Freitag, 24. Januar 2020, 10:00 - 19:00 iCal

Schuld im Anthropozän

Guilt in the Anthropocene

Büro Horn (Hauptgebäude, 1ZG, Stieg 9)
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien


Much contemporary debate concerning the Anthropocene revolves, implicitly if not explicitly, around the question of guilt. The term Anthropocene implies that humanity, humans in general, are responsible for bringing about the new geological age. It has rightly been criticized for failing to specify the particular humans, cultural practices, and social structures that have overwhelmingly contributed to (and profited from) the anthropogenic transformation of the planet. Accordingly, an array of alternative terms has been proposed that provide a differentiated account for the emergence of the current epoch most notably, Capitalocene, but also Anglocene, Eurocene, Plantationocene, White Manthropocene, etc. However important and necessary these polemics may be, they operate with established conceptions of agency and responsibility that are premised on a model of indebtedness and guilt. Yet these are precisely categories that the Anthropocene throws into question and that urgently need to be rethought. Rather than seeking to attribute guilt for the Anthropocene, as if we know what “guilt” means, this symposium sets out instead to consider the ways in which the Anthropocene solicits a critical engagement with the concept of guilt and the economic, juridical, and theological histories in which it is entangled.

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Benjamin Robinson
VDA Humanities / Institut für Germanistik
+43 - 1 / 4277 - 421 01