HOME > TOPICS : 2011 > 10.26-28

The 6th RIHN International Symposium
“Beyond Collapse: Transformation of human-environmental relationships,
past, present and future”

Date: October 26 - 28, 2011
Venue: RIHN Lecture Hall   access
Organizer: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN)
Language: English (simultaneous interpretation provided)
Participation: Contact the address shown in the bottom of this page


Symposium Outline:

Is human history one of success or failure? The Holocene has been a period of dramatic environmental change and remarkable human achievement. In the sciences, arts, technologies-and in sheer number-homo sapiens has advanced itself, remaking the world and redefining the human experience. Yet many individual human societies have remained deceptively fragile despite their successes. Seemingly unaware of critical thresholds in their systems, peoples and civilizations have fallen, one after the other.

Humankind now inhabits a ‘planet under pressure’: will human societies degrade the essential sources of their collective wellbeing, or do immanent technologies and human ingenuity still offer the possibility of transformation? The ‘Anthropocene’ is a period of ever-greater promise and ever-greater precarity.

But are there not other interpretations? As humanity is closely bound together by institutional, material and cultural ties, perhaps human civilization has become ‘too big to fail’. There is concern for climate and social ‘ instability’-not collapse-and consequently to the particularities of social and ecological vulnerability and resilience.

Based on the results of four concluding RIHN research projects, this symposium assesses the processes of collapse, continuity and transformation in two historical and two contemporary contexts.

Opening Session

Session 1: New ecologies of disease:
Observing and theorizing human-pathogen interactions

Session 2: Beyond collapse: The case of the Indus civilization

Session 3: Transformation of human society and environment in Central Eurasia

Session 4: Building resilient communities in the semi-arid tropics

Session 5: Synthesis

Go to Program (You can download abstract)


(For Participation Inquiry)
International Affairs Subsection

tel: +81-75-707-2152 fax: +81-75-707-2106


(For Scientific Contents)
Dr. ABE Akira

tel: +81-75-707-2332 fax: +81-75-707-2507