Anthropological Visions of Sustainable Futures, 12-14 Feb 2015

Gillian Conquest & Cathryn Townsend
PhD Students
University College London

The issue of sustainability is making us mad, claimed Bruno Latour in the keynote speech that opened Anthropological Visions of Sustainable Futures (12 – 14 February 2015), the inaugural conference of the new Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability (CAOS) at University College London (UCL). To fight this madness all collectivities need to specify their attachment to the world – that is, the multiplicity of ways in which they go about “worlding” (Haraway, 2008). Anthropology is key to this endeavour, he claimed, because we need to find ways of comparing different ways of worlding without rendering them commensurable to each other. But at issue is whether we have enough of a stable Earth to entertain sustainable visions of multiple futures – and if we do not, then how do we enter into collaboration with all those with whom we share this position of instability? Latour’s opener set the scene for three stimulating days that brought together anthropologists who are engaging with sustainability issues in a multiplicity of ways. The second day began with a further keynote from Henrietta Moore, in which she challenged the four panels who would follow to address the question of what, exactly, does sustainability sustain, and what then might the concept do for anthropology? Continue reading “Anthropological Visions of Sustainable Futures, 12-14 Feb 2015”