How did modernity end up in the Anthropocene? How did the twentieth century succumb to a Möbius strip of technics and nature wherein cause and effect, local and global, human and nonhuman, perpetually confuse and confound one another’s distinctions? One way to describe this planetary system and its ascendance is in terms of the technosphere, the socio-technical mobilization of energy, materials and information, which may be considered a geophysical phenomenon on par with other spheres such as the atmosphere or biosphere. This concept designates a global patchwork interlacing technological, environmental and social systems into a world system of planetary production and consumption. Has this sphere become a quasi-autonomous agent with its own independent characteristics? Can humans intentionally manage and shape its development? What methodologies are useful to study its infrastructures and effects?
In an ongoing transdisciplinary collaboration initiated by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (HKW) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), researchers and academics from around the world will further develop an Anthropocene Curriculum, an exemplary program that opens up new fields of knowledge and seeks to respond to the challenges of the “Age of Humankind” by thinking beyond institutionalized disciplines, educational formats, and teaching content by way of a cross-disciplinary experiment in higher education. A first Anthropocene Campus in November 2014 confirmed the importance and urgency of this interdisciplinary collaboration. It demonstrated that the geographical and spatial concept of the technosphere may – as a key agent – determine the dynamics of the Anthropocene.
Against this background the second edition of the Anthropocene Campus to be held from April 15 to 23, 2016 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin will shed light on the technosphere, taking up the challenge of describing, understanding, and more consciously shaping the dynamic sphere wherein geological forces confront the forces of humanity, technology, culture, life, and industry in the twenty-first century.
One hundred outstanding graduate students as well as actors from culture, society, and the arts selected from an international pool of applicants will be given the opportunity to critically engage in this collaborative learning space. The seminars will be complemented by a series of public events linking academic discourse with public concerns and focusing on the societal relevance of the Anthropocene Curriculum.
Applicants should be strongly committed to interdisciplinary collaboration and demonstrate a broad interest in Anthropocene- and technosphere-related research questions. Active participation is expected both during the Campus as well as in preliminary and post factor work assigned by the instructors.
The project´s website is separated into two sections: The internal online platform will serve as central tool for the development and communication of syllabi and coursework and provides a long-time discussion space for all registered participants. Beyond that, the Anthropocene Campus I & II will be documented on a public website, a growing repository facilitating continuation of intellectual exchange, to be launched in September 2015.
In order to submit your application and for more information on the Anthropocene Curriculum & Campus, the seminar contents, conveners and procedures, please visit the project's website. Please find the media documentation of the Anthropocene Curriculum and Campus 2014 at HKW website1.
- 1. http://hkw.de/campus