“Imperial Ecology: Human/Nature Relations from “Machines of Loving Grace” to Panarchies and Wicked Problems”

“Imperial Ecology” Lecturer: Stefan Morales

w/ special guest(s): Bob Simpson (Independent MLA for Cariboo North), Andrew Gage (West Coast Environmental Law), Karl Hardin (Dogwood Initiative), and Henrik Österblom (Stockholm Resilience Center).

Dates: April 25, May 2, 9, & 16
Time: 6pm – 8pm (going later on some days)

Location: Discovery Coffee, 664 Discovery St.

Seminar Cost: $30 (preregistration required, email waywardschool@gmail.com to register); bursaries available, email to inquire.

In love, a complicated relationship is more interesting than a sustainable one. So too in our relationship with the environment.

This seminar will trouble simplistic notions of human/environment relationships, dismantling panaceas and actively embracing the complicated nature of our relationship to this Earth. The historical tendency has been that individuals, groups and entire societies make decisions and create machines that are initially productive and logical, but over time have negative and sometimes disastrous environmental implications.  Through discussion and coursework, we will work towards a more fulsome account of some new conceptual tools for dealing with the past, present and future of our technological and institutional entanglement with the dynamic ecosystems of this Earth (while offering constructive critique of contemporary resource management policy).

Panarchy—a compound of Pan, the Greek god of an unpredictable and changing nature, and the notion of hierarchies nested across scales—offers tools to rationalize the interplay between change and persistence, between the predictable and unpredictable… it attempts to explore the messy interplay between forward-looking humans, and the multi-scalar transformations of ecosystems… most importantly, it attempts to politicize ecology, and offer ways to manage common resources beyond the simplistic dualism of market or state. Imperial Ecology is a fictional discipline in Frank Herbert’s Dune: “Arrakis could be an Eden if its rulers would look up from grubbing for spice!”

BONUS: this seminar will also include guest speakers who will help us navigate the intersection of politics and ecology in a British Columbian context.  Stay tuned for an updated list coming soon!

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2D Panarchy

Stefan Morales Instructor Bio