Lecture Talk “Inter-, Trans- and Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Anthropocene as a Challenge for Literary Studies”, by Prof. Dr. Gabriele Dürbeck
What can literature contribute to the Anthropocene debate? And what are “Anthropocene readings?” These were core questions posed by Professor Dr. Gabriele Dürbeck (University of Vechta) in her talk about “Inter-, Trans- and Multidisciplinary Appraoches to the Anthropocene as a Challenge for Literary Studies” (November 2, 2022). After discussing how major publications define the “anthropocenic turn” as either a disciplinary or a trans-disciplinary topic, or as one that transgresses disciplinary norms alltogether, Professor Dürbeck showed how central paradigms like “anthropos” and “scale” take on very different meanings in various disciplines, and, also, cultures. Instead of identifying this as a problem, she emphasized the importance of dialogue in academic discourse and defined the distinct role of literature, and literary as well as cultural studies, in this ongoing conversation. Besided showing the impact of the Anthropocene concept on literary studies, and the merits and limits of genre, she also discussed Anthropocene readings, ending her talk by spotlighting Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future.