Nature's Futures

the cultures of climate, environment, and conservation


How do we imagine the futures of nature? How do the constraints that we impose upon our imagination limit the ways in which we are able to address ecological and environmental crises? What is the origin of the variety of strong opinions and beliefs that attach themselves to our discussions of climate change and environmental action? The battle over the future of nature is crucially fought on the battlefield of culture, the terrain in which the complex ways in which we think and talk about climate, environment, and conservation are shaped. In order to understand how we think and talk about nature today and about possible solutions to the most pressing environmental issues of our time, we need to engage with both the scientific discourse and the cultural and political forces that determine the conditions and possibilities of our discussions and ultimately of our actions. Climate, environment, and conservation...categories such as these must also be understood as cultural categories. This research cluster collects information on what this means and on what may be at stake in understanding these categories and their connection to lived reality from the standpoint of cultural analysis.