Reports of the death of metanarratives have been greatly exaggerated. Critiques of grand narratives (metanarratives) often have the respectable intention of protecting the specificity of different peoples and places from the homogenizing and totalizing effects of universal claims that are supposed to apply to everyone in all times and places. But these critiques fail on numerous accounts. Continue reading
It looks like I’ve got my conference engagements lined up for the second half of the year. I’m only doing a few things, and they’re all in California, which isn’t entirely incidental, as I try to avoid travel scenarios that involve high financial and environmental costs.
First, I’m delighted to be presenting on a panel with two close companions, Kimberly Carfore and Adam Robbert. We’ll be at the IBHA (International Big History Association) conference in San Rafael, CA, August 6-10. Our panel is “Cosmopolitics and the Big Journey: Resolving Nature-Culture Dualisms.” The title of my paper: “Concepts for Collective History: Cosmopolitics and the Journey of the Universe.” I’ll give an overview of three distinct approaches to collective history (i.e., approaches that integrate human and natural histories), including the approach called Big History, the approach of “universe story” advocates like Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, and Mary Evelyn Tucker, and the approach of theorists associated with the “cosmopolitics” proposed by Isabelle Stengers (e.g., Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway). Adam has a summary of our panel available HERE.
Next, I’ll be in Los Angeles for the annual meeting of PACT (the Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition), October 2-4. I’ll address questions of narrative and image in relation to the work of Peter Sloterdijk, specifically his philosophical theory of globalization, which is an extension of his sphere theory. My argument is that his general spherology provides a context for understanding the planet Earth as the locus of a grand narrative that overcomes the hegemony of previous metanarratives and the intellectual defeatism of postmodern prohibitions against metanarratives. My paper title: “Earth: Spherological Imagination and the New Grand Narrative.”
Finally, I’ll be at the annual meeting of the AAR (American Academy of Religion) in San Diego, November 22-25. I’ll be involved in a couple events. I will be a panelist in a Roundtable discussion focusing on the excellent new book by George James, Ecology is Permanent Economy: The Activism and Environmental Philosophy of Sunderlal Bahuguna. I’ll also be presenting a paper in a panel on “New Materialism, Religion, and Climate Change.” I’m representing Tim Morton’s object-oriented perspective, specifically in light of his proposal for an updated version of animism. My paper title: “Feeling for Hyperobjects: Animistic Affects in the Anthropocene.” I posted a version of my paper proposal HERE.