens, Deputy Director of CHED who works on the interactions between art and science.
Before the panel conference members will be able to view the exhibition.
SESSION FIVE: The 2013 Hancock Lecture, 9am on Friday 15 November
Auditorium, Sir Llew Edwards Building
This Lecture is free and open to the public.
SESSION SIX: Postcolonial and Digital Landscapes
Dr Thom van Dooren, The University of New South Wales
'Life at the Edge of Extinction: Spectral Crows, Haunted Landscapes and the Environmental Humanities' [Abstract.pdf 76kb]
What has become of the Australian landscape that was painted, narrated and filmed for us throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? How have the postcolonial lens and the digital eye altered its accessibility, its distances, its readiness to absorb accounts of experience? What does it mean and how does it feel to be a traveller in these new landscapes?
Professor Ross Gibson FAHA, The University of Sydney
'A Map of Millions of Road Movies' [Abstract.pdf 72kb]
SESSION SEVEN: Natural Values
Dr Felicity Collins, La Trobe University
'Bruised Landscapes: Nature’s Blue-Grey-Purple Vista on Screen' [Abstract.pdf 77kb]
Nature is often depicted as the passive victim of rampant economic exploitation or the repository of intrinsic values that need to be protected. This session explores different conceptualizations of natural values. The focus is on how nature is made valuable; on the ways in which diverse practices of valuation co-produce what counts as nature and what counts as value.
Professor Lesley Head FAHA FASSA, University of Wollongong
'The Fungibility of Plants? The Example of Wheat' [Abstract.pdf 72kb]
Dr Matthew Kearnes, The University of New South Wales
'A New Heaven and a New Earth: The Preformation of Soil Carbon'
Professor Gay Hawkins FAHA, The University of Queensland
'Branding Water: The Role of Hydrogeology and the French State in the Evolution of Evian' [Abstract.pdf 70kb]
The symposium is taking place in the auditorium, Sir Llew Edwards Building,
The University of Queensland, St Lucia. The Thursday afternoon session will take place at the UQ Art Museum
has been generated of the main locations for the Symposium, including accommodation, venues and transport terminals. Download the campus map here
Brisbane Airport to Jephson Hotel, Toowong – approximately $51.00
Jephson Hotel to University of Queensland St Lucia – Approximately $14.80
The main entrance to the University is along Sir Fred Schonell Drive, located on Map 179 F2 of the UBD Brisbane 'Refidex' Street Directory. From Brisbane's Central Business District, Sir Fred Schonell Drive is most easily accessed via Coronation Drive.
Please visit the UQ Parking website
for information about Visitor parking on campus.
The CityCat ferry is the most enjoyable and often the most convenient means of getting to the St Lucia campus. The campus CityCat terminal on UQ Campus map
is located near the corner of Sir William MacGregor Drive and Blair Drive.
The Brisbane City Council provides a map of all CityCat stops (PDF)
. For timetables and further information, try the TransLink website
or call TransLink on 13 12 30.
There are two bus stations located at the University of Queensland - Chancellor's Place bus station and UQ lakes bus station.
From Brisbane's Central Business District, the Brisbane City Council bus routes which run directly to the University of Queensland are the 412 (Express from City to Chancellor's place station), the 411 (City to Chancellor's place station) and the 109 (City to UQ lakes station).
The main bus stop on the St Lucia campus is located at Chancellor's Place
near the J.D. Story building. The other bus station is located at UQ Lakes (near Field No.3 and Alumni teaching garden
). For timetables and further information, try the TransLink website
or call TransLink on 13 12 30.
Symposium participants are responsible for organising their own accommodation. The Jephson Hotel
is the only 4-5 star hotel close to UQ and offers Symposium registrants special rates. The rate is $200 room only + $10 breakfast from Monday to Thursday and $179 all inclusive from Friday to Sunday. Other accommodation close to the campus includes:
We regret that registrations for the dinner are now closed
. Our Fellowship Officer is generating a waiting list for spaces at the dinner. Please contact Gabriela Cabral by email
or on 02 6125 9860 if you would like to be included on that list.
The 2013 Fellows’ Dinner will be held at 7:30pm on Friday 15 November at Hillstone, St Lucia
. The venue will offer guests spectacular views of the golf course’s rolling greens, a gourmet three course meal plus fine wines. The dinner is open to Fellows of the Academy and their guests. The cost is $100 per head.
We look forward to seeing you in Brisbane!