Writing Slow Disaster in the Anthropocene

Writing Slow Disaster in the Anthropocene – Call for Participants

Conveners: Ali Kenner (Drexel University) and Timothy Neale (Deakin University)
Supported by: Drexel’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society and the Deakin Science and
Society Network.

● 1:00PM-4:00PM, Thursday 19th April, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
● 9:00AM-12:00PM, Friday 20th April, Deakin Downtown, Melbourne, Australia

In this live, local, and internationally-coordinated workshop, participants will use sensory ethnography
techniques to work with the theme and materials of ‘slow disaster in the Anthropocene’. Slow disaster
describes the long process of environmental and infrastructural degradation produced by inadequate
risk assessments, industrial regulations, and the political narratives that shape design decisions of
human-environment relations. The longer temporal perspective provided by slow disaster can help
index political, infrastructural, and social dynamics in relation to the new terrains and atmosphere
emerging in the Anthropocene. Writing slow disaster draws attention to, and works through, the
entanglements of climate crises, structural violence, and the legacies of industrialism.
This workshop builds from prior Anthropocene Campus events held at academic sites in Europe and
the United States, and is part of the Society for Cultural Anthropology’s virtual meeting,
Displacements, which will be held online April 19-21.

The Writing Slow Disaster in the Anthropocene workshop will take place via two anchor sessions held
live at Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA) and Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia). Workshops
will last 2.5 hours and will include multiple writing activities, as well as group discussion in response
to writing activities and the materials of the Anthropocene, which will be shared with and by

The session will be supported by a project website which will launch several weeks in advance of the
conference. The website will feature tools to support participants, including instructions for submitting
ethnographic materials for the workshop in advance of the conference; these will be archived and
made available to registered participants. Participants will be encouraged to bring ethnographic
material to write with.

As space for the two anchor sessions is limited, individuals interested in participating either in person
or virtually via teleconference are asked to apply to the conveners (ali.kenner@gmail.com and
timneale@gmail.com) with a 50 word bio and 100 word statement on their interest in the
Anthropocene and/or slow disaster. Please specify in your application which venue you want to
participate in, and whether you would be participating in person or virtually.

Applications close 12 March 2018. Applicants will be notified about their participation by 19 March 2018.