Ellen van Holstein is completing her PhD with The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research. She recently visited Bangalore, India, to explore shared garden spaces that could serve as future fieldwork sites for her PhD research. Ellen plans to write more posts about her experiences in Bangalore, but in the meantime has shared a selection of photographs she took while asking locals about vacant plots, chillies and worms on the city’s rooftops.
Institute of Australian Geographers/New Zealand Geographical Society Conference, University of Melbourne, 30th June – 2nd July 2014.
- conceptual and theoretical questions;
- theoretically informed empirical research;
- methodology; and
- political implications of nonhuman agency.
Institute of Australian Geographers/New Zealand Geographical Society Conference University of Melbourne, June 30 to July 2, 2014.
Organisers: Dr Lauren Rickards (Uni Melb) and Prof Lesley Head (Uni Wollongong)
Still under review as a formal geological term, ‘the Anthropocene’ – the idea that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch due to the accumulated effect of human influences – is, like sustainability, an interdisciplinary concept. It not only brings together multiple scientific disciplines, from geologists and geomorphologists to ecologists and climate scientists, but is fast becoming an intellectual meeting point for a far wider range of scholars, including those coming from historical, political, economic, social and cultural perspectives. Combined with the way that the Anthropocene thesis challenges the ontological basis of the disciplinary divisions listed above, and demands close attention to spatial and temporalscale and boundaries, the Anthropocene is a rich theme for many geographers.
The implications of the Anthropocene for the environmental sustainability project are contested. Some commentators, including some of its originators, see the concept as a call-to-arms for the environmental movement. But others suggest that it reveals the environmental sustainability enterprise to be out-dated or out-moded: ahopeless or misguided exercise. This session calls for papers that address challenges to sustainability in the Anthropocene from a range of critical perspectives. These could include papers on how issues such as climate change, ocean acidification or species extinctions are positioned within the Anthropocene discourse, critique of certain Anthropocene narratives or images, or implications of Anthropocene relationships for particular policy areas such as geoengineering, mining oragriculture. Other possible topics include the relationship between the Anthropocene and debates about ‘human impacts’, planetary boundaries, species thinking, the human-nature relationship and imaginaries of the future.
Session format: Normal paper format (4-6 papers), with possible discussant depending on number of papers
Instructions: Please email Lauren Rickards (email@example.com) with your abstract of 250 words or less by March 28. And submit it on the conference website when you register.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is right when he describes Australia’s car industry workers as “highly skilled people, adaptable people”. He has also been saying this week that the departure of Toyota and Holden creates an opportunity for automotive workers to transition from “good jobs to better jobs”.
How realistic is this? What jobs can ex-car industry workers expect and will they make the best use of their skills? And where will these jobs be located? Continue reading
Port Kembla’s iconic smokestack stands no more. Towering above the Illawarra skyline since 1965, the 198 metre stack was demolished this morning. The Illawarra Mercury has provided rolling coverage leading up to the demolition. The demolition of the stack has divided opinion, but on the whole its removal appears positive – touted to instigate a revitalisation of Port Kembla’s social character, and an improvement in the Illawarra’s economic fortunes. Conversely, the demolition of Port Kembla’s stack highlights the uncertain place of industrial cultural heritage in today’s modern, technology-driven, climate-aware society. Continue reading
Post written by Jenny Atchison
If you have ever lived in or visited Wollongong, you’re probably familiar with ‘The Stack’. The 198m high Port Kembla Copper Stack has structured the Illawarra skyline since it was built in the 1960s, between the escarpment and the sea. It’s hard to miss – or is it?
Post written by Michael Adams
I have just returned from New Delhi, the capital of India. I was also in Calcutta (Kolkata), the city of my birth, after spending a week in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, between India and SE Asia, an extraordinarily beautiful and fascinating place. This post continues my series engaging with India.
This week we have been very excited to welcome Prof Noel Castree and family to Wollongong. Noel has joined AUSCCER to help create the new Department of Geography and Sustainable Communities, in UOW’s new Faculty of Social Sciences. Amidst the banalities of a university restructuring (which printer do we now use? who signs this form? when is X going to make a decision about Y so that we can get on with Z? who pays for the milk?), we are thrilled to have Noel’s participation in a range of research, teaching and strategic discussions.
Noel Castree’s scholarship on nature, politics and academic geography will be well known to many readers of this blog. His expertise in the political economy of environmental change adds breadth and depth to our existing expertise, and we hope that working in the Australian context will enrich his own work in a variety of ways.
We also hope to entice him to this blog, so watch this space!
Post written by Theresa Harada
Conference Report – Cultures of Sense Cultures of Movement, ANU, 3-4 Feb, 2014.
The Australian National University School of Sociology along with the Canberra New Critical Theory Group and the IAG cultural Geography Study Group hosted a conference to examine the roles of sense and movement in contemporary sociological and cultural geographical thought in Canberra last week. The theme of the conference attracted a multi-disciplinary group of scholars from near and far, including visitors from the UK, Canada, Belguim and New Zealand, and a local cohort from ANU, UNSW, the University of Melbourne, Monash, Newcastle, Canberra, Deakin and Federation University. The University of Wollongong was well represented with six presenters across a range of subjects but all with an interest in how the ‘affective turn’ in social theory has renewed attention to the human body as a locus of sense making. Continue reading