Jordat symposium –”From soil to soiling: exploring the agency of soils across research fields”, Oslo, 6-7 september

Jordat symposium –”From soil to soiling: exploring the agency of soils across research fields”, Oslo, 6-7 september

Bild ovan: slagghög från koppargruva, Røros, Norge. Foto: Marit Gjermshus. Transdisciplinary in the Environmental Humanities Symposium.

Fantastiska Anna Krzywoszynska och Alexandra Toland har samlat tvärdisciplinära forskare i två paneler som kommer att ägnas åt jord under symposiet Transdisciplinary in the Environmental Humanities Symposium på University of Oslo, organiserat av Oslo School of Environmental Humanities (OSEH).

Medverkande forskare: Anna Krzywoszynska, Alexandra Toland, Debra Solomon, Eric Snodgrass, Ananda Kohlbrenner & Sandrine Tonnoir, samt Janna Holmstedt & Christina Fredengren.

Väl mött i Oslo!

Panel abstract:
A ‘soils turn’ is under-way in the environmental humanities and associated social sciences and the arts. From an ignored or maligned natural body to a meeting place between multiple disciplines and discourses, soils are increasingly a source of inspiration for re-thinking matter, agency, relations, and scales. Soils are a good place for mixing things up, for composting ideas and strategies situated at the interface between technosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, both living and elemental, both local and planetary. The activities and functions of soils express themselves in slow and fast temporalities, and at the scales from aggregate to landscape to bioregion. While soil degradation and loss is a long-standing concern, soil health and regeneration are newer themes to think with, suggesting hopeful and practical ways of building collaborations beyond human socialities. The inescapable entanglement of individual and social human life with that of soils invites us to pose questions about ethics, aesthetics, politics, and relationality in new ways. The earth sciences are rich with terminology that have been appropriated as heuristic devices for other fields of study and social life. We can speak of “erosion” of society, economic “porosity,” or “aggregation” of data that align with current debates on soil health and care paradigms. Not only composting, but also soiling is thus becoming a term to think-with and think-through.

 In these sessions, we have gathered participants working across environmental humanities and other disciplines to reflect on their experiences of ‘soiling’ different areas of research. What happens when soils are brought into the research arena as agential, as consequential? How can healthy soil become not only a metaphor but a driver for transdisciplinary action for social change?