The Limits of Humanism in an Era of Ecological Crisis (2016)
Type of ContentOral Presentation
At a time when earth system scientists are suggesting that the disruptive ecological agency of humanity has reached geological proportions, social theorists are vigorously questioning the intellectually constructed chasms between the human and the nonhuman, the cultural and the natural, and even the sciences and the humanities. In the light of our ecological predicament then, I explore the precipitating conditions for the related developments of posthumanism, multinaturalism, and the ontological turn, all of which are concerned with reconnecting the isolated figure of the cultural human with the lively environments of more-than-human communication in which it dwells. Reviewing a range of provocative proposals, and noting a (re)turn toward materiality, the nonhuman, and the non-representational in contemporary social theory, I consider the constitutive significance of the Saussurean sign for a linguo-centric tradition of social theory unable to adequately incorporate the nonhuman lifeforms and biogeochemical processes of our cohabited world into accounts of the human condition.
CitationLocke PEG (2016). The Limits of Humanism in an Era of Ecological Crisis. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 22/7/2016.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research16 - Studies in Human Society::1601 - Anthropology::160104 - Social and Cultural Anthropology
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