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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) Chair Group International Relations & Security Studies

IRSS lecture - MARTIN COWARD (University of Manchester): "The politics of vulnerability and security in an era of anthropogenic catastrophe"

When:We 15-02-2023 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Harmonie building, room 1312.0007

This week, the theme group International Relations and Security Studies hosts Martin Coward of the University of Manchester.

This presentation addresses two important challenges of the anthropocene. Firstly, it examines the potential of the concept of vulnerability for understanding the global entanglements of human and non-humans in an era of anthropogenic change. Vulnerability – as feminist scholars have noted – offers the potential to acknowledge the exposure of humans to each other and non-human objects and reorient thought away from the traditional register of security with its anthropocentric concern for the safeguarding of the status quo. Secondly, it examines how we imagine the future after the end of the modern paradigm of progress. Drawing on insights from afropessimism and nihilism, I ask how we can imagine the future after the catastrophe of the anthropocene without succumbing to what Warren refers to as the ‘inadequacy of political hope’. I examine these two themes in relation to the role of infrastructure in constituting global politics and the imagining of futures in apocalyptic fiction. I suggest that the politics of vulnerability in an era of anthropogenic catastrophe attune us to the need to imagine otherwise than in the register of security.

This is a public lecture. If you are not a member of the Center for International Relations Research and would like to join, please contact Nadine Voelkner at nadine.voelkner