Environmental Humanities: The Question of Nature
14-15 November 2013, The University of Queensland
Convened by Professor Gay Hawkins FAHA and Professor Peter Harrison FAHA, and hosted by the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies,The University of Queensland
The concept of ‘the environment’ is relatively recent emerging from activism in the 1960s in response to increasing evidence of the human exploitation and destruction of nature. The development of the lively new field ‘environmental humanities’, which examines the cultural, historical and philosophical implications of environmental threats and transformations, emerges in this context.
Many of the ideas that inform contemporary environmentalism and the environmental humanities rely on specific assumptions about nature and the society/nature relation that date back long before. The aims of this symposium are to examine the history of nature as a key concept in the development of the humanities, and to investigate how the question of nature informs contemporary humanities thinking and practice. In seeking to get beyond ideas of the ‘culture of nature’ or representations of nature, the symposium will open up debate on the distinct contributions of the humanities to making the complexities of nature and its imbrications with the social visible.
Key questions to be explored at the 44th Annual Symposium of the Australian Academy of the Humanities Symposium are:
- In what ways is ‘the environment’ a new vocabulary for an older series of questions relating to how to understand and represent the role and meaning of nature in social life?
- How is contemporary environmental thinking generating new natures?
- In what ways have nature and environments prompted distinct forms of critical reasoning within the humanities?
A programme will be available in 2013. For further information, please contact Gabriela Cabral on (02) 6125 9860 or email@example.com