What should we do about the Anthropocene?

Kevin Lambert's picture
Call for Papers
April 7, 2023 to April 8, 2023
California, United States

Over the last twenty years, geologists have come close to concluding that we live in a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene.  Identifying a geological epoch as the Anthropocene presumes that human activity has affected the Earth System and effected changes to the rocks and minerals that compose the planet in ways that will survive the human species. In a meeting in Berlin in May of 2022, members of the Anthropocene Working Group proposed candidates for the geological site and record that would define a time boundary, the Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point or GSSP, located in the year 1950, marking the end of the Holocene and the beginning of the Anthropocene, a major step in the acceptance of the new epoch in the geologic scientific community. At the same time, scholars in the humanities and social sciences have increased attention to issues arising from what many now see as the end of the so-called modern historical period. Growing awareness of the crisis of climate change have led to concerns that humans have become agents in natural history­­––not just social and political history­––and that the historical moment now demands thinking at several different registers at once including the material, the historical or socio-political, and the natural historical. While the word, “Anthropocene,” remains controversial, its increased use across the Academy has led the organizers of this conference to think that inviting speakers from across disciplines to discuss the issues that cluster under its name, is both timely and useful. We therefore invite speakers from the natural sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences or indeed any other field to submit a proposal for papers to be presented in a two-day conference at California State University Fullerton on the subject of “What should we do about the Anthropocene?”   

The conference is in-person but will also include virtual presentations. Papers will be around 30 minutes in length including time for questions. Please send an abstract of not more than 250 words by 5pm PST Monday January 23rd, 2023, to:

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