Texas Tech University

FORESTS Speakers Series: Natasha Myers

"Becoming Sensor for a Planthroposcene"
Thursday, October 22, 7:30 pm

To view the discussion from October 22nd, please click: PLANTHROPSCENE
Passcode: +r=t^e69

Natasha Myers

Natasha Myers, anthropologist, York University, Toronto, Canada

Continuing our year-long Forests theme, The Humanities Center at Texas Tech presents an online lecture from Dr. Natasha Myers (York University), "Becoming Sensor for a Planthroposcene." 

"Becoming Sensor for a Planthroposcene"

If the Anthropocene names a time-bound era marshalled by humans bent on earthly destruction, a Planthroposcene is an aspirational scene or episteme in which people learn how to conspire with plants to grow livable worlds. Planthroposcenes are lively scenes of social justice and decolonization: they take root wherever people form solidarities with the plants and trees to ensure collective flourishing. This talk explores the modes of attention and analytics we need in order to support such plant/people conspiracies.Becoming Sensor, a collaborative research-creation project located at the intersection of anthropology, art, ecology, and advocacy, aims to detune settler common sense and the colonial ecological sensorium, which tend to render plants and trees as extractable resources. Since 2015, Becoming Sensor has been focused on inventing protocols for an 'ungrid-able ecology' up to the task of allying with Indigenous resurgence projects taking shape in the ancient oak savannahs in Toronto, sites where Indigenous people in this region have been conspiring with the plants and trees for millennia.

Natasha Myers is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University. She is director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory and co-founder of Toronto's Technoscience Salon. Her current ethnographic projects speculate on the contours of the Planthroposcene, with investigations spanning the arts and sciences of vegetal sensing and sentience, the politics of gardens, and the enduring colonial violence of restoration ecology. Her first book, Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter (Duke 2015) won the 2016 Robert Merton Book Prize from the American Sociological Association's section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology. She is also the co-author, with Carla Hustak, of the recent book Le Ravissement de Darwin: Le langage des plantes (Éditions la Découverte, 2020), the French translation of their widely-cited 2012 essay, "Involutionary Momentum: Affective Ecologies and the Science of Plant/Insect Encounters." Her website is natashamyers.org.