Hybrid Workshop Learning from Aliens: New Directions in Environmental Humanities Research and Practice

The Environmental Humanities Center Amsterdam would like to share this hybrid workshop organized by the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (NUS).

The world’s flora and fauna are often classified as native and non-native, indigenous and alien. These simple binaries mark biological life and, in doing so, define what belongs where and why. But when species travel, they change, transforming cultures and ecologies in their wake. While some species movements can foster explosive reproduction rates that rupture and ravage nature’s ecosystems—resulting in economic losses, biodiversity declines, and the spread of diseases—other kinds of biological flows can cultivate new ways of belonging, new food webs, and new types of cultural and ecological services. Learning from Aliens aims to center the travels, histories, and ecologies of non-native species to show how these kinds of stories are reshaping the work done by the environmental humanities while at the same time fostering new possibilities for interdisciplinary research. As a key deliverable of our SSRTG-funded project, “Linking the Digital Humanities to Biodiversity History in Singapore and Southeast Asia,” this workshop seeks to put into conversation diverse bodies of historical scholarship, biological knowledge production, and public outreach-focused museum and art practice. Their fruitful conversation will provide us with new insights and understandings about non-native species, the novel worlds they create, and the changes they set in motion. Building on our project’s network of biologists, historians, curators, digital botanists, and artists, among others, we intend to examine how thinking with aliens can open new pathways for researching and storying the urgency and complexity of environmental change. Learning from Aliens thus aims to leverage our project’s innovative scientific, digital, and historical methods as part of a broader, more critical discussion about the placeness and out-of-placeness of non-native species in today’s natural world.

For more information: https://ari.nus.edu.sg/events/environmental-humanities/

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