• Recherche,

Axe 2 - Écologie, économie, technologie

Vector 2: Ecology, Economy, Technology

This vector continues and develops much of the research agenda of the current contract's overarching vector "'Well-being, ecology and technological society." A principal objective is to promote studies of the relationships between human communities and non-human living beings (individuals, species, landscapes, the biosphere) as well as of the multiple representations of these relationships. This will include questioning the persistence of the anthropocentric perspective (the vision of the human species as an entity fundamentally distinct from the rest of the living) through the perpetuation of techno-scientific modernity, whether reflexive or not (Ulrich Beck). In addition, we shall analyse the various attempts at decentering the human point of view (ecocentrist, biocentrist, or other) by looking for example at the divergences and convergences between concern for the preservation of biodiversity and movements for animal rights or animal liberation. The development of new critical currents, such as ecocriticism and zoocriticism, or ecopoetics, green studies, and animal studies, have completed the renewal of notions and concepts in order to think about the issues and challenges that arise today more and more urgently.

The issue of the Anthropocene, around which a major conference took place at the IETT in 2018, will continue to be a central research preoccupation of the unit. This new era in which humanity has become the main geological force of the planet, increasingly debated in life sciences and social sciences, the notion of Anthropocene will be approached critically and in a transdisciplinary manner. By questioning the origins and the actors of this phenomenon, we will try to offer contributions to the academic discussion about the Capitalocene, the Homogenocene, and climate justice. The highlighting of the notion of Anthropocene can also be studied as a political strategy to justify the continuation of the Cartesian attempt to control the living by means even more powerful and radical than before (geo-engineering, genetic forcing...). It will also be necessary to think about the repercussions of this concept on political environmentalisms, and in particular on the definition of the entities that environmentalists seek to preserve. If the ubiquity of human influence is proven, what about the modern distinction between human and non-human? It would therefore be fruitful to ask, following Timothy Morton, whether ecology would benefit from abandoning the idea of “nature” or if, on the contrary, recognizing an outside radically distinct from the human still makes the most sense.

This vector will also further investigate the technical/technological, sometimes seen as the matrix of environmental emergencies, and sometimes as a lifeline for modern humanity. By bearing in mind Jacques Ellul’s diagnosis of the fundamental ambivalence of the technical/technological system ("système technicien") and its constitutive unpredictability, we shall analyse the discourses relating to technology and its representations.

The research conducted in the current contract on the representation and the ideology ("the value") of work is also central to discussions on the Anthropocene and resultant climate change, and will form a key focus during the life of the new contract. Modern- day work not merely represents an alienating distortion of humanity's existence (Rensi), it now also has a major impact, alongside consumption practices, on our environment and on climate change (Gorz). The representation of "work" is thus strongly intertwined in the questions of ecology, economy and technology.

Today, to speak of a nature without humans, many writers and filmmakers use the post- apocalyptic or prehistoric schemes that reveal the desire to tell stories that unfold before or after humanity. In this respect, science fiction, in all its dimensions (literature, cinema, TV and web series...) is a privileged device. Others seek to "re-enchant" the world (Benjamin) through a poetic order rid of any domineering or colonial drive; but does not such a venture risk to re-sanctify nature, as a certain Romantic tradition was often criticized for doing?

Finally, this vector will highlight the growing number of intersections between the environmentalist cause in the broad sense and a proliferation of social movements dedicated to the promotion of equality between individuals and between social groups. What are the implications of the notion of “intersectionality” for the various currents of environmentalist thought and militancy? To answer this question, we shall investigate the question of environmental justice, by examining attempts to reconcile environmental protection, the defense of workers and the most materially vulnerable people, concern for the environment, equality between women and men, and the empowerment of minority groups. In short, the vector “ecology, economy, technology” proposes to explore various strategies of creation, resistance, and reflection at a time when the environmental crisis has become a major paradigm within the epistemological order.

Keywords: ecology, economics, technology, science, environmentalism, Anthropocene, nature, ecocriticism, science fiction, transdisciplinarity

- Vecteur 2 - Ecologie, économie, technologie : Gwennaël Gaffric (gwennael.gaffric1@univ-lyon3.fr)