OSL Workshop: Speculative Ecologies: Turning the Human(ities) Inside Out

Speculative Ecologies

Date: 13 May 2020
Venue: Utrecht University
Open to: PhD Candidates and RMa Students, OSL members will have first access
Credits: 1EC
Instructor: Dr Tom Idema (Utrecht University)


If the humanities is a tranquil mountain resort with a lake around which scholars gather to bath in the beauty of literature, culture, history, and other things human, then speculative ecologies awaken the terrifying Beast of Transdisciplinarity at the bottom of the lake, disturbing the scholars’ soothing stay. What will happen if the scholars look the Beast in the eye, or look through its eyes?

Today writers, philosophers, and scientists are questioning commonly held assumptions about humanity and nature in the light of immense and potentially catastrophic environmental change, conjuring up new, speculative ecologies. From Jeff VanderMeer’s fiction of human transmutation to Timothy Morton’s philosophy of hyperobjects, speculative ecologies transgress the boundaries of genres and disciplines. In this masterclass we will delve into key examples of speculative ecology, considering how they may inform new developments in literary studies and, more broadly, the Humanities.

More details will follow soon