Anthropocene and Animal Studies Reading Group

Anthropocene geospiral

The Anthropocene and Animal Studies Reading Group assembles a diverse cohort of scholars, artists, and thinkers across a range of disciplines to interrogate the place of the human in a dynamic, uncertain, and multispecies world.

From the fungal to the elemental, the animal to the isotopic, this group trains a wide-angle lens on those creatures, things, and assemblages which constitute our unequally shared and never-just-human worlds. Our readings do not abandon the human altogether, but rather draw upon the urgency of the Anthropocene to examine the past, present, and future of humanity’s embeddedness within a complex relational web.  We recognize the environment as a site for human domination of marginalized beings, as well as a space for pluralistic understandings of nature, and a horizon for imagining new cosmologies and social formations.

We are a nascent cohort (founded in 2014) that meets monthly to discuss critical texts, and seeks to feature a wide range of scholarly and artistic perspectives. Although the group is primarily a forum for graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences, all are welcome to join the conversation. Feel free to contact Nikhil Dharan (njdharan@sas.upenn.edu), Knar Gavin (knarge@sas.upenn.edu), or the Anthropocene Group email (pennthropocene@gmail.com) for more information.

 

Fall 2019 Calendar

In Fall 2019, meetings will be held Thursdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm in Williams Hall 616 according to the following schedule. Light refreshments will be served.

Thursday, September 19: Tom Cohen, Claire Colebrook, and J. Hillis Miller – Twilight of the Anthropocene Idols (2016) *in advance of Claire Colebrook’s visit to campus on September 25*

Thursday, October 17: Deborah R. Coen – Climate in Motion (2018)

Thursday, November 21: Peter Singer – “All Animals Are Equal” (1974), Matthew Calarco – “Identity, Difference, Indistinction” (2011), and Lori Gruen – “Conscious Animals and the Value of Experience” (2016)

Thursday, December 12: Dominic Boyer – Energopolitics (2019) and Cymene Howe – Ecologics (2019)

 

Spring 2019 Calendar

Friday, January 25th - Marisol de la Cadena*, Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice Across Andean Worlds (2015) 

Friday, February 22nd - Jennifer Mae Hamilton and Astrida Neimanis, "Composting Feminisms and Environmental Humanities" (2018)

Wednesday, March 20th (12:30 PM at GSC) - Allison Cobb*, Green-Wood (2010) and Brian Teare*, Doomstead Days (2019)

Friday, March 29th - Mel Y. Chen, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (2012)

Tuesday, April 2nd (12 PM) - Graduate Student Lunch with Allison Cobb and Brian Teare (registration recommended). This event is co-organized by the Poetics Working Group and will take place at the Kelly Writers House (3805 Locust Walk). Lunch will be provided.

Friday, April 26th - Val Plumwood, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (1993)

Fall 2018 Calendar

Friday, September 14th - Carlo Ginzburg*, The Cheese and the Worms (1976) 

Friday, October 12th - Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think (2013)

Friday, November 9th  - Jennifer Scappettone*, ”Precarity Shared: Breathing as Tactic in Air’s Uneven Commons,” in Kim & Miller (eds.), Poetics and Precarity (2018)

Friday, December 14th - Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World (2015)