Imag(in)ing the Anthropocene

Waterside 2, Watershed, Bristol BS1 5TX

Friday 14 June 2019, 0900–1700 

Deadline for proposals extended to 5 April 2019


Anthropocene: the period during which human activity is discernible in the geological record, variously dated from the neolithic revolution, the birth of capitalism, the industrial revolution, and the post-WW2 ‘great acceleration’.

Geologists have not yet formally adopted the term, but ‘the Anthropocene’ has entered public consciousness, often as a synonym for anthropogenic climate destabilisation. Many critical discussions focus on the unrepresentability of a phenomena too massively distributed in time and space to be apprehended directly, and thus on the inevitable failure to represent the Anthropocene, while others recognise the value of partial and metaphorical representations.

This one-day conference will explore the ways in which audio-visual and other media imagine – and produce images of – the Anthropocene, climate destabilisation and related anthropogenic threats to human, environmental and planetary well-being.

We are especially interested in papers that move beyond analysis of individual texts to consider broader questions around critical vocabularies and methods.

Please submit a 200-word proposal for a 20-minute paper, a brief bio and details of any technical requirements and to Dr Mark Bould ( by the end of 5 April 2019.

What happens to us

Is irrelevant to the world’s geology

But what happens to the world’s geology

Is not irrelevant to us.

We must reconcile ourselves to the stones,

Not the stones to us.

– Hugh MacDiarmid