About this Project

Engineered Worlds engages the conceptual and material implications of a planet transformed by industrial effects. Bringing together historians, geographers, anthropologists, environmental artists, and science studies experts, the Engineered Worlds project offers a re-theorization of life infused with petrochemical, radioactive, synthetic chemical and plastic legacies. It interrogates the embodied politics of industrial society, as well as the problematic temporal and spatial consequences of industrial toxicity for contemporary theory. The unintended impacts of human industrial activity – extreme weather, rising oceans, changing habitats, shifting food sources, and new health challenges – require both new concepts and new modes of visualization. Through an interdisciplinary collaboration, a four-campus seminar, a conference, and public arts talks, this project considers how all ecologies have been “engineered” both intentionally and unintentionally by industrial practices. It pursues the conceptualization and visualization of planetary scale ecological change with a keen attention to the inequalities (across race and class, as well as the global north and south) of toxic embodiment.

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