Emplacement and Displacement: Encounters in the Anthropocene


Emplacement and Displacement: Encounters in the Anthropocene

Research Lounge, Level 5, North Wing
Arts West


Wide Brown Land: Australian Studies Seminar Series 2019

This paper will reflect upon the emergence of the idea of the Anthropocene within the global imaginary, and the globalising narratives that emplace and displace us. Responding to the suggestion that climate change represents a crisis of culture and imagination, this paper will canvas imaginative possibilities for newly configured lawful relations, suitable to that which Latour has described as the ‘new climatic regime’.

It will examine the attritional violence of displacement in ecological degradation, and the disciplinary emplacement and ‘precarization’ of political subjectivities within the ‘catastrophic imaginaries’ of the Anthropocene. It will then consider the ways in which the legal and political rhetoric of climate change might be rethought from within imaginaries in place, through an examination of emergent critical thought on the occlusion and recuperation of ‘vernacular landscapes’, an imaginative ethics of ‘narrative reinhabitation’, an ethics of obligation in community and in place, and different forms of lawful relation and responsibility articulated in Indigenous jurisprudences.

Hosted by the Australian Centre

This interdisciplinary series considers the impact of climate change on aspects of Australian life and society and presents research on issues and practices that are important to contemporary Australia, and to Australia’s relations to the region and the world.

All welcome, light lunch provided.


  • Dr Kathleen Birrell
    Dr Kathleen Birrell, McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow