Days of paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters, and colloquia.
Delegates from all over the world who attended the Eleventh International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences.
From the first hunting of animals and burning of lands by hunters and gatherers, then the tilling of fields and planting of crops by farmers, to the rise of smokestack industries, and more recently to intensified social, political, and economic globalizations, collective human action has left an undeniable mark on the natural environment. The more recent phases of this long history are now being defined as the ‘age of the Anthropocene’, or an age where a single species is determining the direction of the Earth’s natural history. A key purpose of defining the age is to understand a new stage in the interaction of the social and the natural, manifest today in human-induced changes to global temperatures, sea level, CO2 in the atmosphere, to name just a few consequential eco-systemic changes.
There is a certain kind of teleological quality to this argument. We are ‘in’ the age of the Anthropocene but we are at the same time concerned about its ‘ends’, in the sense of human purposes and effects. In the most apocalyptic versions of this argument, human damage to the Earth that may undermine the very conditions of human and other life on Earth. ‘Ends’ are projected through augments supported by evidence of the intensifying impacts of human activity and social systems on the Earth. How can interdisciplinary approaches in the social sciences help us to explore these ‘ends’ of our age in terms of their environmental and human consequences? This year’s Special Focus for the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Conference—An Age and Its Ends: Social Science in the Era of the Anthropocene—is necessarily open-ended because of the contingent nature of human ‘ends’. Whether or not we accept the velocity of global environmental change, human impacts on the environment demand a reappraisal of the disciplinary moorings of the social sciences. Looking forward into the future, how can we navigate alternative sustainable social pathways, sensitive to the natural environment? What social, economic, political, educational, as well as natural scientific perspectives and methods need to be brought to the table in this essentially interdisciplinary endeavor?
For each conference, a small number of Graduate Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students who have an active academic interest in the conference area. The Award with its accompanying responsibilities provides a strong professional development opportunity for graduate students at this stage in their academic careers. The 2016 Graduate Scholar Awardees are listed below.
Virtual Posters present preliminary results of work or projects that lend themselves to visual representations. Download the posters below.
Lightning talks are 5-minute "flash" video presentations. Visit our YouTube channel through the button below to view the lightning talks.