It is obvious that human forms of life have affected the earth system to such an extent that one has to consider the possibility that a new geological age has emerged. More importantly, the severe changes underway in this new age, often called the ‘Anthropocene’, seem to undermine the very conditions of survival on this planet: Climate change, a severe reduction of biodiversity, the increasing exploitation and devastation of the environment, and new diseases based on cross-species virus transmission are only some of the most visible forms in which human activities have seriously undermined the habitability of this planet for human and non-human species. It is the dire irony of the term ‘Anthropocene’ that it is named after the very species that is heading for self-extinction in this age. This situation does not just underline the fact that the present capitalist forms of life are unviable, it also poses a challenge to some of the constitutive ideals that have guided the critique of these forms of life – notions of growth and transformation, liberation and invention, freedom and self-determination, care and responsibility, justice and equality. Against this background, the conference seeks to articulate the ‘Anthropocene’ as a philosophical problem that requires a deep revision of our self-understanding and a new conception of politics.

In English

10:00 – 10:30
Thomas Khurana
Politics of Nature: An Introduction

10:30 – 11:45
Beth Lord
Spinoza and the Politics of Soil

Chair: Oliver Precht

11:45 – 12:15 Coffee break

12:15 – 13.30
Martin Saar
Nature/Politics: Critical Theory and the Turn to Life

Chair: Alexandra Heimes

13:30 – 15:00 Lunch Break

15:00 – 16:15
Jacob Blumenfeld
The Socialization of Nature

Chair: Lillian Cicerchia

16:15 – 16:45 Coffee break

16:45 –18:00
Karen Ng
Metabolism and Natural Limits: Rethinking Species-Being in Hegel and Marx

Chair: Kristina Lepold

18:30 – 20:00 Keynote
Slavoj Žižek
‘Unbehagen in der Natur‘: On Thinking the End of Nature

Chair: Christian Schmidt

Unfortunately, the talk by Frank Ruda at 10:00 had to be cancelled.

11:30 – 12:45
Melanie Sehgal
Philosophy and the Arts of a New Climatic Regime

Chair: Johannes-Georg Schülein

12:45 – 14:30 Lunch break

14:30 – 15:45
Oxana Timofeeva
The World Soul?

Chair: Francesca Raimondi

15:45 – 16:15 Coffee break

16:15 – 17:30
Christoph Menke
The Humanization of Nature

Chair: Xenia Chiaramonte

17:30 – 18:00 Coffee break

18:00 – 20:00 Discussion
What Is to be done? Climate Crisis and Political Activism
With Eva von Redecker, Rupert Read, Andreas Malm

Chair: Robin Celikates


Jacob Blumenfeld
Robin Celikates
Xenia Chiaramonte
Lillian Cicerchia
Jeanette Ehrmann
Alexandra Heimes
Katharina Hoppe
Thomas Khurana
Kristina Lepold
Beth Lord
Andreas Malm
Christoph Menke
Karen Ng
Oliver Precht
Rupert Read
Francesca Raimondi
Eva von Redecker
Eric-John Russell
Martin Saar
Christian Schmidt
Johannes-Georg Schülein
Melanie Sehgal
Oxana Timofeeva
Alexey Weissmüller
Slavoj Žižek

Organized by

Thomas Khurana

An event of the Department of Philosophy & the Center for Post-Kantian Philosophy (University of Potsdam) in cooperation with the ICI Berlin, supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin.
If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.

KV Politics of Nature

Image credit © Midjourney