“The ‘Anthropocene’ has emerged as a popular scientific term used by scientists, the scientifically engaged public and the media to designate the period of Earth’s history during which humans have a decisive influence on the state, dynamics and future of the Earth system.”

–Working Group on the Anthropocene, 2017
http://quaternary.stratigraphy.org/working-groups/anthropocene/

Considering futurities beyond the anthropocene through decolonising narratives of natural history collections

Florence Okoye

| @FINOkoye | @AfroFutures_UK |

The association with a particular past excludes those whose heritage is wrought with the trauma inflicted by the ‘modes of operation’ that enabled these institutions to exist.

Deeper engagement with the institution's present is impeded by perception of being historical relics of a frozen time in scientific understanding.

The validity of enquiry is called into question with respect to its relevance and methodology.

"Given the import of impending environmental issues, one could argue that skills in abduction and inference will be particularly useful for students in the future."

The Case for Natural History, Heather King & Mariam Achiam, 2017

"Instead, the emphasis is on interpreting complex causal chains that occurred over long periods of time, simply by using traces of evidence that remain. The fact that the event took place in the past, in addition to the fact that the phenomena are complex, unique and contingent, means that tests of validity lie solely in the quality of the explanation generated through abductive reasoning...."

The Case for Natural History, Heather King & Mariam Achiam, 2017

"...In other words, effective explanation is valued in natural history"

The Case for Natural History, Heather King & Mariam Achiam, 2017

Miranda Lowe

She is amazing and you should all be following her.

@NatHistGirl

For attendees, this interface with the past opened possibility that the Natural History Museum could be a site of rediscovery as much as passive observation:

I found the colonial history of natural history ... the fact that Brazil wood used to be trendy... something interesting that I learned.

Thank you!

Considering futurities beyond the anthropocene through decolonising narratives of natural history collections

By FINOkoye

Considering futurities beyond the anthropocene through decolonising narratives of natural history collections

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