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Das Anthropozän als Provokation und Herausforderung über die Umweltgeschichte

9th RCC Lecture at ZUG Wien


Speaker: Helmuth Trischler

Location: IFF, 1070 Wien, Schottenfeldgasse 29

Since the turn of the millennium, the Anthropocene debate—initiated by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen and US biologist Eugene Stoermer—has grown in intensity. The Deutsches Museum and the Rachel Carson Center have joined forces and entered this debate with the world's first major exhibition on the Anthropocene, "Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands."

The Anthropocene thesis is chiefly a scientific one: it states that human-induced changes to the environment are already visible geologically, and are sufficiently long-term in nature to situate them on the geological timescale. At the same time, Anthropocene is an eminently historical subject since it deals with questions relating to the general periodization of human history. This lecture traces the interlinked debates about the Anthropocene as both a geological and a cultural concept. Trischler proposes that the "age of humans" presents an opportunity as well as a challenge: to rethink the perceived inherent duality of nature and society, and to call into question traditional environmental history narratives.