Seminars and workshops – University of Copenhagen

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Seminars and workshops

TOWARDS AN ANTHROPOLOGY OF FLUENT ENVIRONMENTS - Workshop 3-5 September 2012

Venue: CSS, Room 18.1.08


THE ETHNOGRAPHY OF WATER POLITICS: Local Practices and State Effects in the Wake of Climate Change - Workshop 11-12 June 2012

Venue: CSS, Room 18.1.08

As climate change and its effects are issues of growing concern, water is gaining more attention as an essential element for future life worldwide. In many localities, hydrological stress is causing tensions and water scarcity is perceived as a threat. Pressure on the access to water for consumption, irrigation and industrial production is increasingly causing conflicts; not only within local communities but also on a regional and national level – between urban and rural populations, mining companies, transnational corporations, government institutions and nation states.

In this seminar we intend to explore different kinds of political practices related to the management of water. How is the distribution of water negotiated in daily life and on an institutional level? In which ways are state policies, legislation and local practices informed and shaped by discourses on climate change? We wish to explore the multiple forms, figures and relations that grow out of looking at politics and water with an ethnographic lens. Politics is here broadly conceived, not only as state affairs and expressed political institutions, but also as processes in which decisions are formulated, made and contested and moral economies and political cosmologies are shaping water management in different ethnographic settings.

What do anthropology and neighboring disciplines gain by looking at water through the lens of politics? And what do we learn by studying politics from water’s perspective? What particular kind of knowledge do we generate by studying water politics ethnographically?

View workshop programme here.


Teknologiens metafysik og metafysikkens teknologier: konkrete teorier om et forandret klima - Workshop, 2. maj 2012

Arrangører: Cecilie Rubow og Frida Hastrup

Klimaforandringer er mærkbare i forskellige egne af verden, men som et produkt af videnskabelige analyser og scenarier og politiske tiltag, er klimaforandringer foreløbig måske fremfor alt mest forestillede fremtidsuniverser. Som en delvist aktualiseret og delvist potentiel situation er både ny teknologi og ny metafysik efterspurgt og i hastig udvikling.

I denne workshop er det hensigten at undersøge nogle af de overraskende sammenhænge mellem teknologier og metafysik, som mennesker ser og skaber. I mere støvede begreber kunne vi måske have sagt 'mellem tingene og ånden', men med teknologi vil vi gerne signalere i retning af de mere tekniske opfindelser, installationer, dimsedutter og andre fysiske eksempler på tankegange; og med metafysik vil vi gerne pege i retning af virkelighedsforståelser, etiske forhold og andre usikkerheder i den verden af muligheder og tvivl et nyt klima synes at skabe.

Med et begreb om konkrete teorier - svøbt i såvel teknologiske som metafysiske gevandter - søger vi efter de måder hvorpå aktører skaber forestillinger om fremtidens klima i fysisk design, social handlen og tankegange. At skabe teorier er alle aktørers mulighed, og ved at fokusere på deres varierende tyngdepunkter i ting og ånd, inviterer vi samtidig til et fokus på deres mere eller mindre eksplicit udtrykte ontologier.

Oplæg ved Brit Ross Winthereik (ITU), Mickey Gjerris (KU), James Maguire (KU), Astrid Stensrud (KU), Cecilie Rubow (KU) og Frida Hastrup (KU).


Exploring Causalities: The Societal effects of climate change
Workshop – Copenhagen – 16-18 January 2012


Workshop - Environmental Infrastructures – EI
27 September 2011


Workshop: Anticipating Nature: Climate modelling at different scales of knowledge - Copenhagen 17-19 January 2011


Workshop and Guest Lecture with Professor Helen Verran

On October 4th 2010, Waterworlds hosted a workshop with Helen Verran, who is a professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne.

In the workshop, Verran explored the emergence of different articulations of nature through time and discussed these through the lens of the contract. By looking at various nature-making projects in Australia as versions of contract-making, the workshop centered on the general need to be aware of the knowledge practices implied in the generation of natures.

Verran also gave an open lecture at the Department of Anthropology in which she presented her thoughts about numbers as a prism through which to explore epistemic practices. These practices can be unveiled by looking at how entities appear as given, at the nature of generalization, and through exploring the performative work of difference. The lecture was based on Verran’s award-winning book Science and an African Logic (The University of Chicago Press, 2001).


Symposium: Local Implications of Global Climate Change: The Question of Resilience - 9-11 February 2009