The ethics of hope? Posthumanism, life, and climate change 25-26 November 2015

full name / name of organization: 
Suzi Hayes, La Trobe University

How to think of life-in all its forms-when the future is not what it used to be? How to think of we and I when the very weather itself has forced us to consider anew the radical entanglement of oneself and others, of human and nature, of the living with the other-than-living, of the present and the past and the future? These questions drive much contemporary theory and practice in the arts, the humanities and sciences, acting as the generative terrain of new interdisciplinary collaborations. Running through this new work is a deep vein of enquiry around the terms "human", "life", "nature", "culture", "death", "writing", "agency", and "animal", and enquiries into how we might think of human as entangled with land and other life forms. In critical-creative works and practices around the world, we find the urgent questions reiterated: how to be human now? How to live? Can there be life? And, critically, how will western approaches to these urgent questions entangle themselves with other epistemologies-especially Indigenous ones-and their very different conceptions of living systems?

The conference will explore the ethical place for hope in this reconfigured environment in which the future is emerging. Can there be hope without denial of the reach of the environmental crisis for humans, as for other life forms? Or does this question take too much for granted about the genesis and effects of climate change, the human and life itself?

We are inviting proposals for presentations around these questions as part of a two-day conference at La Trobe University, Melbourne campus, 25-26 November. Presentations from practitioners working in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as interdisciplinary fields, are welcomed.