Beyond the Anthropo—Scenes, Mediums, Apparatuses and Environments

Event date: Friday 19 May 2017

Location: The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, 2 Hope Park Square, EH8 9NW, Edinburgh, UK

a Susan Manning IASH Workshop

Bringing together scholars from theatre and performance studies, philosophy, media studies, religion and geography, the workshop aims to critically explore notions of mediality, ethics, and performance in a world irrevocably altered by the events of 2016—carbon dioxide threshold reached, the US presidential election, and the Dakota Access protests, to name a few.
The multiple threats of anthropogenic action and inaction call into question notions of efficacy in relation to the role of scholars as advocates and eco-critics. The workshop aims to address issues relating to human and non-human agency, in a climate of what American journalists call ‘post-truth’—i.e. an electorate that seemingly based their votes on sentimentality and persuasion instead of facts, especially ‘expert knowledge’. The main focus of the workshop, thus, will be on mediality and agency, and how we might participate, more decisively, as humanities scholars in eco-criticism and environmental studies. Does this gesture entail closer collaboration with scholars from other disciplines and fields in an attempt to become more ‘inter-disciplinary’? Does this also mean that we must perform better as scholars, and ‘perform or else’ (Jon McKenzie 2001, Perform or Else)? If we were to perform, do we act as a collective species, i.e. human beings vis-à-vis other species in a shared environment? How would we even begin to describe or recognise this environment?


Carl Lavery, Professor of Theatre and Performance (Theatre, Film and Television Studies), University of Glasgow

Wallace Heim, Writer and Independent Researcher

Pauline Phemister, Professor of Philsophy, University of Edinburgh

Hayden Lorimer, Chair of Cultural Geography, University of Glasgow

Tim Barker, Senior Lecturer in Digital Media, University of Glasgow

Cara Berger, Lecturer in Drama, University of Manchester

Minty Donald, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Performance Practices, University of Glasgow

Alvin Eng Hui Lim, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh; National University of Singapore


9:00              Introductions

9:30-11:00     Session 1 – Scenes

Parables of Islet Ecologies and Interstitial Biologies
Alvin Eng Hui Lim

guddling about
Minty Donald and Nick Millar                   

11:00-11:15    Coffee/Tea

11:15-12:45    Session 2 – Mediums

Theatre and the Ecological Image
Carl Lavery

A Media philosophical approach to isolation, insulation and exposure
Timothy Barker

12:45-1:45     Lunch

1:45-3:15       Session 3 – Apparatuses

Theatre’s Vegetal Imagining
Cara Berger

‘The sea cannot be depleted’
Wallace Heim

3:15-3:30     Coffee /Tea

3:30-5:00     Session 4 – Environments

Lessons from Leibniz
Pauline Phemister

Passing Places
Hayden Lorimer

5:00-6:00    Roundtable Discussion

6:00            Dinner

If you would like to participate as an audience member, please contact Alvin Lim (

Image: Hutton’s Unconformity at Siccar Point. Image credit: Alvin Lim