The Right Use of The Earth

Knowledge, Power and Duties within a Finite Planet

29 May-1st June 2018

Paris - École Normale Supérieure


The advent of the Anthropocene concept and Earth system sciences – putting forward upscaled temporalities in the public sphere, the dramatization of warnings on planetary limits and boundaries and on the human impacts of climate change – provide a challenging context for the humanities and social sciences.

In history, the Anthropocene has led to news converging grounds between world history and environmental history. In social and political sciences, it has led to new researches on the socio-historical construction of the global environment, the role of knowledge networks, numbers and images as well as on the power/knowledge deployed to govern the Earth as a system and to govern (through) limits.

In human geography, it has stimulated new works on the politics of scale and the processes of “planetarization”.  In the field of legal studies, the Anthropocene theme, as well as planetary boundaries concept, stimulate the reformulation of foundational legal concepts as well as the study of the emergence of new legal process at the crossroads of national and international levels.

Cropping up these developments and at the crossroad of world and connected histories, environmental history, human geography and social, political and legal studies, the conference will examine how ideas of a global, unified and limited earth played a role in human reflexivity, and how the ‘right use’ of the Earth as a whole has become, and is increasingly becoming, an object of knowledge making and government practices.

The conference will be held in Paris, at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, from the 29th May 2018 to the 1st June 2018. It is part of the Paris Sciences et Lettres-Environnement Research Program on “Environmental Humanities in the age of Anthropocene”, and is supported by the NYU-PSL Global Alliance.

Scientific Committee:

Christophe Bonneuil (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, PSL)
Luca d’Ambrosio (Collège de France, PSL)
Magali Reghezza (Ecole Normale Supérieure, PSL)
Stefan C. Aykut (Hamburg University)
Peder Anker (New York University)

Home Page image by Troy Moth

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