Recorded at the ANZAC War Memorial on Tuesday 12 November 2019.

Andrea Gaynor - Armoured histories: radical remembering for the Anthropocene

Hold the past to account with Andrea Gaynor, University of Western Australia as she proposes `radical remembering’ to actively confront the challenges of the Anthropocene. Climate breakdown, annihilation of entire species, dwindling topsoil and fresh water, food shocks and plastic oceans led 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg to admonish the assembly of wealthy and powerful at the 2019 World Economic Forum to ‘act as if our house is on fire. Because it is’.

Andrea Gaynor was born during the turbulent Whitlam years. At primary school she played the violin and was fascinated by the germination of seeds. In high school she played some mediocre cricket and hockey, but excelled in the bloodthirsty sport of fencing. Leaving school with good marks, an interest in chemistry and literature, and a passion for the environment and social justice, she decided to commence an Arts degree. After studying in areas from environmental science to law to desktop publishing, working nights and weekends as a waitress, she found a home in environmental history. In 2001 she finished writing a PhD thesis and rode her bicycle through China, Laos and Cambodia before returning to lecture in Australian History at UWA.

About the HumanNature lecture series 2019: Environmental change is happening all around us, and yet voices differ over its causes and consequences. At the same time, our human activity is playing an increasingly significant role in shaping the earth and its future possibilities.

This landmark lecture series offers a range of talks by leading international and Australian scholars in the Environmental Humanities. It will draw on insights from history, literature, philosophy, anthropology and related disciplines and explore the important role humanities can play in addressing some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our day.