Uprooting the Anthropocene: (re-)centring trees in tree-human relationships

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Uprooting the Anthropocene

This one-day conference includes a packed programme of discussions examining tree-human relations. 

When: Thursday 22 July 2021, 9am - 6pm

To register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/uprooting-the-anthropocene-tickets-161635013677

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The developing climate crisis forces all disciplines to re-examine their core assumptions. We face an imperative to reconsider, across timescales, relationships between humans and the environment. This conference invites researchers to develop new perspectives in light of this crisis and to draw inspiration from post-humanist approaches and from the work of indigenous scholars and artists. We will approach trees as trees - both as individuals and as collectives, prioritising their perspectives and arboreality within their distinct ecosystems and environments. Moving beyond previous work that has situated trees within human narratives, this conference will attempt to consider ‘tree-ish’ thinking within a broad range of subjects, from the Humanities to the Social and Natural Sciences. Taking this perspective will allow us to examine how trees, across space and time, have engaged with and formed networks alongside humans and nonhuman others.

Trees have been significant to many human societies, but seldom in the same way. In a Western context, they have spoken to communal cosmologies and stimulated scientific and personal discoveries, served as markers to establish imagined and practical boundaries, and acted as frameworks for representing emotions, genealogy, and human inter-connectedness. However alongside and within this, they have often been reduced to passive objects upon which human agency is enacted. Much of this can be attributed to the Western separation between nature and culture, and our disassociation from our surrounding environments. Our conference will explore the idea that trees and other nonhumans are active, cognisant, and intentional beings- an awareness that has all too often been lost.

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