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Ecologizing Urban Ontologies in the Anthropocene


17.11.2018 09:00  – 13:00 

Date: 17 November 2018

Location: Vorhölzerforum (Room 5170, Institutsbau, Arcisstr. 21, 5. Floor, Südterrasse)

The Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) are hosting a workshop on "Ecologizing Urban Ontologies in the Anthropocene." The event begins with a film screening prior to the workshop on Friday, 16 November 2018. The following lectures form part of Saturday's workshop:

· Prof. D. Matthew Gandy, urban geographer at Cambridge University will introduce us to his research on "Saproxylic Geographies and Other-Than-Human Ecologies."

· Prof. Dr. Meike Wolf, medical anthropologist from Goethe University in Frankfurt, will talk on "Invasive Species and the Politics of Urban Disease."

· Felix Remter MA, visual anthropologist at MCTS/TUM, will speak on "Apoidean Urbanization and the Heat Island."

· Prof. Dr. Helmuth Trischler, head of research at the Deutsches Museum and codirector of the Rachel Carson Center (RCC), will share insights into his research on "The Anthropocene and Urban Metabolism."

· Prof. Dr. Ignacio Farías, urban anthropologist at HU Berlin, will talk about "Local Warming and Experimental Urban Politics."

· Dr. Sandra Jasper, film producer and geographer at Cambridge University, will talk about "Urban Wastelands as Experimental Spaces."


Abstract of the Keynote by Matthew Gandy:

The discovery of a rare fly in a North London cemetery marks my entry point into a wider reflection on the value and significance of urban biodiversity. Using different indices of ecological endangerment, along with a critical reading of new materialist insights, this presentation explores the cultural, political, and scientific significance of saproxylic (rotten wood) invertebrate communities in an urban context. The discussion brings the fields of urban ecology and post-humanism into closer dialogue to illuminate aspects to urban nature that have not been systematically explored within existing analytical frameworks. We consider a series of intersecting worlds, both human and nonhuman, as part of a glimpse into saproxylic dimensions to urban nature under a putative transition to a new geo-environmental epoch.

There will be two panels with a coffee break in between; a discussion will follow the panels.

Please find the announcement poster here.