A workshop at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 1–10 July 2012
Futures of Nature
The 2012 Session of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism will take place in Johannesburg from July 1 to July 10, 2012.
The JWTC's goal on this occasion will be to depart from traditional readings of nature that have dominated environmental activism and academic discourse over the last quarter of a century and to take another look at some of our most important tools for thinking the politics of the common in an age of drastic climatic and economic change.
It is part of a drive within the humanities to reframe the disciplines and critical theory in light of the environmental emergency that is said to endanger most species on the planet, including our own.
The JWTC was founded in 2008 as a place for experimenting with theory from the perspective of the global South. Our goal is to open questions that are fundamental to contemporary aesthetic, philosophical, political, literary, ethnographic, and ethical inquiry—questions that potentially point to new paths for critical theory at the interface of local and global circuits.
The 2012 Program
The 2012 program will span ten intensive days of lectures, seminars, public events, exhibitions, and performances. It will also include explorations of Afropolitan Johannesburg.
The Program includes two types of events: public events and extensive sessions. While the period of application to attend extensive sessions is now closed, public events will be open to the University Faculty, students, and the broader public.
In the 2012 Session we will reflect on some of the major challenges relating to the contemporary conditions and the long-term sustainability of life on Earth. Ours is an age characterized by the indelible imprint of human activity on the Earth’s climate, its geology and its conditions—a process which may lead to the planet’s becoming inhospitable to human life. It is also an era that blurs the distinction between human history and culture and the Earth's natural history and material composition. We will also reflect on the growing realization that humans are a species along side other species, one whose survival is threatened by is own behavior. If to survive the ecological crisis means to work out new ways to live with the Earth, then a different mode of humanity is required. The extent to which these new modes of humanity are prefigured in contemporary arts, technology and aesthetics will be assessed.
The Convenors for the 2012 Session are: Kelly Gillespie (Department of Anthropology), Julia Hornberger (African Centre for Migration and Society, Wits), Leigh-Ann Naidoo (Administrator), Zen Marie (School of Arts) and Achille Mbembe (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research).
For further information or assistance please email Leigh-Ann Naidoo at firstname.lastname@example.org