Sensational Ecologies

A CHASE funded postgraduate summer school hosted by the University of Sussex via Zoom

30th August – 3rd September

The Sensational Ecologies summer programme will, in Donna Haraway’s phrase, ‘stay with the trouble’ by exploring how a sustained focus on sensation can help us to celebrate and delimit the sensory apparatus of the human-animal in its entanglement with the more-than-human world. We will do so by introducing examples of sensory powers (and their absence) from across the biotic spectrum, even challenging the distinction between the living (biotic) and the dead (abiotic), and by introducing technological tools by which we can sense that which is beyond the human-animal’s sensory perception. Drawing on theories of animacy, vibrancy, agency, and the tentacular, we will seek to decentre the species exceptionalism of the human-animal, and attempt to comprehend life as it troubles the history of our taxonomic – and thus ideological – systems.

Doctoral researchers will work together with leading academics in the environmental humanities, including Alenda Chang, Elizabeth Povinelli, and Anahid Nersessian, as well as leading practitioners including Jessica J. Lee, Rob St. John, Emergency Chorus and Madhur Anand. Together we will find a common language for situating human sensation in the unfolding climate emergency. The summer school will create an intimate and supportive setting in which to think deeply and challenge the limits of our understanding. Each day of the five day programme will be comprised of three sessions – a reading group to prepare for the afternoon’s events; a creative performance or demonstration by internationally renowned and cutting-edge arts practitioners; and a talk given by a leading theorist in the environmental humanities.

The programme is free to participants, but places are limited. The application deadline is 23 July 2021.

For any queries please email sensationalecologies@gmail.com