Seminars

The instructors have collaboratively developed a set of seminar topics relevant to the Anthropocene in an attempt to encourage the integration of cross-disciplinary thinking, mutual learning, and civic commitment in the curricula of universities and research institutions. Arranged around three thematic clusters (Representing, Connecting, Claiming), the nine seminars compose a cross-disciplinary curriculum, presenting a workable and pedagogically feasible design for shared knowledge-building under the Anthropocene auspices.

Neither the seminar topics nor the three thematic clusters strive for a comprehensive “tour d'horizon” of the Anthropocene. Instead, they aim for a kaleidoscopic and resourceful approach that emerges from the glaring necessity to build a knowledge-base simultaneously broad in its disciplinary perspectives as well as out-of-the-box and that helps to readjust the human position within a broader geo-fabric.

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Representing

Slow Media

The concept of the Anthropocene demands an extended understanding of presence in terms of a “long now” that comprises several lifetimes and a “big here” that conceives loyality on a planetary scale. The aim of the seminar was to establish a sense of global citizenship and a consciousness of an observer that includes coming generations. more...

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Representing

Modeling Wicked Problems

Most Anthropocene concerns are “wicked problems,” complex problems that defy a single answer and may never be solved definitively. In the seminar, transdisciplinary systems models were applied to problems such as climate change or biodiversity loss. more...

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Representing

Imaging the Anthropocene

The concept of the Anthropocene as developed by science still remains peculiarly flat and colorless, lacking cultural nuance and historical depth. By exploring the history of images and diagrams of the Earth, the seminar sharpened its perspective on imaginaries of alternative futures in a warmer, less stable, highly utilized world. more...

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Connecting

Valuing Nature

Economically understood valued nature is turned into resource, with accounting tools from “polluter-pays” principles to “carbon-offset” schemes as common instruments to balance the human-nature relationship. The seminar asked whether we should rely on such evaluation and exchange systems to break even with anthropogenic environmental change. more...

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Connecting

Disciplinarities

Blurring the distinctions between Earth processes and human history, the Anthropocene incites us to learn new habits and practices of knowledge production. The Seminar experimented with “transcisciplinary,” sometimes even “undisciplinary” combinations of knowledge skills, not to throw out deep disciplinarity, but to better capitalize on it. more...

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Connecting

Technosphere/ Co-Evolution

For most of Earth`s history, the biosphere has been a continuous, highly active component. The seminar dealt with the emergence of another sphere: the technosphere, a technology-based system that not only affects Earth surface processes but challenges us to think about the material, cognitive, and social dimensions of knowledge. more...

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Claiming

Geo-Politics

Cases of “environmental violence” – situations where climate change and political or armed conflict get entangled – demand a shift in explanatory models and structures of causation. In this seminar, field causality models and forensic methodologies were used to investigate what should be our political or juridical response to this new understanding of violence. more...

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Claiming

Anthropogenic Landscapes

Physical events and extreme climate phenomena can be understood in terms of their interaction with different positions in social settings and biophysical landscapes. This seminar examined how anthropogenic experiences like these are filtered through the lens of the Anthropocene by selective processes. more...

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Anthropocene Campus | Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

Cluster Claiming

Filtering the Anthropocene

Physical events and extreme climate phenomena can be understood in terms of their interaction with different positions in social settings and biophysical landscapes. This seminar examined how anthropogenic experiences like these are filtered through the lens of the Anthropocene by selective processes. more...