About this Project

Engineered Worlds III: Terraformations is the concluding chapter in a multiyear project on assessing anthropogenic environments and planetary conditions. Engineered Worlds interrogates the implications of a world where ecologies everywhere have been effected by human industry, and where new problems of insecurity, the terms and temporality of knowledge production, and the scale of endangerment challenge established categories of thought and analysis. The goal of this collaborative project is three-fold: 1) to create new concepts and methodologies for researching planetary scale environmental problems that are complexity distributed in time as well as space; 2) to connect the individual to the global environment via industrial exposures and to theorize in a new way the relationship between specific kinds of pollution and changing environmental conditions; and 3) to build a network of interdisciplinary scholars working collaboratively to understand these complex problems. Building on past events in 2015 and 2017, this year’s theme "Terraformations" explores "terra" as a formation involving both territory and terror. Its goal is to mobilize insights into human capacities to affect life on a planetary scale and shift them into a discussion of how communities are working to live in and move through such violent conditions - that is, to both assess and engage alternative terraformations.

IMAGE: NASA satellite view of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, May 24, 2010.


From Svalbard to Lebanon: A Review of Wild Relatives

November 18, 2019

This Chicago Maroon article reviews a screening and discussion of Jumana Manna's film, Wild Relatives, which was hosted by the Neubauer Collegium as part of the Engineered Worlds III research project. The article focuses on how Wild Relatives, a film about the politics of seed preservation and the Syrian Civil War, emphasizes the importance of enduring human relationships during times of geopolitical tension.


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