Antarctica in/and the Anthropocene

International Symposium
    • Cristián Simonetti (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
    • Juan Francisco Salazar (Western Sydney University, Australia)
    • Saturday May 28, 2016
    • Venue: Sala Matte – Centro de Extension UC
    • Address: Avenida Alameda Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins 390 Santiago – Chile
    • Final Program Antarctica Anthropocene Symposium
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This one day international symposium brings together a range of perspectives from the humanities, social sciences and Antarctic sciences to exchange ideas about Antarctica as a crucial object for thinking the Anthropocene. Drawing on an interdisciplinary impetus, and to coincide with the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings being held in Santiago in 2016 the event is an invitation to speakers and participants to open up a dialogue and a conversation on what lessons can be learnt from Antarctica in thinking about life in the Anthropocene, an epoch where human and Earth futures are increasingly entangled and interdependent in their mutual uncertainty.

The symposium is sponsored by the anthropology program of the Institute of Sociology (Universidad Católica de Chile) and the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) (Western Sydney University) with support from the Humanities and Social Sciences Expert Group of SCAR. The venue for the event is Sala Matte (Matte Hall) at the Centro de Extension UC (Catholic University) on Alameda 390. See link on Google Maps.

Coming to terms with Antarctica in/and the Anthropocene

2016 may prove to be a significant year at many levels when thinking about Antarctica and the Anthropocene. We wish to bring attention to four such events as a preamble to this symposium and as one way of thinking and inviting debate into how we are coming to terms with Antarctica in/and the Anthropocene.

    • February to April of 2016 have been the warmest months on record for these months, continuing a long-term trend where 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001, and following reports that show that not only 2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880 but also that the past 12 months have been the hottest such months in 135 years of recordkeeping.
    • On 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in New York following initial adoption by consensus at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris in December 2015.
    • In 2016 a proposal to designate a new geological epoch as the ‘Anthropocene’ is being developed by the ‘Anthropocene’ Working Group for consideration by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. This working group will decide on whether the Anthropocene is recognized formally as a new geologic era.
    • 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (1991) which designates Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science” (Art. 2); sets forth basic principles applicable to human activities in Antarctica (Art.3); prohibits all activities relating to Antarctic mineral resources, except for scientific research (Art. 7.) and establishes that until 2048 the Protocol can only be modified by unanimous agreement of all Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty.

For more on the symposium, see attached flyer on Final Program Antarctica Anthropocene Symposium.