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Nature vs. Culture?

May 6, 2019 │ 5:45 pm - 7:30 pm

Levi Bryant, Professor of Philosophy (Collin College)

“Thinking the Wilderness”

This talk proposes what I call ‘Wilderness Ontology’. The central claim of wilderness ontology is that the wilderness is all there is. Regardless of whether you are in a remote, uninhabited region of Svaerholt, Norway or the heart of Los Angeles, California, you are in the wilderness. As such, wilderness ontology calls for us to rethink the pre-modern nature/culture, phusis/techne distinction that governs our thinking of nature and culture. If culture is of the wilderness, then we can no longer think of nature as a place to which one might go outside of the city. As a consequence, we discover that ecology no longer signifies the study of something outside of society, but that society itself is ecological through and through.


Cristina Rivera Garza, William H. Bonsall Visting Professor in the Humanities (Stanford University) 

“A Domestic Archeology of Repatriation”

In my forthcoming book Autobiography of Cotton, I interweave my family history with an appraisal of the objects that tell the story of the circular migration between Mexico and the United States: tents, furniture, mattresses, home goods, sausages, suits, ribbons, and watermelons, among others. Part creative exploration and part critical discussion, my talk engages with Manuel De Landa’s theorizations about the scales of the non/human, providing an alternative view from the ground. In this presentation, the Border emerges as an intimate, cultural, and ecological phenomenon.

This event is co-sponsored by the Unruly Heritage Project/UiT – The Arctic University of Norway and by the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University.

In preparation for the discussion, we suggest the reading of the following short pieces (attached to this message): “Knots: Notes for a Daemonic Naturalism” (2016) by Levi Bryant and a selection from The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster (2009) by Jalal Toufic.


May 6, 2019
5:45 pm - 7:30 pm