ANTHROPOCENE CURRICULUM
Campus II: The Technosphere Issue

April 15-23, 2016
HKW, Berlin
Call for seminars

We invite seminar proposals for the second edition of the Anthropocene Campus to be held from April 15th to the 23rd 2016 at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin. The campus is a week-long collaborative educational event gathering instructors, researchers, and artists from around the world to develop, test, and experiment with fields of research and styles of education that respond to the challenges of this “age of humankind.” The campus facilitates a diverse international and intergenerational audience hailing from across the disciplines as well as cultural and educational participants from outside the academy. For more information on the Anthropocene Curriculum facilitated by HKW and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), please see the background paper.

The second campus will elaborate on the theme of the Anthropocene by shifting towards a matrix of questions addressed by the emerging concept of the “technosphere.” The first campus in November 2014 demonstrated that the technosphere may as a key agent determine the dynamics of the Anthropocene. The technosphere may be described as the worldwide fabric of technological and social infrastructures and systems of circulation — or friction — that has today achieved geo-systemic parity with other spheres like the bio-, the hydro-, and the atmosphere. This amorphic yet self-stabilizing and self-perpetuating complex of technologies and techniques largely influences and intersects each of these spheres while also seeking to autonomously optimize and systemize its own functioning. From this working definition, we will use the notion of the technosphere to disclose fundamental features of the Anthropocene. We especially invite proposals that ask:

  • What are the inherent dynamics and interconnections at work in this sphere?
  • What are the system-building characteristics of its operations?
  • How does the technosphere decouple, or display autonomy, from human intentions?
  • What neglected agencies may shape or direct the technosphere?
  • What approaches are useful to study the structure and effects of the technosphere?
  • How might we intervene in, design, or change the trajectory and dynamics of the technosphere?

Instructors and participants of the first campus, as well as new participants, are invited to team up and submit proposals for seminars that address these and other issues related to the Anthropocene. Follow-up seminars held at Campus I can also be proposed. Chosen participants will organize and convene their own seminar. Travel costs and accommodation will be covered. A limited budget is available to invite further experts and guests as co-instructors. From September 29th to the 30th a preparatory workshop for all seminar conveners will be held in Berlin, adjoining the opening events of “100 Years of the Now”, the next major project at HKW following The Anthropocene Project.

Principal selection criteria for the seminars include:

  • relevance and suitability of the topic for the Anthropocene Curriculum project and Campus II
  • interdisciplinary conception and composition of conveners and guest speakers (mandatory)
  • evidence of an ability to serve practical pedagogical ends
  • the experimental potential of the format

The selection of seminars will be carried out through a committee consisting of former instructors of Campus I, the cooperation partners of the AC project as well as MPIWG and HKW. Acceptances will be sent out by May 4th.

Deadline for submission: April 10, 2015
Please outline the proposed topic, methodological and pedagogical approaches, and a list of possible co-instructors/experts/guests to be invited for the seminar. Send your seminar abstract (500 words max.) and a short CV (150 words max.) to curriculum@hkw.de.

Documents

Institutional background

The Anthropocene Curriculum is a project initiated by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.