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'Wonderful' Water: the transformative potential of aesthetic engagements with water and light

Higher seminar

Dr. Veronica Strang, Anthropologist, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Durham University. Social Anthropology and Human Ecology - Environmental Social Science research seminar.

This paper explores affective responses to the properties of water and light, and considers the experience of 'wonder' as a basis for enlightenment. It proposes that enlightenment is an emergent phenomenon, in that it can have radically transformative effects on ideas and values. To consider this proposition, the paper draws on ethnographic case studies in the UK and Australia, exploring how ritual and aesthetic engagements with water and light are both affective and effective, generating shifts in people¿s relationships with their environments. Several key questions arise: is wonder a pan-human phenomenon ¿ and if so, should we consider it in evolutionary and bio-cultural terms? What is the role of wonder in generating concern for the well-being of other species and for the material world? Can wonder be induced (and if so how), and can this be done with a view to encouraging enlightened changes in human-environmental relationships?

Lecturer: Dr. Veronica Strang, Anthropologist, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Durham University.

Date: 4/26/2018

Time: 1:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Categories: Sustainable development

Location: Globala studier, Konstepidemins väg 2
c417

Contact person: Gunilla Almered Olsson

Page Manager: Helena Svensson|Last update: 4/11/2014
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