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Workshop Theme


The planet we inhabit is being overtaxed, by we who dwell on it. The rapid increase in population and the partial attention/inattention to the depletion, misuse, and abuse of the available resources challenges the sustainability of life and life forms of the eco-systems upon which they rely. Weather patterns are shifting as the planetary atmosphere heats up. Average temperatures have soared, leading to an increase in global sea temperatures, rising sea levels, more extended droughts and more severe storms both in coastal areas and deep inland too. These conditions are exacerbated by artificial interventions in weather patterns for military and economic purposes, as well as to ensure bearable living conditions in the face of the approaching uninhabitability of the planet.

The increasing unpredictability of the weather is reframing how to think (about) the global. The rise of the global as economic and cultural reference point prompted the elevation of risk management as the prevailing discourse of global negotiability. Risk management is predicated on a disposition of living against the earth, where suspicion if not aggression, suspension and deferral predominate. This runs against, is resistant to, a disposition of living with the planet, as mutually interested and engaged partner. When we ask about the weather in areas far from the coasts, we are in fact asking relationally about the state of the sea. A different disposition is thus necessitated, one of “living with” rather than “in fear of” and “against.”

The proliferating condition of unpredictable weather voices the rampant expression of voracious living. It registers as a symptomology of the threats facing planetary inhabitants today. What insights are offered accordingly by the meteorological as the site of theory? What has theory—and critical theory in particular—to offer in comprehending the unpredictability of climatic conditions, and critiquing the underlying political economy giving rise to them, as well as their implications for living (together) in and with the world? What are the likely impacts of unpredictable weather on racial patterns of migration, and on increasing social and cultural heterogeneity especially in societies resistant to such changes? How are these new patterns of climatically induced movement linked to earlier racial patterns of forced global movement? How do the effects of unpredictable weather today reorder the relations between air, fire, wind, and water? And of these to land, to shifting coastlines, altered geographies and landscapes? What are the particular contributions and vulnerabilities of Asian societies to the challenges of unpredictable weather? And how are the causes of climatic challenges disproportionately produced by mainland Asia especially acute given the considerable presence of island life ringing Asia?

These shifting conditions conjure changing vocabularies of the meteorological. The color purple now registers the ultimate force of nature. Purple has replaced red on weather maps in signaling the most severe storms and their likely disastrous consequences. This challenges us to consider anew the compelling theoretical language for sustainability in the face of climate change, its dangers and threats. What are the most revealing cultural representations—literary, artistic, filmic, musical—of the climatic, of its awe-inspiring power and potential devastation? What unique insights into these questions are provided by the recent emergence of Oceanic Humanities and how has and could critical theory contribute to comprehending and countering these developments?

How, in short, do we “read the weather” and “weather the storm,” as much metaphorically as literally?








訳者: 加治屋健司

Asia Theories Network/East Asian Academy for New Liberal Arts Joint Seminar


Seminar Theme

10h00-12h00, 12th December 2019

The rigours of neoliberal governance are now part and parcel of the university landscape. While numerous critiques abound of its quantitative management techniques, and most notably the evaluation of knowledge in terms of its instrumental utility, most critics end up playing a zero-sum game with their nemesis, which typically doubles-down on its corporate logic of accountability and the concomitant disparagement of the liberal arts. The purpose of the ATN/EAA seminar is to deploy philosophy to imagine a concrete way forward that goes beyond this bind. How does or might your university – or universities in the context where you work – institutionalise the liberal arts as a means to rethink the university in an alternative (Asian) manner to that of the European humanist tradition and the neoliberal model? Likewise, how can we provide an evaluation of the worth of the liberal arts that, firstly, counters neoliberalism’s managerialist imperatives and, secondly, demonstrates the benefits in a politico-moral register that speaks to both the socio-economic concerns of parents and the ethico-cultural aspirations of students?