College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

3. How did we change the world? Being with, and believing in, others instigated the Anthropocene

Third lecture of Professor Dr Agustin Fuentes' Gifford Lecture Series

Event Details

Date: Monday 5 March 2018, 5.30 - 6.30pm.  Please note this is a change to the originally advertised lecture.

The lecture may be followed by questions.  Latest finishing time is 7pm.

Venue: Playfair Library, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL

Lecture abstract

The genus Homo began manipulating ecologies more than 2 million years ago. By 400,000 years ago humans had connected with fire to alter the world. By at least 120,000 years ago our ancestors were combining materials from plants, animals and minerals in increasingly complex new forms (glues and pigments). More than 20,000 years ago humans partnered with dogs and began the first mutual domestication project. However, in the last 15,000 years the magnitude, rapidity and impact of the humans’ relationships with an increasing array of other species transformed bodies, societies, and the global ecosystem at paces outstripping everything before. This lecture offers a view of the emergence of increasingly complex and multispecies human communities and illustrates how sedentism, domestication, and the rise of particular beliefs and practices of property and identity, in combination with expanding patterns of inequality, created radically novel landscapes of caring and conflict.

Lecture video

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