Annual Conference 2021
"Unsustainable Past - Sustainable Futures?"
Annual Conference of the Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies
"Futures of Sustainability: Modernization, Transformation, Control"
In its Annual Conference 2021 the Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies "Futures of Sustainability" raises the question of whether a sustainable future is still possible despite a 200-year history in which the ecologically disastrous state of the earth has developed. To this end, it is necessary to define more precisely where we stand and how we want to describe our present situation of global warming, species extinction and the poisoning of soils, water and air. If we want to know whether or not the historical path of ecosystem destruction is reversible, we must first ascertain what has led to this path and what continues to stabilise it.
The annual conference will take a variety of perspectives on this issue. If one looks at humanity as a whole on a planetary scale, it becomes clear that in the age of the Anthropocene mankind has become a tremendous geological force. What conclusions should be drawn from that for the social and cultural sciences?
If one differentiates humanity historically, economically and culturally, more specific social constellations come into view. Is the exploitation of nature a characteristically "Western" phenomenon rooted in an instrumental understanding of nature that can only be overcome by a far-reaching cultural change? Or is it primarily the economic system of capitalism that produces the destruction of the ecosystem? Can there be a social-ecological transformation at all within an economic regime of permanent capital accumulation?
All prospects for socio-ecological change depend on what futures are assumed to be likely. Can "sustainable futures" be achieved through ecological modernization or profound societal transformations, since we are dealing with a crisis that is, in principle, still surmountable? Or is the earth system already leaving the planetary boundaries of a habitable planet and heading for a global civilizational collapse?
5:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
"Sustainability and Habitability: The Planetary Age in Human History"
Prof. Dr. Dipesh Chakrabaty (University of Chicago)
9:30 a.m - 2:45 p.m.
Session A: "Prospects: Crisis vs. Collapse"
- David Spratt (Breakthrough - National Centre for Climate Restoration, Australia)
- Prof. Dr. Ulrike Kornek (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel)
- Chair: Dr. Benno Fladvad (Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies, Hamburg)
Session B: "Causes: Culture vs. System"
- Prof. Dr. Kohei Saito (Osaka University, Japan)
- Giacomo D'Alisa, PhD (Centre of Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal)
- Chair: Dr. Sarah Lenz (Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies, Hamburg)
Panel discussion: "Modernization, transformation, control: Can there be a sustainable future?"
Prof. Dr. Frank Adloff (Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies, Hamburg)
Prof. Dr. Birgit Mahnkopf (Institute for International Political Economy, Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Sighard Neckel (Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies, Hamburg)
Nina Treu (Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie, Leipzig)
Moderator: Dr. Tanja Busse (Publicist, Hamburg)
Further details will be announced here