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Symposium: The Politics of Dwelling in the Anthropocene


Matthew Shutzer; Huatse Gyal; Jieun Cho; Shannon Cram; Nicole Elizabeth Barnes; Albert L. Park

In the age of the Anthropocene, the very essence of how we inhabit our world is under scrutiny.

This symposium fosters a critical examination of dwelling and place, considering the evolving geo-social realities of our time.

On April 25-26, 2024, scholars from across the U.S. with expertise in multiple academic disciplines and deep knowledge of several countries will gather at Duke University to explore vital questions:

  • How do anthropogenic activities both jeopardize and constitute the very grounds of our coexistence?
  • How do people navigate complex landscapes amidst global realities of unsettling disparities, contested sovereignties, and deteriorating environments?

To address these questions, we convene geographers, anthropologists, and historians with expertise across China, India, Japan, Tibet, Korea, and the US. The presentations will spotlight the memories and experiences of those impacted by radioactive contamination, infrastructural expansion, environmental migration, and militarized toxicity.

Through interdisciplinary dialogue, the symposium taps into the transformative potential of redescribing landscapes as dwelling places—a pivotal move towards creating alternative conceptual frameworks, generating political affects, and rediscovering overlooked historical narratives.

Together, this event aims to illuminate a world in flux, where “human” actions are profoundly reshaping the terrains of what it means to be human as it intersects with the planetary changes.

Whether you intend to attend in-person or online (via Zoom), RSVP by April 19, 2024 for pre-readings and other important updates for participants.