Science in the Public Square: Ursula Heise

Join us for a talk from Ursula Heise, director of the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies, Institute of the Environment & Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Appetizers and drinks will be served starting at 4:30, followed by the talk at 5.

Presented by Science in the Public Square, a programmatic grant of the Incubator for Transdisciplinary Futures

Multispecies Justice and Narrative

The connection between struggles for social justice and environmental conservation has transformed North American environmentalism over the last two decades under the labels of environmental justice, political ecology, and the environmentalism of the poor. Multispecies justice, a new paradigm that has emerged over the last decade, has sought to expand environmental justice thinking beyond the boundaries of the human species by reconceptualizing who or what is considered a subject of justice, who is included in communities of justice, and how concepts of justice differ across cultural communities. This lecture will explore what role different forms of narrative, from documentary films and popular scientific reporting to science fiction, play in defining and imagining multispecies communities of justice. It will focus on the strategies such narratives deploy to engage with more-than-human characters, plots, and policy decisions, in what ways they help concretize theories of multispecies justice, and the challenges they encounter in opening up a human – and typically anthropocentric – medium to more-than-human forms of experience.