The next speaker in the HumanNature Environmental Humanities Public Lecture Series will be:
A/Prof Andrea Gaynor
Lecture title: Armoured histories: radical remembering for the Anthropocene
Tuesday 12 November, 6:00-7:30pm
Due to refurbishments being undertaken at the Australian Museum, this lecture will be held at: ANZAC War Memorial Auditorium
Liverpool Street Hyde Park South, Sydney
(view on map)
Andrea Gaynor (University of Western Australia) holds the past to account as she proposes ‘radical remembering’ to actively confront the challenges of the Anthropocene.
At the World Economic Forum meeting in January 2019, 16 year old climate activist Greta Thunberg told the wealthy and influential people assembled that she didn’t want their hope; she wanted them “to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is”.
In the face of climate change – one unprecedented predicament of the Anthropocene – Andrea Gaynor’s acts of “radical remembering” call for the recognition that so-called environmental problems are actually social and cultural problems. We need “armoured histories”, she argues, that hold wrongdoers to account, provide ethical blueprints for leaders and make untenable further violations against the environment and its human inhabitants.
The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of human domination over the earth system. Its history, as we have been taught it, has been written by the victors of war, the captains of industry, the successful colonisers. We need to review its history, argues Gaynor, and activate that knowledge to navigate both our environmental and social dilemmas.
Environmental historian Andrea Gaynor is Associate Professor of History and Chair of the History Discipline Group at the University of Western Australia. A 2019 National Library of Australia Fellow, Gaynor is Director of the Centre for Western Australian History, convenor of the Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network and a member of The Beeliar Group: Professors for Environmental Responsibility. Gaynor’s research, which seeks to harness the contextualising and narrative power of history to address real-world problems, is currently engaged in histories of water in Australian urbanisation, nature in Australian urban modernity and landcare in Western Australia. She has worked with diverse organisations including the Western Australian Department of Parks & Wildlife, Western Power and WWF-Australia, and is the co-author of an environmental history of Australia’s Mallee country (2019) and co-editor of Reclaiming the Urban Commons: The past, present and future of food growing in Australian towns and cities (2018).
This lecture series is a collaboration between the Australian Museum, Macquarie University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, the University of Wollongong, and Western Sydney University.
Photo: Stephen Radford on Unsplash