“Making Sense of the Anthropocene” is a semester-long forum of lectures, presentations and workshops. Events are open to the public. Complete details are available on the Program page.

The University of San Francisco’s Davies Forum is an endowed program established by Louise M. Davies “to enhance the University’s efforts to produce future leaders dedicated to public service and committed to ethical leadership.” The forum is accompanied by an honors seminar for students at the University of San Francisco. The forum speakers, known Davies Fellows, in addition to offering a public talk or workshop will also engage with the Davies Scholars as part of the student seminar.

What is the Anthropocene and why do we need to make sense of it?

The Anthropocene is a term that describes a proposed new geological epoch defined by observable planetary changes triggered by human activity. That humans are aware of themselves as a geological force raises profound ontological, phenomenological, existential and even theological questions about our species, our planet, and our conjoined future. The Anthropocene destabilizes the stories we tell about our past, present and future.

Across a range of disciplines, academics are grappling with what the Anthropocene means. But as a society’s storytellers, might it be artists who are ideally positioned to help us make sense of the Anthropocene? More pragmatically, might artists offer a unique vision that can give shape to a new set of perspectives, skills, and practices for living in the Anthropocene?

The “Making Sense of the Anthropocene” forum is intended to explore these questions. Speakers will demonstrate how artists, often informed by their own academic perspectives, their activism, and other experiences, are making sense of the Anthropocene.

For more background please see the syllabus for the honors seminar.