Public Lecture Series: Climate Justice


While the climate crisis is planetary in scale, it is obvious that its effects impact life on earth extremely unequally, with the largely ‘developed’ economies in the global North causing the bulk of climatogenic emissions, while the effects of climate change are, so far, more harshly felt in the global South. Yet it is often populations and communities in ‘developing countries’ that are chastised for their ‘adaptation deficit’, and become the targets of development interventions to reduce their vulnerability and increase their resilience. Parts of the global South are in the process turned into experimental labs for climate adaptation. A climate justice approach, by contrast, centres the analysis around how climate risk, natural hazards and environmental disasters impact communities unevenly along historically constituted and locally contingent socio-economic fault-lines. It also allows for a historical perspective on the making of climate science, carbon markets and fossil capitalism. A justice-centric approach allows us to keep at the forefront how social inequalities shape how people anticipate, plan, and build for climate change in very diverse ways. This public lecture series organised jointly by the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Urban Studies at the University of Basel and the Chair for the History of the Anthropocene at the University of Zurich aims to promote a conversation across disciplines to bring together students, faculty, and practitioners/activists to think through the thorny epistemological, ethical, and analytical challenges of social science research on the Anthropocene, and how a focused conversation on the interface of climate and capitalism studies approach might help tackle such issues. Speakers will reflect upon how a justice-centred approach can be fruitfully integrated into research design and practice, analysis, and knowledge transfer beyond academic audiences.

Shaila Sheshia Galvin (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva) Of fossil fuels and farms: data practices and the settler colonial politics of climate change in western Canada. 07 March 2023, 18-20h, KG HS 117 Uni Basel

Caterina Scaramelli (Boston University) Thinking With Climate Justice in Turkey: Ethnographic Reflections on the Moral Ecology of Wetlands and Heirloom Seeds Preservation. 13 March 2023, 18-20h, KG HS 117 Uni Basel

Arpitha Kodiveri (New York University) Coding Climate Compensation: Litigation, Negotiations and the Dilemmas of the Climate Victim. 5 April 2023, 16-18h, Uni Zurich

Etienne Benson (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science) Geophysics as politics, 1945-1975 19 April 2023, 16-18h, IFW E 42, Haldeneggsteig 4, ETH Zürich Jointly hosted with the Chair for Science Studies, ETH Zurich (Prof. Michael Hagner)

Daniel Speich Chassé (University of Lucerne) Quantifizierung der Weltumwelt. Zur Geschichte einer Kommunikationsform 17 May 2023, 16-18h, RAA-G-15, Rämistrasse 59, UZH Zürich

Paul Robert Gilbert (University of Sussex) Recovering Third World-ist Imaginaries for Climate Justice 23 May 2023, 18-20h, KG HS 117 Uni Basel

Jointly hosted by Jon Schubert, University of Basel and the Chair of the History of the Anthropocene, University of Zürich

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