‘The other nonhumans – Environmental issues within the academy’

 

Hoffai’r Grŵp Ymchwil Gwleidyddiaeth Amgylcheddol eich gwahodd i seminar gyda Dr Angela Last.

Mae yna erchyllbeth sy’n dychwelyd o hyd ac o hyd: sef papurau astudiaethau amgylcheddol lle mae’r awduron yn ceisio di-ganoli’r dynol a hwythau’n siarad o safle breintiedig. O ymdriniaethau o ddaeareg sy’n anwybyddu safleoedd o drawma hiliol neu rywiol i drafodaethau ar ddifodiant sy’n hepgor safleoedd lle mae trais gwladychol yn parhau, mae ymdrechion o’r fath i ddyrchafu’r byd nad yw’n ddynol yn aml yn cadarnhau safle dynol breintiedig (e.e. gwyn, dosbarth canol, gwryw, abl o gorff, heterorywiol, cisgender). Er bod awduron sy’n sensitif i anghydraddoldeb dynol wedi honni y gall hunaniaethau nad ydynt yn ddynol gynnig ffordd o wrthsefyll cyflyrau normadol neu ddominyddol y dynol, nid dyma a wneir yn y rhan fwyaf o bapurau.

Mae’r sefyllfa gyffredin hon yn amlygu dwy broblem sylfaenol: 1) academi anghyfartal a dulliau cysylltiedig o gynhyrchu gwybodaeth a 2) damcaniaethau am yr amgylchedd, yn enwedig trwy lens materoliaeth, lle mae cwestiynau hollbwysig yn ddistaw/cael eu distewi oherwydd diffyg atblygiadol o ran safbwyntiau’r awdur ei hun. Nod y papur hwn yw codi cwestiynau a syniadau llai amlwg o fewn materoliaeth newydd a allai helpu i fynd i’r afael â’r mater hwn.

Mae Angela yn ddaearyddwr (a cherddor) ac mae ganddi gefndir ym maes celf a dylunio. Mae ei gweithiau eang yn edrych ar y berthynas rhwng daeareg, geowleidyddiaeth a geofarddoneg yn ogystal â ‘materoliaeth gosmig’ y cyfnod rhwng y rhyfeloedd, dadleuon amgylcheddol, y cysylltiadau rhwng celfyddyd a gwyddoniaeth, a mwy. Mae ei blog ‘Mutable Matter’ wedi bod yn rhedeg ers ychydig dros ddeng mlynedd. Mae hi hefyd yn aelod o Weithgor Hil, Diwylliant a Chydraddoldeb y Gymdeithas Ddaearyddol Frenhinol/Sefydliad Daearyddwyr Prydain.

Dydd Mercher 29 Tachwedd, 5.30-7yh, Prif Neuadd yr Adran Gwleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol. Croeso i bawb!

The Environmental Politics Research Group would like to invite you to a seminar with Dr Angela Last.

There is a horror that keeps returning: that of environmental studies papers whose authors try to decentre the human while speaking from a privileged position. From affective engagements with geology that ignore sites of racial or sexual trauma to talks on extinction that disappear on-going sites of colonial violence, such attempts at privileging the nonhuman often end up affirming a privileged human position (e.g. white, middle class, male, able-bodied, heterosexual, cis). While authors sensitive to human inequality have asserted that nonhuman identities can become a means of countering normative or dominant states of the human, this is not what is performed in the majority of papers.

This recurring situation points to two fundamental underlying problems: 1) an unequal academy and related knowledge production and 2) theorisations of the environment, especially through the lens of materialism(s) in which crucial questions remain silent/silenced due to lack of reflexivity on the authors’ own positions. In exploring this intersection, this paper aims to draw out less prominent questions and provocations within new materialism that may help address this issue.

A geographer (and musician) with a background in art and design, Angela’s wide-ranging works investigate the relations between geology, geopolitics and geopoetics as well as the ‘cosmic materialism’ of the interwar period, environmental controversies, art-science relations, and more. Her blog ‘Mutable Matter’ has been running for just over ten years. She is also a member of the Race, Culture & Equality Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

Wednesday 29th November, 5.30-7pm, Main Hall, Department of International Politics. All welcome!

 

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