The Chair of Conference, Professor Sarah Whatmore (University of Oxford), has introduced the theme of the conference and the overlapping areas of debate for delegates.
Geographies of the Anthropocene
The Anthropocene has been claimed to herald a new geological epoch in which human society is acknowledged as having become the greatest force shaping planet earth. Although its recognition as a new age in geological history remains provisional, the idea of the Anthropocene has already captured the public imagination and that of scientists, social scientists and humanities scholars variously advancing new projects, agendas and critiques in its wake. For example, it has given rise to the ‘post-disciplinary’ ambitions of an Earth Systems Science that presents the integrative role of geography with new challenges; it marks a radical geo-political moment in which the earth shapes new concerns and forms of public engaged in the contestation of planetary governance; and it heralds new demands on our habits of thought in which ‘post-human’ or ‘more-than-human’ modes of theorising and analysis are stretching familiar models of historical, cultural and economic analysis in new directions.
This annual conference theme aims to bring all areas of the discipline to the table, including the physical geography and climate science communities, to explore the rich array of geographical work engaging this powerful idea and its consequences.