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Open Lecture and Workshop on the Anthropocene with Scott Gilbert and Donna Haraway October 30-31, 2014

Open Lecture & Workshop with Donna Haraway and Scott Gilbert, October 2014.

The well-known professors in feminist theory and techno-science Donna Haraway, UCSC, and professor in biology Scott Gilbert, Swarthmore College, visited Aarhus in the autumn of 2014 to give an AURA Open Lecture and participate in an international workshop organized by AURA as a follow up on the guest lecture. Workshop presenters were Peter Funch (AU), Annemarie Mol (University of Amsterdam), Andreas Hejnol (University of Bergen), Michael Thomas-Poulsen (KU) and Nils Bubandt (AU). Both events were very well attended and drew an audience of about 150 researchers from a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Both the Open Lecture as well as the workshop had a strong trans-disciplinary focus on co-species landscapes ranging from the positive effect of bacteria on childbirth (Scott Gilbert), the symbiosis between a lobster and an microscopic aquatic organism living in its mouth (Peter Funch), the relationship between spirits, mining and other geological phenomenon in Indonesia (Nils Bubandt), the ways humans interact with animals (Annemarie Mol), etc.

Below you will find videos from the two days event.

Scott Gilbert: "Holobiont by Birth: Childbirth as the Maintenance of Community."

Open Lecture with Donna Haraway and Scott Gilbert, October 30, 2014.

Welcome by Anna Tsing

Presentation by Scott Gilbert: "Holobiont by Birth: Childbirth as the Maintenance of Community."

Scott F. Gilbert is the Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology (emeritus) at Swarthmore College, where he has taught developmental genetics, embryology, and the history and critiques of biology. He is also a Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Helsinki. He received his B.A. in both biology and religion from Wesleyan University (1971), and he earned his PhD in biology from the pediatric genetics laboratory of Dr. Barbara Migeon at the Johns Hopkins University (1976). His M.A. in the history of science, also from The Johns Hopkins University, was done under the supervision of Dr. Donna Haraway. He pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin in the laboratories of Dr. Masayasu Nomura and Dr. Robert Auerbach

Comments by Donna Haraway








Donna Haraway, "Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene: Making String Figures with Biologies, Arts, Activisms"


Introduction to Donna Haraway by Anna Tsing

Presentation by Donna Haraway: "Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene: Making String Figures with Biologies and Arts".

Donna J. Haraway (born September 6, 1944) is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States. Haraway, a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies, was described in the early 1990s as a "feminist, rather loosely a neo-Marxist and a postmodernist". She is the author of numerous books and essays that bring together questions of science and feminism, such as A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century (1985) and Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective (1988).

Haraway has taught Women's Studies and the History of Science at the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins University. In September 2000, Haraway was awarded the highest honor given by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), the J. D. Bernal Award, for lifetime contributions to the field. Haraway has also lectured in feminist theory and technoscience at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Haraway's works have contributed to the study of both human-machine and human-animal relations. Her works have sparked debate in primatology, philosophy, and developmental biology. Haraway participated in a collaborative exchange with the eminent feminist theorist Lynn Randolph from 1990 to 1996. Their engagement with specific ideas relating to feminism, technoscience, political consciousness, and other social issues, formed the images and narrative of Haraway's book.


Comments by Scott Gilbert


The Donna Haraway and Scott Gilbert Dissussions, October 31, 2014. Part 1. Presentations by Andreas Hejnol, Nils Bubandt & Michael Poulsen.

Introduction by Anna Tsing

Presentation by Andreas Hejnol: “Unravelling the evolutionary kinships of animal diversity”.

Andreas Hejnol is group leader at the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology at the University of Bergen, Norway. He analyses similarities of the genetic sequence and compares embryological development among animal groups to improve our understanding of the evolutionary relationships among them. Before he started his group 2009 at the Sars Centre, he was postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hawaii and at the Technical University Braunschweig. He received his PhD 2002 in Berlin, Germany. 

Presentation by Nils Bubandt: “Spirits of the Anthropocene: Thinking through Stones in a Time of Geology”.

Nils Bubandt is Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Culture and Society at Aarhus University, Denmark.  He has conducted fieldwork in Indonesia since 1991 and is part of the Aarhus Research on the Anthropocene. He is interested in what spirits, witches, and other non-human/non-animal others might tell us about the present. Recent publications include Democracy, Corruption and the Politics of Spirits in Contemporary Indonesia (Routledge 2014) and The Empty Seashell: Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island (Cornell University Press, 2014).

Presentation by Michael Thomas-Poulsen: "How ancient insect-fungus-bacteria symbiosis made fungus-growing termites dominant decomposers in the Old World".

Michael Thomas-Poulsen is Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Copenhagen University. He is interested in the evolutionary origin and stability of symbioses, including conflict and cooperation within beneficial symbiotic associations (mutualisms). His work focuses on population genetics, host-symbiont interactions, and the coevolutionary history of fungus-growing insect-microbe associations. His current project, which is funding by a four-year fellowship (STENO) from The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, focuses on identifying and exploring host-symbiont associations with fungus-growing termites. This work is in close connection with the Centre for Social Evolution (http://www1.bio.ku.dk/forskning/oe/cse/)


Panel discussion 1

Questions from the audience and panel discussion with Andreas Hejnol, Nils Bubandt and Michael Thomas Poulsen. Discussants: Donna Haraway and Scott Gilbert

Part 2 of the program: Presentations by Peter Funch and Annemarie Mol

Peter Funch: “Symbiotic Cycliophora: Bizarre organisms on lobster’s mouth

Peter Funch is Associate Professor in Ecology, Genetics and Evolution at Aarhus University. He studies arthropods and microscopic organisms with a fascination for the diversity of life. One life form he discovered lives on the mouthparts of lobsters; this previously unknown phylum has a complicated life cycle with alternating generations, different free individuals, and distinct asexual and sexual phases. In this project he will investigate the interactions between species and humans in coastal landscapes and the global spread of organisms.

Annemarie Mol: “How humans relate to other species: notes on knowing eating”.

Annemarie Mol is a professor of Anthropology of the Body at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam. She is the author of The Body Multiple (Duke University Press 2002) and The Logic of Care (Routledge 2008) and a co-editor of Differences in Medicine (Duke University Press 1998)Complexities (Duke University Press 2002) and Care in Practice (Transcript 2010). Her articles concern themselves with caring bodies, traveling technologies, topological figures, feminist ways of writing, and fluid theorising. She is currently working with a team and an ERC Advanced Grant as well as a Spinoza Prize on Eating bodies in Western Practice and Theory. 

Panel discussion 2

Questions from the audience and panel discussion with Peter Funch and Annemarie Mol. Discussants: Donna Haraway and Scott Gilbert.

Comments and general discussion

All presenters in the workshop line up for a general discussion with the audience.