International experts explore humanity’s role and responses in a time of environmental crisis.

1 Feb 2018. Sydney, Australia: Humanity’s role in the causes and consequences of environmental and social crises will be explored by the Australian Museum (AM) in HumanNature, a landmark speaker series featuring internationally-recognised experts and ground-breaking thinkers.

HumanNature: The Humanities in a Time of Environmental Crisis will investigate the increasing impact of crises such as climate change, mass species extinction, Indigenous dispossession, racism and the excesses of capitalism, and determine how to respond to the greatest global emergencies of our time.

The AM will present the talks each month from February to October, in partnership with UNSW Sydney, Macquarie University, The University of Sydney and Western Sydney University.

The nine talks will be led by international experts in science, history, geography, literature, philosophy, anthropology and art, including:
• Cambridge University Professor Mike Hulme on the politics and fear of climate change.
• York University Professor Catriona Sandilands on “feminist botany” in the Age of Man.
• Indigenous writer Bruce Pascoe on the myth of Aboriginal Australian hunter-gatherers.

Australian Museum Director and CEO Kim McKay said the inaugural lecture series will help people understand their role and responsibilities in a changing world.

“Environmental change is increasingly impacting the planet but opinions differ over its causes and consequences. The Australian Museum, in partnership with UNSW Sydney, Macquarie University, The University of Sydney and Western Sydney University, has gathered some of the world’s best scholars working at the intersection of the humanities and science to explore the role that we can play in addressing some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.”

AM Creative Producer Tanya Goldberg said the global impacts of environmental change and crisis often feel distant from our daily lives.

HumanNature challenges that remoteness, showcasing not only the depth of expert knowledge that is tackling these problems but the breadth of its applications in how we understand the crises facing our world and their possible solutions,” she said.

What: HumanNature: The Humanities in a Time of Environmental Crisis
When: Once a month from February to October 2018
Where: Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney
Tickets: AM Members: $16 | General: $20 | Concession: $18. Bookings recommended. Tickets at door subject to availability.

15 February, TIME: Radical Histories for Uncanny Times
Tom Griffiths, Professor of History, Australian National University
AM Eureka Prize winner Tom Griffiths discusses the historian’s craft and its importance amid profound environmental and social change. Griffiths will explore how Australian understandings of the past have shaped our environmental possibilities.

8 March, EXTINCTION: Gifts of Life in the Shadow of Death
Deborah Bird Rose, Professor of Environmental Humanities, UNSW Sydney
Prize-winning author, Deborah Bird Rose investigates how gift-giving is central to life at a time of mass extinction.

23rd April, CLIMATE: Cultures of Climate
Mike Hulme, Professor of Human Geography, University of Cambridge (UK)
Mike Hulme explores the ways climates are changed, blamed, feared and redesigned, amid the politics of climate change.

24 May, LIFE: Living Biological Objects on the Pedestal
Oron Catts, Director of SymboiticA, the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, The University of Western Australia
Biological arts pioneer Oron Catts explores the possibilities that emerge when art meets biology and asks: What is life?

14th June, GARDEN: Taupata, Taro, Roots, Earth: the (Indigenous) Politics of Gardening
Alice Te Punga Somerville, Associate Professor Maori and Indigenous Studies, University of Waikato (NZ)
Alice Te Punga Somerville explores the history of gardening and activism among Indigenous peoples in the Pacific region.

12th July, PLANT: Feminist Botany for the Age of Man
Catriona Sandilands, Professor of Environmental Studies, York University (Canada)
Join Catriona Sandilands on an adventure into the fascinating worlds of plants. Sandilands draws on diverse relationships between women and plants to outline a feminist botany that unsettles the “Anthropocene” as the centre of attention.

23rd August, KINSHIP: American Dreaming is Indigenous Elimination
Kim TallBear, Associate Professor of Native Studies, University of Alberta (Canada)
Kim TallBear considers the strange intersections between nature and the lives and deaths of Indigenous peoples in the United States. TallBear highlights how anti-racism movements are co-constituted with the doctrine of Indigenous elimination.

6th September, CAPITAL: Work, Cheap Nature, and the Violence of Real Abstraction
Jason W. Moore, Associate Professor of Sociology, Binghamton University (USA)
Join Jason Moore as he explores capitalism and the roots of today’s planetary crisis, arguing that both are grounded in a history of putting nature and people to work.

18 October, COUNTRY: Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Award-winning author and Bunurong/Tasmanian Yuin man, Bruce Pascoe re-examines the notion of pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians as hunter-gatherers and retells Indigenous history, arguing that it is time to take a new look at the past.

MEDIA CONTACT
Claire Vince | Media & Communications Advisor
claire.vince@austmus.gov.au 
P 61 2 9320 6181 | M 61 468 726 910