RIHN Anthropocene Workshop #1
Welcome to the Anthropocene?
Japanese and Western perspectives on human-environmental change

Date & Hours: Thursday, September 17, 2015, 14:30 – 17:00
Venue: Lecture Hall, RIHN( → Access)
Organized: Daniel Niles (Associate professor of RIHN)
Masahiro Terada (Visiting associate professor of RIHN)
With contributions: Augustin Berque (Professor at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales),
Heinz Gutscher (Professor Emeritus of Social Psychology at the University of Zurich),
Tetsuzo Yasunari (Director-General of RIHN)
  Open to the public
Language: English and Japanese
Flyer: →  Click here
Contact: Daniel Niles E-mail
Masahiro Terada E-mail

Everybody understands that human action is changing the environments in which we live, but nobody seems to know what to do about it.

We understand that humanity may now alter the global environment in ways that can fundamentally affect the environmental systems upon which we—and many other species—depend. And we must acknowledge that this human change occurs in environments that are also always changing themselves.

The idea of the “Anthropocene” represents one attempt to conceptualize the intertwined character of human and natural agency, and its significance in the world today. The Anthropocene is now being debated as the title of a newly arrived geological epoch—the present time—in which humanity is recognized as a force of geohistorical proportions.

Still, we might say that the Anthropocene arrives too late! It hardly represents the first attempt to conceptualize humanity in nature.

This seminar explores the idea of the Anthropocene: where it comes from, how it is used today by different research communities, how it might relate to other Japanese and Western traditions of environmental thought, and how it might help us to understand environmental change in the world today.