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Jointly funded and coordinated by the Australian Museum, the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, and the University of Sydney. The organising committee for the series is comprised of Thom van Dooren and Astrida Neimanis (Sydney), Emily O’Gorman (Macquarie), Judy Motion (UNSW), and Juan Francisco Salazar (Western Sydney).

From climate change and the sixth mass extinction event, to the pronouncement of a new geological epoch—the ‘Anthropocene,’ the age of humanity—we are increasingly being told that our contemporary period is one of incredible environmental change, and at the same time that human activity is playing an increasingly significant role in shaping the earth and its future possibilities.

In addition to being important scientific and technical challenges, these environmental problems are also profoundly and inescapably social: they are about how we organise our societies and our cities, how we approach questions of ethics and justice, how we find meaning and value in the world. In other words, they concern the deepest dimensions of our human nature, and in so doing perhaps call out for a reconsideration of what it might mean to be human in times like these.

Taking up these important themes, this lecture series will offer a series of talks by leading international scholars in the Environmental Humanities. This emerging, interdisciplinary, field of scholarship draws on the insights of history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, and related disciplines to explore the important roles that the humanities might play in addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our day. The inaugural, 2018, series includes nine esteemed international and domestic speakers. There is one lecture scheduled each month from February through to October.

Venue: Hallstrom Theatre, Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney, NSW, 2010

6:00–6:30 Welcome, drinks and refreshments

6:30–7:30 Lecture

15 Feb: Tom Griffiths: ‘Radical histories for uncanny times’

8 March: Deborah Bird Rose: ‘Gifts of Life in the Shadow of Death’

23 April: Mike Hulme: ‘Cultures of Climate’

24 May: Oron Catts: ‘Living Biological Objects on the Pedestal’

14 June: Alice Te Punga Somerville: ‘Taupata, taro, roots, earth: the (Indigenous) politics of gardening’

12 July: Catriona Sandilands: ‘Feminist Botany for the Age of Man’

25 August: Kim TallBear: ‘American Dreaming is Indigenous Elimination’

6 September: Jason W. Moore: ”We have mixed our labor with the earth”: Work, Cheap Nature, and the Violence of Real Abstraction’

18 October: Bruce Pascoe: ‘Dark Emu’

For more information and to book your tickets see here.

Creative Uses of the Archive

A symposium run through the Faculty of Arts, Modes of Communication Research Theme

When: Friday, November 10, 2017

Where: Y3A189 Screen studio

This symposium explores the uses and misuses of archival documents in documentary film, historical research, anthropology and non-fiction writing. Through engaging with the creative uses of the archive, the symposium fosters methodological, historiographical and conceptual models for advancing the potentials of archival knowledge transfer in contemporary scholarship. In addition to interdisciplinary presentations, the symposium engages with the creative uses of the archive through the screening of short films from the Festival of (In)appropriation.
9.15-9.45am Morning tea
9.45-10am Welcome
10-11.15am Keynote
Associate Professor Martin Thomas (ANU) & Dr Béatrice Bijon (ANU): Embodying the Archive: The Stealing and Repatriation of Bones in a North Australian Community
11.30am-12.30pm Panel 1
History, identity, writing
Moderator: Dr Ilona Hongisto
Dr Alison Holland (MQ): History, Biography, and Public and Private Imaginaries
Dr Eve Vincent (MQ): The Authoritative Archive: Native Title and the Colonial Encounter
Respondent: Dr Willa McDonald
12.30-13.30pm Lunch
13.30-14.30pm Panel 2
Images, ideas, editing
Moderator: Dr Iqbal Barkat
Professor Kathryn Millard (MQ): The Archival Lens
Dr Karen Pearlman (MQ): After the Facts
Respondent: Dr Ilona Hongisto
14.30-15.30 Afternoon tea & wrap up discussion
Symposium organisers: Dr Ilona Hongisto & Dr Tom Murray
Please address all enquiries to



