Interpreting the Anthropocene: Hope and Anxiety at the End of Nature

International Workshop

June 27-28, 2019

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany

Organized by
Prof. Darrel Moellendorf, Chair of International Political Theory

Deadline for abstracts: April 23, 2019

Please send submissions or inquiries to: ""

Confirmed speakers:
• Dale Jamieson, New York University
• Eva Lövbrand, Linköping University
• Andrew Chignell, Princeton University
• Johanna Oksala, Pratt Institute
• Darrel Moellendorf, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

The Anthropocene is the era of pervasive human impact on the planet. Atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane concentrations that exceed Holocene peak levels, techno-fossils frozen in Greenland ice sheets, and massive species extinction are all indications of planetary boundaries that have come under stress due to human industrial, commercial, and agricultural activity. Humanity’s relationship to its environment is changing. Lagging behind that change is serious reflection on how best to understand and direct it.

This two-day workshop, to be held at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, will bring together theorists working at the intersection of moral, political, social, and environmental theory/philosophy. The first day will be comprised of presentations by doctoral and postdoctoral junior researchers, and the second day will comprise presentations by invited senior researchers. All participants will be asked to attend both days, in order to give junior researchers the opportunity to interact with and receive feedback from more senior researchers. Funding assistance will be available to presenters to help with travel and accommodation costs.

We invite abstracts from doctoral researchers and junior scholars that touch on any of the following themes:

• Is the Anthropocene best understood as the age of pervasive alienation from an environment made by, but not controlled by, humanity?
• Does the Anthropocene mark the era in which the Promethean aim of human emancipation through unbridled productive capacity can be realized?
• Is the Anthropocene the age of massive and regrettable destruction of natural value, bad both because of the loss of intrinsic value but also because it threatens the foundations of human civilization?
• Does the Anthropocene present the opportunity for humanity to come into full possession of its rational and reasonable powers by cooperatively managing planetary systems in a manner that is both fair and sustainable?
• Is the Anthropocene the era in which existing social and global inequalities are magnified due to differential vulnerabilities to the consequences of the alterations in planetary systems?

As we reflect on the Anthropocene and the prospects for humanity and the environment that it poses, the role of human prospection itself can be reflexively thematized:

• What is the importance of hopeful or anxious prospection regarding the Anthropocene?
• How does prospection itself shape the Anthropocene?
• Is hope required or at least permitted? And does it matter?

A possible publication venue will be investigated for select papers from the workshop.

The deadline for submissions is April 23, 2019. Please send your abstract (max. 500 words) as a Word or pdf attachment that includes your name and institutional affiliation to "".