Scholars in Residence

Spring 2016: Christophe Bonneuil

Christophe Bonneuil is a senior researcher in history of science, science studies, and environmental history at the Centre Alexandre Koyré  (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and teaches at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. His research explores the co-evolution of ways of knowing and ways of governing nature and the Earth. He has recently published a global environmental history of the Anthropocene (The Shock of the Anthropocene: The Earth, History and Us, Verso, 2016 [2013 in french], with J-B. Fressoz) and edited The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis: Rethinking Modernity in a New Epoch, (Routledge, 2015, with C. Hamilton and F. Gemenne).

Activities

Public Humanites Lecture:
The Geological Turn: The Anthropocene and Its Narratives
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 @ 5:30pm, Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140

Scientists tell us the Earth has entered a new epoch: the Anthropocene. What we face is not only an environmental crisis, but a geological revolution of human origin. In two centuries, our planet has tipped into a state unknown for millions of years. How did we get to this point? Should we buy Anthropocene scientists' convenient story of an undifferentiated “human species” that upset the Earth system, unaware of what it was doing?

Stories matter for the Earth. The stories that the elites of industrial modernity have told themselves have been cultural drivers of the new geological regime we now live in. Similarly the kinds of stories we today tell ourselves about the Anthropocene can shape the kind of geo-historical future we will inhabit. This talk will cross-examine four grand narratives of the Anthropocene: 1) the naturalist narrative, currently the mainstream one; 2) the post-nature narrative; 3) the eco-catastrophist narrative; and 4) the eco-Marxist narrative.

Roundtable:
The Future of the Earth
Thursday, March 3, 2016 @ 12:30pm, University Club, Room 313

A roundtable discussion between Christophe BonneuilFrédéric Neyrat, and Paul Robbins.

Christophe Bonneuil is a senior researcher in history of science, science studies, and environmental history at the Centre Alexandre Koyré  (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and teaches at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Frédéric Neyrat is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a French philosopher with expertise in environmental humanities, contemporary theory, and image studies.

Paul Robbins is the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he guides the institute in serving as a world leader in addressing rapid global environmental change. He has taught topics ranging from environmental studies and natural resource policy to social theory.

Recommended readings:
Christophe Bonneuil, "The Geological Turn: Narratives of the Anthropocene" inThe Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis: Rethinking Modernity in a New Epoch, London: Routledge, 2015.

Frédéric Neyrat and Elizabeth R. Johson, "The Political Unconscious of the Anthropocene: An Interview with Frédéric Neyrat" in Society & Space, 2014.

Paul Robbins and Sarah A. Moore, "Ecological Anxiety Disorder: Diagnosing the Politics of the Anthropocene" in cultural geographies 20(1) 3-19, 2012.

Faculty Development Seminar:

While Bonneuil was in residence, he attended the Spring 2016 Faculty Development Seminar, "New Materialities: Things, Objects, and Agency," led by Florence Bernault (History) and Frédéric Neyrat (Comparative Literature)
.