Cumberland Lecture 2017: Hope and grief in the Anthropocene - environmental thinking for uncertain times Event as iCalendar

(Environment, Science Event Tags)

27 November 2017

5 - 6pm

Venue: Case Room 302-G20

Location: Science Building 302, 23 Symonds Street

Host: School of Environment

Contact email:


The Anthropocene is a potentially catastrophic age demanding new ways of thinking about relations between humans and the nonhuman world.

In Australia, we are both strong contributors to climate change and particularly vulnerable to its impacts. I argue that preservationist responses to environmental challenges, dominant in colonial settler contexts, are hampered by grief for a pristine and certain past. I will outline the characteristics of environmental thought and practice more appropriate to life on an increasingly volatile earth saturated with human influence. The Australasian combination of distinctive biophysical environments, indigenous heritage and presence, and the diversity of migrant experiences, provides cultural resources with which to approach the future. Scholars like Kenneth Cumberland recognised this distinctiveness, and I invite the audience to contemplate Aotearoa New Zealand comparisons.

Following the presentation drinks and nibbles will be provided in Science Building 302, Level 6 breakout space from 6-7pm

For more information:

Cumberland lecture 2017.pdf
(184.5 kB, PDF)