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CUSAS & Senior Research Seminar: Professor Anna Tsing

When May 21, 2015
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where The Queen's Building Theatre, Emmanuel College
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CUSAS Annual Marilyn Strathern Lecture

Professor Anna Tsing (UCSC, Aarhus)

It will be followed by a drinks reception in the Old Library.

Earth Stalked by Man


To take the concept of the Anthropocene seriously requires engagement with global history. But what “global” shall this be? In honor of the work of Marilyn Strathern, this lecture explores that planetary Anthropocene composed of fragments that do not fit together at all, and yet necessarily do. At the center of my concerns are the awkward relations between what one might call “machines of replication”—those simplified ecologies, such as plantations, in which life worlds are remade as future assets—and the vernacular histories in which such machines erupt in all their particularity and go feral in counter-intentional forms. Such eruptions are manifestations of post-Enlightenment modern Man, the one who got us into the mess we call the Anthropocene. Yet, in contrast to approaches that begin with the unified continuity of Man (versus indigenous ontologies; as scientific protocol; etc.), the lecture explores contingent eruptions and the patchy, fractured Anthropocene they foster.


Professor Tsing (University of California, Santa Cruz/Aarhus), is a world-leading theorist of globalisation, environment and transnational interconnection. Her works—which include the monographs Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton University Press 2005, Co-Winner of the 2005 Senior Book Prize, American Ethnological Association) and In the Realm of the Diamond Queen (Princeton University Press 1994, Winner of the 1994 Harry J. Benda Prize, Association for Asian Studies)—have been characterized not only by their theoretical sophistication, but by the use of innovative writing strategies designed to capture the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world.

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