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Urban Spaces Keynote Series: Keynote Address 2 by Dr Jessica McLean, Can we...

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Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus

Southern Cross Dr

Bilinga, QLD 4225

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This three part keynote series on Urban Spaces is being led by SCU's Sustainability, Environment & Education (SEE) Research Cluster. The keynote speakers are:

KEYNOTE 1 - 19 October - Dr Natalie Osborne (Griffith University) 19 October: Dr Natalie Osborne (Griffith University) - Points of Light Through the Curtain: Everyday Spatial Politics for the Just City. Register at https://urbanspaceskeynoteseriesnatalieosbourne.eventbrite.com.au


KEYNOTE 2 - 14 November: Dr Jessica McLean (Macquarie University) - Can we love our digital monsters? More-than-real geographies in the Anthropocene. Register at https://urbanspaceskeynoteseriesjessicamclean.eventbrite.com.au


KEYNOTE 3 - 11 December: Professor Karen Malone (Western Sydney University) - Educating Children in the Urban Anthropocene. Register at https://urbanspaceskeynoteserieskarenmalone.eventbrite.com.au


Keynote delivered from the Gold Coast Campus and Video Conferenced to Coffs (A1.20) and Lismore (R106). Or Join via Zoom https://scuonline.zoom.us/j/7103981309


Keynote 2 Abstract (14 November)

Latour argues that we have to re-engage with our errant technologies to reduce ethical dilemmas in human-technology relations, comparing the care for children to that which we should deploy for technologies. An entreaty to care makes sense but is problematic if online spaces are framed as ‘not real’ and inferior to offline interactions; the hidden environmental impacts of being online can also compound the challenges to care. Further entrenching the ‘unreality’ of digital engagement is the repositioning of humans as agents of global environmental change in the contested Anthropocene: a conceptualisation that is partly shaped by digital lives. I am interested in spatial relations of digital engagement and the way we think about, and experience, the potentials of digital spaces. In this presentation, I will discuss the creation of the Climate Council, a case of digital engagement that produced climate action to fill a national government void on pro-active climate policy. Digital spaces are often unruly and troublesome, but they are also full of generative potential, and being open to these possibilities can produce hopeful, more-than-real geographies. The more-than-real inverts the diminishing that accompanies use of the terms ‘virtual’ and ‘immaterial’ as often applied to online spaces, moving away from tendencies to place these realms as inferior and in opposition to the ‘real’. Our digital monsters may be difficult to love and working through these challenges of the more-than-real could reframe environmental and ethical dilemmas of the Anthropocene.

Biography

Jess McLean is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University. She is currently researching digital geographies and water cultures, using mixed methods approaches and working in collaboration with Indigenous and non-Indigenous research partners. Jess is working on a manuscript entitled ‘Changing Digital Geographies: Environmentalism, feminism and the Anthropocene’ to be published by Palgrave MacMillan.

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Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus

Southern Cross Dr

Bilinga, QLD 4225

Australia

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