A symposium run by the Centre for Agency, Values, Ethics (CAVE) at Macquarie University

Date: 17 August 2017
Time: 09:00 – 15:00
Venue: Unilever Amphitheatre 101, MGSM

The future of the category of race is uncertain.If there are no biological races, as scientists increasingly accept, what should we do with the concept? Should we revise it, defining race as a social category? Or should we reject race as an illusion: a failed scientific category that does not accurately describe human biological diversity, and which provides fodder for racists? If we endorse the former option, we may be able to keep using the term, putting ‘race’ in scare quotes to indicate that it does not refer to a biological kind. If we favour the latter option, we shouldn’t keep using the term ‘race’ as a descriptor, because race doesn’t exist. Those who argue that race does not exist, or that we should eliminate the category on normative grounds, face a dilemma. Racial classification has been used to justify some of the most heinous crimes of modernity, but it has also been embraced by groups that have been treated as inferior “races” as a way to assert and defend themselves collectively. A race-like category seems necessary for purposes of social justice. This symposium will explore issues surrounding ‘replacing race’. Should the category be replaced, and if so with what, and how?

All welcome, but please register for catering purposes by Monday 31 July, with Adam Hochman.

Draft Program:

09:00 – 09:15 : Arrival tea and coffee
09:15 – 09:20 : Opening remarks
09:20 – 10:10 : Alana Lentin (WSU), “Relationality and the Doing of Race”
10:10 – 10:40 : Morning tea
10:40 – 11:30 : Adam Hochman (MQ), “Racialisation: A Defence of the Concept”
11:30 – 12:20 : Albert Atkin (MQ), “Pragmatic Pluralism about Race, and Social Justice Conservationism”
12:20 – 13:20 : Lunch
13:20 – 14:35 : Keynote: Lionel McPherson (Tufts), “Socioancestral, not Racial, Identities”
14:35 – 14:40 : Closing remarks
14:40 – 15:00 : Afternoon tea


A workshop run by the Centre for Agency, Values, Ethics (CAVE) at Macquarie University and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD)

Date: 10 – 11 August 2017
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Australian Hearing Hub

Enquires: Robin Blumfield

All welcome, but please register on CCD website.

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) Belief Formation Program, and the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE), are hosting a two-day interdisciplinary workshop at Macquarie University, entitled “Conspiracy theories, delusions and other ‘troublesome’ beliefs” on the 10 & 11 August 2017. Our goal is to bring together researchers from different disciplines to consider a range of ‘sub-clinical’ but still problematic beliefs, the psychological processes which underlie those beliefs, and any similarities and dissimilarities with delusional thinking processes. These include conspiracy theorizing, anti-vaccination sentiments, extreme or radical political beliefs, climate change denial, belief in an intrinsically just world (and associated victim-blaming), and so on. Speakers include: cognitive scientists working on misinformation, delusions, and motivated beliefs; social psychologists working on conspiracy theories and related factors; philosophers working on evidence and social trust; and health informatics researchers interested in the effects of anti-vaccine beliefs.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Stephan Lewandowsky (Bristol University, UK; The University of Western Australia)
  • Karen Douglas (University of Kent, UK)
  • Neil Levy (Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University, UK; Macquarie University)
  • Mark Alfano (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands; Australian Catholic University)
  • Robert Brotherton (Barnard College, Columbia, USA; Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
  • Jolanda Jetten (The University of Queensland)
  • Robyn Langdon (Macquarie University)
  • Adam Dunn (Macquarie University)
  • Peter Clutton (Macquarie University)
  • Mariia Kaliuzhna (Macquarie University)
  • Ben Tappin (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)


  • 10 August: “What counts as delusional belief” introduced by Max Coltheart and Colin Klein (Macquarie University)
  • 11 August: “Social networks, misinformation and distrust” introduced by Adam Dunn and Mark Alfano