SENKU seminar with Peter Bjeregaard and Kyrre Kverndokk

Collapse – human beings in an unpredictable world


Abstract: The imagining of an approaching collapse seems to roam not just in current debates on the environment, but also in popular fiction such as Margaret Atwood’s MadAddam trilogy, Maja Lunde’s recent best sellers The History of Bees and Blue, as well as tv-series such as The Walking Dead. This seminar will be a test of the argument of the introduction for our up-coming anthology KOLLAPS. From the popular interest in collapses we will look into how collapse may be a signifier for more general dynamics in current Western societies. Basing ourselves on writers such as Victor Turner and Gregory Bateson, we will approach collapse as a precarious condition, which is both frightening, almost numbing, and at the same time full of potential, calling for action. We will wrap up by considering the role of science in this landscape. Here, we will turn to the fiction presented in the introduction and consider whether we actually need a kind of speculative science that includes the constructive qualities of fiction.

Kyrre Kverndokk is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Bergen. His main interest has been the politics of memory and natural disasters as cultural history. He is currently leading the research project "The Future is Now: Temporality and Exemplarity in Climate Change Discourse", which is funded by NFR.

Peter Bjerregaard is Senior advisor of exhibitions at the Museum of Cultural History and is working with the renewal of the exhibitions at the Museum. He was project leader of COLLAPSE – human beings in an unpredictable world that opened at the Museum in May 2017.


The seminar will take place in the seminar room on the 3rd floor, Frederiks gate 2 (Entrance via back door on Kristian IVs gate - ring the doorbell for the third floor) . After the seminar there will be room for informal conversations and drinks.



SENK, Geoffrey Gowlland and Tone Wang
Published Aug. 30, 2017 12:04 PM - Last modified Nov. 22, 2017 9:09 AM