Raymond Williams famously called “nature” the most complicated word in the English language. This complexity stems, in part, from the notion of a non-human “nature” that is separate from human culture: in American Transcendentalist R. Waldo Emerson’s shorthand, nature is the other, all that is “NOT ME.” This dichotomous epistemology has had devastating consequences for the more-than- human world from the era of European colonial contact to the present.
The “Multispecies Stories” Research Area aims to incubate ground-breaking research that both historicizes these human-nonhuman interactions and reshapes them for our Anthropocenic present and future. It consolidates research across wide-ranging topics and approaches—from the neurobiology of plant sentience to geopolitical readings of ticks to “trash species” in urban environments—all having to do with history, narrative, and imagination of our more-than-human world(s). In particular, the projects in this research area attend to historical, material, and cultural approaches that consider the interplay between our past and current imaginaries.
Overarching Research Questions:
- How are plants, animals, and other nonhuman creatures imagined in the past, and what implications do these imaginaries have for the future? How do our old taxonomies of nature—from the Great Chain of Being to Linnaeus to Peterson Field Guides—structure our natural-cultural epistemologies and ontologies?
- How can we re-imagine the plants, animals, and other nonhuman creatures that share the planet with us? What can global indigenous ways of knowing this more-than-human world teach non-indigenous thinkers about a more ethical way of being and knowing the world?
- How can we transcend anthropocentric views while, in Thoreau’s words, “speak[ing] a word for nature” when it cannot speak for itself?
- How are non-human planetary “resources” imagined as such, and what impacts do these imaginaries have? For example, when we name a forest “timber,” we ignore its status as an ecological habitat; when we value it for the “ecological services” it provides, we insert it into another capitalist way of knowing the world. How do we transcend these ways of thinking so as to include the more-than-human world on its own terms rather than our own, particularly when we do so primarily through the medium of human languages, cultures, and (hi)stories?
- How is our history of racial formation in the human world always-already dependent upon our histories of classifications of “species,” “families,” and “races” in the plant- and animal worlds?
- What can historical methodologies, sources, and approaches contribute to current understandings of environmental crises? How can history aid our examinations of the present so that we can create a more just and more sustainable future?
Article by Holmberg, Tora and Malin Ideland
Imagination Laboratory: Making Sense of Bio-Objects in Contemporary Genetic Art.Review by Aglert, Katja and Tora Holmberg
Extinction StoriesSeminar by Holmberg, Tora
Walking, Sleeping, Eating, Dying: Rhythm Analysis of Human/Animal Relations.Seminar by Neimanis, Astrida
Getting ExtremophilicConference by Olga Cielemęcka
Plantarium: Re-Imagining Green FuturitiesConference by Åsberg, Cecilia
Ecological humanities, its challenges and potentials as feminist posthumanitiesLecture by Giggs, Rebecca
The Leech BarometerLecture by Hird, Myra
Microontologies of Waste, and the Radical Asymmetry of a Stratified PlanetLecture by Endersby, Jim
Crafty, Killer Orchids: Sex, Science, Fiction, and DarwinBook by Åsberg, Cecilia and Braidotti, rosi
A FEMINIST COMPANION TO THE POSTHUMANITIESBook by Bull, Jacob and Holmberg, Tora and Åsberg, Cecilia
Animal Places: Lively Cartographies of Human-Animal RelationsWorkshop by Jesse Peterson and Olga Cielemecka Johan Gärdebo Irma Allen Daniele Valisena Anna Kaijser Isabel Ramos-Perez
Writing with Undisciplined Discipline: An Writing Workshop with Environmental HumanitiesSpecial issue by Bates, Tarsh (editor)
Queer EcologiesEdited Volume by Bates, Tarsh (editor)
The Mess We’re In Exhibition CatalogueConference by Cachat, Elise and Nelson, Lenny; Sachs, Daniel; Bandiera, Lucia; McDonald, Alison; Szymanski, Erika; Bates, Tarsh; Menolascina, Filippo; Zurr, Ionat; Elfick, Alistair; Calvert, Jane; Rosser, Susan; Catts, Oron
The art of fusion: A synthetic approach to create cross-kingdom hybridsBook chapter by Bates, Tarsh
Surface Dynamics of Adhesion ResurrectedConference by Bates, Tarsh
On being a microbioartist: making art in a microbiology laboratoryConference by Bates, Tarsh
The Unsettling Eros of Contact Zones: Queering evolution in the CandidaHomo ecologyConference by Bates, Tarsh and Zurr, Ionat
Quite Frankly: It’s a Monster ConferenceLecture by Bates, Tarsh
The Unsettling Eros of Contact Zones: Queering evolution in the CandidaHomo ecologyExhibit by Bates, Tarsh and Ward, Devon; Szymanski, Erika
DiSCARD (Death in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Related DilemmasExhibit by Bates, Tarsh and Catts, Oron; Zurr, Ionat
Crossing Kingdoms work-in-progressExhibit by Bates, Tarsh (curator)
This Mess We’re InResidency by Bates, Tarsh
Research Residencyonline discussion group moderator by Bates, Tarsh
This Mess We’re InArticle by Bates, Tarsh
Queer human microbiopoliticsBoard member by Bates, Tarsh
-empyre- discussion groupBook by Tora Holmberg
Urban Animals. Crowding in ZooCitiesBook chapter by Lynda Birke and Tora Holmberg and Braidotti, Rosi and Åsberg, Cecilia (eds.)
Intersections: The animal question meets feminist theoryArticle by Olsson, Jesper
Låt ett träd förändra ditt livLecture by Olsson, Jesper and Ghent University
More-Than-Human Media Ecologies – in Radiophonic Poetry, Sound Poetry, Text-Sound, and Sound ArtWebsite by Gianquitto, Tina and LaFauci, Lauren; Sanders, Dawn; Flannery, Maura; Hodge, Terry
Herbaria 3.0: What is your plant story? (www.herbaria3.org)Conference by Jørgen Bruhn and Ida Bencke
Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial PracticesBook chapter by Hamilton, Jennifer Mae
Gardening after the Anthropocene: Creating different relations between humans and edible plants in SydneyConference by Neimanis, Astrida and Hamilton, Jennifer Mae
Feminist, Queer, Anticolonial Propositions for Hacking the Anthropocene III: (what do we) WANT?Book by Jørgen Bruhn and Ida Bencke
Multispecies Storytelling Across MediaConference paper by Pope, Simon
Here’s To Thee: some thoughts on what and who sustains a new projectLecture by Karlsson, Bengt G
Life and Death in the Plantation: Tea and the travel of seeds, plants and science across the Indian OceanArticle by Karlsson, Bengt G.
Framtiden i en kopp lila te: Tankar om plantager, växtförädling och mibila växter.Exhibit by Muriuki, James and part of Assam Tea, Kenya – seed box project
Making sense – relationship beyond the plant (report from two artistic exhibitions).