Affective Habitus: New Environmental Histories of Botany, Zoology and Emotions

5th ASLEC-ANZ Biennial Conference

Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, 19-21 June 2014

Bestiary and various theological texts

Image Credit: Bestiary and various theological texts. Ms. Royal 12Cxix. British Library, London. 13 century illuminated manuscript presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757.

Perceptions, values and representations of our relationship with the physical environment have been read anew in the Anthropocene century through the lens of ecocriticsm and affect theory. At present we are witnessing a turn in ecocritical theory to the relevance of empathy, sympathy and concordance, and how these move across flora and fauna; yet ecocriticism has not thoroughly considered whether human and non-human affect are reducible to a theory of the emotions. This conference seems to refine that turn while articulating the expansions of the analysis of the humanities.


  • Tim Collins
  • Tom Griffiths
  • Eileen Joy
  • Michael Marder (remotely)
  • John Plotz
  • Elspeth Probyn
  • Ariel Salleh
  • Will Steffen (remotely)
  • Wendy Wheeler
  • Linda Williams
  • Gillen D’Arcy Wood


  • Tom Bristow
  • Grace Moore
  • Charles Dawson
  • John Ryan
  • Linda Williams
  • Josh Wodak

Areas for consideration included:

  • Anthropocene aesthetics
  • Archives, encyclopaedias and images of the natural world
  • Colonialism: pre-histories and the present
  • Cultural studies: art, dance, film, literature, music, new media, photography, theatre
  • Ecocriticism and Critical Animal Studies: theory and practice of empathy
  • Ecopsychology
  • Emotions and the environment: learned feelings and historical variability
  • Environmental history: from the Middle Ages to the present
  • Europa Terra Australis: adaptation and heritage; continuities and disjunctions
  • Global ecologies
  • Green pedagogy: agency, senses and the lifeworld
  • Indigenous ecologies
  • Mappae mundi: emotional geographies and territories of affect
  • Open to others: more-than-human worlds in non-Western spaces
  • Renaissance emotions: animals, minerals, plants
  • Seeds and seed banks
  • Studio based inquiry climate change: botany, fauna extinction or fauna migration

For more details, see:

Affective Habitus at the History of Emotions webpage.