Continuing our tradition of the Distinguished Lecturer Series, this year we have a stellar line up speakers throughout the year. Our theme for this years’ talks is Sustainable Humanity: Social, Political, and Ecological Considerations. We have invited Anthropologists to take into consideration if our present ways of life are sustainable? What must change to preserve human life, the viability of the ecosystem,the survival of cultures and social systems? Concerned by the failures of world political elites to address these hazards, the Anthropology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences is devoting its 2019-2020 academic program to the topic of “human sustainability.”

Anthropology is uniquely positioned to address human responses to such stresses, with its focus on the cultural past and present, on human biology and language,as well as its concern for practice. We ask how anthropologists are innovating and adapting in the ways they study these changes-seeking new kinds of field sites, new methods. We are asking our field for new approaches to old questions about humans,non-humans,and environments. Sustainability as a concern or set of practices entails the conjoining of different temporalities – what new research is engaging with understanding connections between present, past and future possibilities?

March 2020
March 23, 2020
Kathleen Morrison

Anthropocene Erasures

CANCELLED — COVID-19

The Anthropocene concept has been roundly critiqued for its tendency to conceptualize human action in global-scale, species-level terms without attending to the concrete histories of inequality and oppression that formed the historical circumstances for contemporary earth system change. …

6:30 pm8:30 pm
NYC
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February 2020
February 24, 2020
Eduardo Kohn

Forest for the Trees

Spirit, Psychedelic Science, and the Politics of Ecologizing Thought as a Planetary Ethics What kind of guidance …

6:30 pm8:30 pm
NYC
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January 2020
January 27, 2020
Charles Briggs

On the Infectious Affinities of Viruses, Plants, and Dying Human Bodies

Species’ Shifting Boundaries and Uncertain Futures This presentation charts the emergence of precarious futures by conjuring a …

6:30 pm8:30 pm
NYC
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December 2019
December 2, 2019
Erin Riley

Ethnoprimatology

Toward the Sustainable Coexistence of Human and Nonhuman Primates in the 21st Century In the U.S, primatology …

6:30 pm8:30 pm
NYC
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October 2019
October 21, 2019
Monica L. Smith

Urban Centers

Surprisingly Simple? Cities are paradoxically resilient: even the ones that eventually failed in ancient times were occupied …

6:30 pm8:30 pm
NYC
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October 7, 2019
Tania Murray Li

21st Century Plantations

And the Sustainability Fix It is the 21st century and plantations are back. Colonial-style large scale corporate …

6:30 pm8:30 pm
Lecture Hall (Room 213)
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