Sarah J. Whatmore is a cultural geographer whose published work on cultures of nature includes a number of influential books such as Hybrid Geographies (2001), Using Social Theory (2004) and Political Matter (2010). She is Professor of Environment and Public Policy at the University of Oxford, and an elected Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Geographical Society. Key themes in her work include the development of more-than-human approaches to understanding the contested re-making of socio-material worlds, and a commitment to experimental and collaborative research practices that bring the different kinds of environmental knowledge in the sciences into play with those of diverse local publics living with environmental risks and hazards like floods and droughts.
Forces of Nature? Unsettling the Geopolitics of ‘Natural’ Hazards (lecture)
In her presentation, Sarah J. Whatmore traces some of the implications of recharging the political potency of nature in more-than-human terms. She focuses on the ontological disturbances wrought by 'natural' hazards and explores their capacity to place new demands on research and artistic practices in rendering such events affective and amenable to political interrogation. Drawing on the philosophical resources of Isabelle Stengers’ project of experimental constructivism, she argues that ‘nature’ becomes molten in the event of hazardous disturbances, heightening possibilities for remaking its heterogeneous and complex configuration with the human being.
Philosophy and art have the power to unsettle and to reveal new openings. They can create cracks in the present, through which new things may appear — the unforeseen, a glimpse of a future to come — forcing the existent understanding of the world and ourselves out of perspective. New concepts may challenge the present crisis and ask us to think differently, for instance, by reconsidering the relations between humanity, nature and culture. What is the political potency of nature in more-than-human terms? Do we live in posthuman times? How do the new materialisms contribute to these explorations?
Sat 25 Feb
De Brakke Grond
David Roden teaches Philosophy at the Open University His published work has addressed the relationship between deconstruction and analytic philosophy, philosophical naturalism, the metaphysics of sou...
Sat 25 Feb
De Brakke Grond
Rick Dolphijn is a writer and a philosopher. He wrote Foodscapes: towards a Deleuzian Ethics of Consumption, New Materialism: Interviews and Cartographies (with Iris van der Tuin).