22 August 2012
Venue: Room 901, Human Sciences Building (Building 201)
Host: Dr Nigel Clark, Open University, UK. Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences
While we shouldn’t take pronouncements of new turns in social thought too seriously, something is brewing around earth processes. Climate change, peak oil, water and mineral scarcity, geo-engineering, mass extinction and natural disasters are all helping put geological forces firmly on the agenda. While it’s great to see a `geo-politics’ worthy of the name taking shape, I don’t think we should be too quick to politicise `the geological’. Not all earth or cosmic processes are open to negotiation, and we shouldn’t be any less interested in things that can’t be recomposed or done differently. As well as looking at the possibilities of a critical geo-politics, I will be advocating a more speculative geophysics – which asks what our planet is capable of, how the earth gave rise to creatures like us, how best to get along in a cosmos not designed for our convenience, and where our own shaky corner of the planet might fit into all of this.