Organised by Rodney Harrison, UCL Institute of Archaeology (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What does it mean to live in a self-proclaimed “age of humans”? And what is the role of archaeology and heritage studies in the current planetary “crisis” which this age is widely recognised as having heralded? Over the past decade, the “Anthropocene” has stimulated significant comment across archaeology and heritage studies, appearing in a number of different guises–as temporal marker, extinction crisis, human niche, climatological catastrophe, socio-cultural formation, economic and political critique, and posthumanist rallying cry to name but a few. But these debates and discussions have tended to happen in isolation from one another, limiting their usefulness and impeding broader discussion of the significance of the concept for archaeology and heritage studies more generally. The aim of this session is to facilitate interdisciplinary conversations across a broad range of scientific, artistic and humanistic approaches to the Anthropocene (and associated past, present and future environmental and climate related issues) to begin to explore the ways in which archaeology and heritage studies might reorganise themselves to address the new research agendas which such interdisciplinary approaches, and the broader recognition of these associated contemporary planetary crises, urgently demand.