Latour and Descola (VIDEO)



"Approaches to the Anthropocene - A Conversation Between Philippe Descola and Bruno Latour"
University of British Columbia, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre


From the IKB website.  Original link HERE.
Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Dr. Philippe Descola and Dr. Bruno Latour are two of France’s most prominent intellectuals, and both have redefined their respective fields of expertise by considering the place of human agency – and non-human actors – in the construction of the modern world. In this conversation, Dr. Latour and Dr. Descola will debate the idea of the anthropocene, a new geological era in which humans have become the principal agents for the transformation of our planetary systems: from small scale consumption of natural resources to large-scale human-induced climate changes. Drawing on the fields of anthropology, science studies, and other allied disciplines, these two thinkers will discuss their views on how intervention in the natural world has not only transformed planetary ecosystems, but also the very ideas and models we use to think about the planet as a whole. Sponsored by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, UBC Museum of Anthropology,  and the French Consulate Vancouver. 
About the SpeakersDr. Philippe Descola is currently the Chair in Anthropology of Nature at Collège de France. With a background in philosophy, Dr. Philippe Descola specializes in the relations that human societies establish with nature. His ethnographic work in Ecuador revolutionized anthropological research in Amazonia. Gradually extending his scope to other societies and looking beyond the opposition between nature and culture, Dr. Descola has redefined the dialectic that structures humankind’s relationship with the world and with other beings. Dr. Descola is the originator of “relational ecology”, the investigation of relations between humans, as well as between humans and non-humans. His most recent work focuses on how universal modes of identification interact with modes of figuration and the use of images. Since 2011, Descola has been working on an “anthropology of landscape”, identifying the principles of iconic figuration and transfiguration of the environment at work in cultures that have no conventional tradition of landscape representation. For further references : click here. 
Dr. Bruno Latour is professor at Sciences Po Paris. Trained in philosophy, he has been instrumental in the development of an anthropology of science and technology. This field has had a direct impact on the philosophy of ecology and on an alternative definition of modernity. He has taught for many years in North American universities. Most of his books have been published with Harvard University Press. The most recently published is An Inquiry into Modes of Existence ‐ An Anthropology of the Moderns. All references and most articles may be found on http://www.bruno-latour.fr. Bruno Latour gave the six Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion for 2013, under the title Facing Gaia, Six Lectures on the Political Theology of Nature, and was awarded the prestigious Holberg Prize for 2013.

Select Articles and Books Available at UBC LibraryDescola, P. (2013). Beyond nature and culture. (J. Lloyd, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Link]Descola, P. (2013). The ecology of others. (G. Godbout and B.P. Luley, Trans.). Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press. [Link]Latour, B. ( 2013). An inquiry into modes of existence: an anthropology of the moderns. (C. Porter, Trans.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. [Link]Latour, B. (2010). On the modern cult of the factish gods. (C. Porter and H. MacLean, Trans.). Durham [NC]: Duke University Press. [Link]