We are very excited to announce that the ARCHAIC will participate in a conference! From 22nd to 27th of October 2023 the yearly Earth System Governance conference is held at Radboud University, Nijmegen. The ARCHAIC will host an innovative session, namely, a Deep Time Walk: From Theia to the Anthropocene on Thursday the 26th. We hope to inspire researchers, policy-makers and other participants to relate to the deep time of the earth, and we are curious what the dialogues will (un)cover.
We invite you to walk with us through the 4.6 billion years of Earth history: a journey from Earth’s wild beginnings to the Anthropocene, originally developed by ecologist Stephan Harding and playwright Peter Oswald. Each meter represents one million years, and by the time you reach the present your perception of Earth’s history and humanity’s place in it has changed forever.
The aims of this innovative session are to imagine the vastness of Deep Time and to encounter the planet as more than a mere stage upon which humans perform their play. We contribute to these aims by having an interdisciplinary dialogue whilst (literally) walking through the key moments of Earth’s history. In order to deal with present-day challenges of sustainable transformations, one has to transgress disciplinary and imaginative boundaries. One way of finding new paths forward is to retell our story not starting with ourselves, but with the Earth.
The walk will be guided by members from the ARCHAIC (Anthropocene Research Collective for Human-Animal and Interspecies Collaborations) and is divided into three ‘chapters’: (1) Oxygen, (2) Organisms, and (3) The Recognisable World. Each ‘chapter’ addresses key moments in Earth history, and invites you to ponder about questions like: what is the relevance of Earth history and Deep Time for your own field of research? Do you think the perspective of the Earth naturalizes social or cultural studies or that current understandings of the Earth need a social perspective? What role do humans play within this awfully complex Earth System? Should we understand humans as organisms or political or technological beings: which frames do you find important, and what are its pros and cons? And, perhaps the most important question, what will happen during our next step into the future?