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Dipesh Chakrabarty, 'The Human and the Geological: On Anthropocene Time'

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UTS Building 6, Level 4, CB06.04.040

702 Harris Street

Ultimo, NSW 2007

Australia

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Public Lecture + Launch, Climate Justice Research Centre

This lecture discusses how distinctly geological and sociological ideas undergo mutual translation in current debates on climate change, climate justice, and the idea of the Anthropocene. The aim of the lecture is to investigate the relationship between our contemporary imaginations of world history and the history of the planet.

Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty is the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor at the Department of History and Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and a Faculty Fellow at the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, The University of Chicago. His books include ‘Historical Teleologies in the Modern World’ (Bloomsbury Press, 2015); ‘Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference’ (Princeton, 2000; 2008); ‘Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies’ (Chicago, 2002); ‘Cosmopolitanism’ (Duke, 2000); ‘From the Colonial to the Postcolonial: India and Pakistan in Transition’ (Oxford, 2007). He is currently working on ‘The Climate of History’ (Routledge) and ‘Anthropocene in Fuelling Culture’ (Fordham).

Related Events:

The Climate Justice Research Centre at UTS is hosting a series of launch events on the 17th+18 August, including:

Beyond the Coal Rush Symposium, 17 August: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/symposium-beyond-the-coal-rush-coal-reliance-climate-change-and-contested-futures-tickets-36264247340

Climate Justice Workshops + Forum, 18 August: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/climate-justice-agendas-for-research-and-action-tickets-36264548240

Background​ - what is 'Climate Justice'?

Climate justice signals a collision between the long history of the biosphere and its geology, and the much shorter history of social change and human justice. At a practical level it embodies the necessary meeting point between the science of climate change and the politics of social change. Most importantly it enacts the socio-ecological relations beyond the prevalent climate-society divide.

Climate justice is both expansive and normative. It reflects the expanding logic of climate change as a phenomenon that subsumes social relations. As it cascades through societies, climate change generates normative imperatives and recasts political agendas, for instance around concepts of ‘just transition’ or ‘energy democracy’.

The concept is grounded in North-South divides, in terms of the global injustices of climate change. At the same time it points to inter-generational responsibilities, to the wider context of social inequality and cultural rights, and to issues of ecological justice. It is a dynamic concept that transforms agendas for policy and social change.

Climate justice started to emerge and gain political traction in the early 2000s, initially from climate action movements and NGOs. It is now taken up by a wide variety of players, including UN agencies, and in academia, from international relations, international law, and geography to international sociology.

This new Centre aims to advance its development. It asks how the direct experience of climate change can be translated into political and social change. It investigates what social and political frameworks will best promote climate justice, and debates how the these frameworks can be established.

Climate change poses the challenge of translating abstract large-scale climate science into the everyday contexts of social justice, and thus into embedded political agendas. The Centre will focus on this field of applied knowledge in the search for socio-political frameworks for transformation, beyond the injustices of climate change.





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UTS Building 6, Level 4, CB06.04.040

702 Harris Street

Ultimo, NSW 2007

Australia

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