University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
612-625-5000

Ship of Seeds: Exploring Heterotopia in the Anthropocene

October 26, 2016IASEvents0

Ship of Seeds: Exploring Heterotopia in the Anthropocene

Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 1:30-3:00pm
240 Blegen Hall

Free and open to the public

Svalbard Global Seed VaultThe rise of discussions about “the Anthropocene” has inspired both utopic and dystopic imaginaries of culture and environment. Doomful visions of global climate change have inspired calls to reinvigorate a modernist faith in science, or else reject it outright. Naïve historical assumptions and dualisms are often embedded in these envisioned futures, as well as concepts of the Anthropocene. Foucault’s intriguing reverie on “other spaces” in 1967 eschewed the more commonplace concern with imaginary utopias, insisting that “heterotopias” could be characterized precisely by their existence, or emplacement, in the real world. Today, “heterotopia” might be a useful means of understanding the cultural ontologies embedded in global discourses about climate security. Just what kinds of “other spaces” might we discover if we peer at ourselves in the early twenty-first century? My research grounds the study of heterotopia by exploring the significance of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as one particular place that has become a resonant symbol of the Anthropocene. This example suggests a larger critical project, to map out the real locales of human agency and imagination that enable us to confront the challenges of climate change.

Tracey Heatherington is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A cultural anthropologist interested in political ecology, environmentalism, and international development, Prof. Heatherington studies humanistic and ethnographic perspectives on biodiversity conservation and global food security. She is the author of Wild Sardinia: Indigeneity and the Global Dreamtimes of Environmentalism (University of Washington Press, 2010), which won the Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing, awarded by the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, and she currently co-edits the “Critical Green Engagements” book series at the University of Arizona Press. She has been a Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, a Visiting Professor at the University of Cagliari in Italy, and a Master of Liberal Studies Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for Twenty-First Century Studies. She is deeply committed to transdisciplinary engagements, especially involving the environmental humanities and creative arts.

Prof. Heatherington’s talk will be followed by a panel of Environmental Humanities graduate research projects (3-4 pm) and discussion and refreshments (4-5 pm).

Organized by the IAS Environmental Humanities Collaborative. Cosponsored by the Center for German and European Studies and the Depts. of English, Anthropology, and German Scandinavian and Dutch. To request a disability-related accommodation, please contact the IAS (ias@umn.edu 612-626-5054) at least two weeks prior to the event.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*