september, 2018

13sep11:45 am12:45 pmBeing Human in the Anthropocene: Understanding the Human in our Impact11:45 am - 12:45 pm University of San Francisco - Kalmanovitz Amphitheater Event Organized By: University of San Francisco Event Type:Art and CultureAudience:Open to the Public


Event Details

This panel discussion brings together faculty members from the Arts and Humanities at the University of San Francisco to share perspectives in understanding the human in our impacts on climate change.  Collectively the panel will share how subjects such as Design, Philosophy, Communication, Sociology and others look at issues in environmental sustainability from the human perspective of both producer and consumer, individual and collective group.  Through dialoguing on the interconnectedness of our species we hope to create a greater understanding and empathy towards humanity and the environment. Faculty research and perspectives are presented in conversation with one another as a way to inspire audience members to commit to change, and to promote collaboration across disciplines in tackling issues of environmental sustainability.  

Speakers are:

Marilyn DeLaure (Communication Studies) considers the challenges of communicating about climate change, exploring some rhetorical forms with which we negotiate our understanding of the Anthropocene: narrative, metaphor, framing, pathos appeals, memes.  In this era of clashing political narratives, “fake news,” deep partisan division, and widespread distraction fostered by our digital devices, how can we create a sense of urgency about environmental problems? How might we mend public discourse and muster the collective will necessary for taking broader, bolder action on climate change?

Rachel Beth Egenhoefer (Design, Art Architecture) presents work on systems thinking and design for sustainable behavior change.  Our impact on the planet is not only in the products we make as designers, but more so on how those products are used and change our behaviors.  Sustainable design must go far beyond considering the materials our products are made out of and include discussions on behavior, interaction and global connection.

Gerard Kuperus (Philosophy) discuss his ecopolitics project and in particular what it means to be human both. What we are as individuals and as a collaborative is not set in stone: we can and constantly are becoming. In a time of climate change, he argues, we need to become something else and move towards a different collaborative.

Vijaya Nagarajan (Theology & Religious Studies) shares ideas on the Climate Commons.  The issue of the climate is a concern that is rooted in the ideas of the “commons”. What are the “commons” and how do we understand the political, economic, and social ramifications of a problem such as the “climate” that is both so broad and non-specific? What are other successful examples in the environment of running the commons in a fair and equitable way that could be applied to the problem of the climate?

Stephen Zavestoski (Environmental Studies) is a social scientist whose mantra is that we don’t have environmental problems, we have human problems. From this orientation, and in the context of climate chaos and the existential questions raised by the concept of the Anthropocene, his present interests are in societal decay and transformation. Pragmatically, he questions what the implications are for the teaching of environmental studies once we begin to think radically about alternative futures?

This event is an official affiliate event to the Global Climate Action Summit and is open to the public.  This panel discussion addresses the Global Climate Action Summit theme of ‘Sustainable Communities’.  


(Thursday) 11:45 am - 12:45 pm


University of San Francisco - Kalmanovitz Amphitheater

2130 Fulton Street


University of San FranciscoAdrienne Johnson