Geo-aesthetics of the Anthropocene

Eray Cayli

MA HCT & PhD Debates: History in Translation. Marina Lathouri and Guest Speakers

Thursday 23 January | 4:00pm | 32 Bedford Square (First Floor Back)

This seminar will explore aesthetics as central to the various issues debated today under the rubric of the Anthropocene. It will do so especially by attending to the ways in which the environment is aestheticised as part of political projects and by asking how these aestheticisations in turn engender, encourage and legitimise particular environmental interventions. In terms of its critical analytical objectives, the seminar aims to complicate flattening notions of humanity and universality that continue to characterise mainstream approaches to the Anthropocene in architecture and related disciplines.

ImageView of a Coal Seam on the Island of Labuan (engraved by L.C. Heath & lithographed by C.W. Giles, 1847)


Dilip da Cunha, The Invention of Rivers: Alexander’s Eye and Ganga’s Descent (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019)

Kathryn Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2018)

Timothy Mitchell, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002)

Biography: Eray Cayli, PhD (University College London, 2015), studies the aesthetics and geographies of political violence in Turkey anthropologically. His current research concerns with how these legacies shape and are shaped by contemporary discourses and practices around disaster and resilience. Eray is Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow (2018-21) at London School of Economics and Political Science where he also teaches the postgraduate course ‘Imaging Violence, Imagining Europe’. He is currently completing a monograph tentatively titled Victims of Commemoration: The Architecture and Violence of ‘Confronting the Past’ in Turkey, co-editing the volume Architectures of Emergency in Turkey: Heritage, Displacement, Catastrophe, and guest-editing a special issue of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture themed ‘Field as Archive / Archive as Field’. Eray is a co-founder of Amed Urban Workshop, an independent academy for critical spatial research based in the city of Amed (officially known as Diyarbakır) in Turkey’s Kurdistan, where he also undertook a residency at the artist-run space Loading in summer 2019.