My AAR Talk on Latour, Gaia, the Anthropocene and Animism
So I recently gave a presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR)’s annual conference in San Diego. This was the first time I have done a digital presentation, as I prefer the old school oral presentations, with some visuals added for effect. But due to a last-minute intervention by the universe, I was forced to make alternate arrangements. My talk works through some of the ideas of Bruno Latour which he developed in his 2013 Gifford Lectures, in a series of talks entitled “Facing Gaia”. In those lectures, among other topics, Latour engages with the idea of the Gaia Theory and the Anthropocene, two topics which I am also working with. He also introduces a third idea, which he refers to as the People of Gaia, or the Earthbound people, which are a hypothetical but potentially future people that he begins to sketch out. My paper looks at these ideas, with a suggestion that perhaps the Earthbound people Latour is imagining can be expanded and informed with some of the ideas from the study of animism.
I’m still working on the paper, which will ultimately be a chapter in my dissertation, but this is a shortened and condensed version that at least gets a few of the main ideas across. I hope others find this interesting.
Until next time…who would have thought I would be using Carl Schmitt! lol ;-}