Political Ecology as Practice: A Regional Approach to the Anthropocene

This project investigates the reciprocal relationships between the emergent theories of the Anthropocene, climate change, and the global environmental crisis, versus the experience of local ecological conflicts in various regions of the world. It will address two core questions: how do the theories of the metropolitan center derive from regional ecological conflicts? Conversely, how do these theories impact various communities in their relationship with land, resources, and biodiversity? First, the project will bring together scholars of the academic world to discuss global theories of the Anthropocene and its new ontologies of time, materiality, and technology, while investigating their links to regionally specific practices and discourses. Secondly, the project will initiate a multi-sited, comparative study of place-based ecological politics through a series of fieldwork initiatives led by faculty and graduate students in collaboration with artists. The fieldwork initiatives are developed from existing projects of collaborating institution researchers, and involve field observations, visual documentation, interviews, and creative interventions such as public engagement events and art installations. The results of the field initiatives will be presented in public exhibitions, lectures and publications. Multiple modes of presentation and dissemination will derive inspiration from the innovative format of the field initiatives and collaboration with the arts.