Friday, Feb. 5 :: “The Anthropocene: We Made This!” with Matthew Tiessen

Next up in the series: “The Anthropocene: We Made This!” with Dr. Matthew Tiessen, Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communication in the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University (Toronto).

Friday, February 5, 12-1PM, Arts-Based Research Studio (Ed North 4-104)

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This talk on the subject of the Anthropocene will be motivated by the following questions: When did we happen to notice that we were changing the planet? Why now? What opened our eyes? Haven’t we been aware of our earthly effects – and their attendant affects – for a while now? Why the Anthropocene? Why us? What was the tipping point, the event, that revealed to us the impact of our ways? Was it when we removed all the trees from the European continent? Was it when we surrounded the earth with space trash? Was it when we re-imagined the world as both a cash generating machine and a garbage dump? And do we not now regard the Anthropocene as some sort of an accomplishment? As our greatest achievement? Are we so out of achievements and so in crisis that we have begun to name geological eras after ourselves? What will the next geological era be named after? Is the Anthropocene our most profound aesthetic or artistic gesture? Are we not yet entertained? In order to begin to respond to some of these questions and lines of interrogation I will focus on issues related to, of course, anthropocentrism, as well as on topics such as money’s agency, the benefits of nonhuman natures, and the potential role of an intensification and expansion of human all-too-human self-preservation.

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Matthew Tiessen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communication in the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University (Toronto) and a Research Associate at The Infoscape Research Lab: Centre for the Study of Social Media. Dr. Tiessen holds a SSHRC Insight Development Grant in the area of “Digital Economy” to support work on the social implications of algorithmically-driven digital technologies. Matthew’s research has published in Theory, Culture & Society; Cultural Studies; The European Journal of Cultural Studies; Cultural Studies<=Critical Methodologies; Volume; MediaTropes; CTheory; Rhizomes; Surveillance & Society; Space and Culture; Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy; Deleuze & Guattari, Politics and Education (2014, Bloomsbury); and Revisiting Normativity with Deleuze (2012, Bloomsbury).

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