Beyond the End of the World: Human and Non-human After the Collapse of ‘Civilization’

May 6, 2020 (Wednesday) / 9:00 am

Beyond the End of the World: Human and Non-human After the Collapse of ‘Civilization’

Climate Sensing and Data Storytelling Keynote Address (DIGITAL)

Amitav Ghosh

Award-winning author

Climate Sensing and Data Storytelling series presented by Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

The idea of the ‘human’, as a unitary species, dates back to the founding years of the very structures of modernity that can now be seen to be hurtling towards collapse. As this process intensifies it may bring about a fundamental reconsideration of modern ideas regarding which entities possess such attributes as agency, speech, reason, and so on. If so what kinds of narratives and knowledge traditions can we turn to for guidance about what might lie ahead? Acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh explores some possibilities in this pre-recorded keynote lecture.

Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. He is the author of two books of nonfiction, a collection of essays, and eight novels. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages and he has served on the jury of the Locarno and Venice Film Festivals. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honors, by the President of India. His books have won prizes in India, Europe, and Myanmar, and he has been awarded honorary degrees by the Sorbonne, Paris and by Queens College, New York. He divides his time between Brooklyn, Goa, and Kolkata.

Climate Sensing and Data Storytelling is an all-digital series of engagements that showcase publicly-engaged environmental research projects which marry environmental art and science. With support in part from the National Geographic Foundation, this digital platform features presentations by researchers, artists, and data storytellers across the nation, part of Penn Program in Environmental Humanities' multi-year explorations of how data, paired with story, can spur action on climate.