ANTHROPOCENE CURRICULUM
Campus: The Technosphere Issue

April 15-23, 2016
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (HKW)
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Deadline: September 1, 2015

How did modernity end up in the Anthropocene? How did the twentieth century succumb to a Möbius strip of technics and nature wherein cause and effect, local and global, human and nonhuman, perpetually confuse and confound one another’s distinctions? One way to describe this planetary system and its ascendance is in terms of the technosphere, the socio-technical mobilization of energy, materials and information, which may be considered a geophysical phenomenon on par with other spheres such as the atmosphere or biosphere. This concept designates a global patchwork interlacing technological, environmental and social systems into a world system of planetary production and consumption. Has this sphere become a quasi-autonomous agent with its own independent characteristics? Can humans intentionally manage and shape its development? What methodologies are useful to study its infrastructures and effects?

In an ongoing transdisciplinary collaboration initiated by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (HKW) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), researchers and academics from around the world will further develop an Anthropocene Curriculum, an exemplary program that opens up new fields of knowledge and seeks to respond to the challenges of the “Age of Humankind” by thinking beyond institutionalized disciplines, educational formats, and teaching content by way of a cross-disciplinary experiment in higher education. A first Anthropocene Campus in November 2014 confirmed the importance and urgency of this interdisciplinary collaboration. It demonstrated that the geographical and spatial concept of the technosphere may – as a key agent – determine the dynamics of the Anthropocene.

Against this background the second edition of the Anthropocene Campus to be held from April 15 to 23, 2016 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin will shed light on the technosphere, taking up the challenge of describing, understanding, and more consciously shaping the dynamic sphere wherein geological forces confront the forces of humanity, technology, culture, life, and industry in the twenty-first century.

One hundred outstanding graduate students as well as actors from culture, society, and the arts selected from an international pool of applicants will be given the opportunity to critically engage in the collaborative learning space of the Anthropocene Campus: The Technosphere Issue. The seminars will be complemented by a series of public events linking academic discourse with public concerns and focusing on the societal relevance of the Anthropocene Curriculum.
More information on the project background and genealogy.

Applicants should be strongly committed to interdisciplinary collaboration and demonstrate a broad interest in Anthropocene- and technosphere-related research questions. Active participation is expected both during the Campus as well as in preliminary and post factor work assigned by the instructors. This project website will be separated into two sections: An internal online platform will serve as central tool for the development and communication of syllabi and coursework and provide a long-time discussion space for all registered participants. Moreover, the Anthropocene Campus I & II will be documented on a public website, a growing repository facilitating continuation of intellectual exchange, to be launched in September 2015.
For media documentation of the Anthropocene Curriculum and Campus 2014, please see hkw.de.

Seminars developed by Jeremy Bolen, Elena Bougleux, Susana Caló, Heather Davis, Paul Edwards, Beate Geissler, Stéphane Grumbach, Peter K. Haff, Orit Halpern, Olivier Hamant, Gabrielle Hecht, Brian Holmes, Erich Hörl, Adrian Lahoud, Manfred Laubichler, Mark Lawrence, Sander van der Leeuw, Herbert Lohner, Clapperton Mavhunga, Myriel Milicevic, Robert Mitchell, Ioan Negrutiu, Daniel Niles, Matteo Pasquinelli, Godofredo Pereira, Jürgen Renn, Oliver Sann, Emily E. Scott, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Janot Mendler de Suarez, Masahiro Terada, Alexandra Toland, John Tresch, Andrew Yang.
More information on seminar conveners and content.

Applicants

The call primarily addresses doctoral students (or equivalent) from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds in the sciences, humanities, engineering, design, and the arts. However, excellent final-year master’s degree candidates as well as postdocs are also encouraged to apply. Moreover, the call extends to researchers and actors from outside of academia, including research oriented institutions from civil society, the arts and politics (e.g. think-tanks, NGOs).

Working language

The working language will be English.

Procedure

All applications must be made using the online application form on the online application form, to be submitted no later than September 1, 2015. Applicants are asked to submit a CV, a brief description of their interest in the Anthropocene – as well as the Anthropocene Curriculum project in particular – and name a reference person. Acceptance letters will be sent out by October 30, 2015. Registration for the Campus begins on November 13, 2015 on this website.

Registration & funding

The registration fee is € 120. Participants are expected to procure their own funding. For those without an institutional funding, a limited number of need-based grants can be provided. Please indicate and specify your necessity in the application form.

Institutional background

The Anthropocene Curriculum is developed by Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. The Anthropocene Campus: The Technosphere Issue is part of the long-term project Technosphere (2015-2018), in the framework of the project 100 Years of Now of Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

The project Technosphere will be inaugurated publicly on October 2, 2015 with a series of discursive formats gathering actors from the sciences, humanities and the arts. More information at hkw.de.

Concept and realisation

Concept and realisation:
Katrin Klingan, Christoph Rosol, Cordula Hamschmidt, Janek Müller with Roman Brinzanik, and Bernard Geoghegan
Coordination: Carlina Rossée
Coordination students’ admission: Patricia Maurer

Contact

For further questions or information, please contact us: curriculum@hkw.de.





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