Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World: Part I – School of Humanities Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World: Part I – School of Humanities

Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World: Part I

Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World: Part I

This is a Sydney Environment Institute event

This event is Part 1 of 2 workshops for Interdisciplinarity in a More-Than-Human World.

The challenges that the more-than-human world is facing clearly exceed the reach of any one discipline. Researchers working across the natural and social sciences and the humanities on the major social and environmental challenges of our time are increasingly realising that if our work is to make the type of contribution we wish to make to understanding and addressing these challenges, it needs to be inter-disciplinary.  But how does interdisciplinarity actually work out in practice? What is interdisciplinarity’s life cycle? What opportunities and challenges does interdisciplinarity entail? How do scholars working across different disciplines come together to shape the design of research questions, research methodologies, the writing up and dissemination of findings, and applied outcomes in the real world?

This virtual workshop brings together four pairs of scholars who will share their experiences putting interdisciplinarity into practice in studying the more-than-human world. It will be structured as two x two-hour sessions, each involving two pairs in conversation with one another (one in the social sciences/arts/humanities and one in the physical sciences), followed by broader discussion. Participants will be invited to share their experiences, including challenges and strategies, creating an interdisciplinary learning experience. We invite both academics and HDR students to participate in this conversation.


Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. Her research stands at the interface of theories exploring the multi-dimensional nature of injustice and the practice of human rights, focusing on the relational intra-space between human and non-human animals. Along with her multispecies community, she has recently lived through the NSW fires, writing in the face of their experience of the “killing of everything”, which she calls “omnicide”. Danielle is the Research Lead on Concepts and Practices of Multispecies Justice. Her publications include Sins of the Nation and the Ritual of Apology (Cambridge, 2009) and The Prevention of Torture; An Ecological Approach (Cambridge, 2018).


Discussion 1

John Martin is a Research Scientist based at the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning. John’s research program is directed towards understanding the ecology of wildlife in human-dominated landscapes. This program aims to produce recommendations for land management that will lead to enhanced prospects for co-existence between wildlife and humans. His research involves the analysis of patterns of distribution and abundance, both of species that have benefited from human activities as well species that are threatened.

Thom van Dooren is Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2017-2021) in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. His research and writing focus on some of the many philosophical, ethical, cultural, and political issues that arise in the context of species extinctions and human entanglements with threatened species and places. He is the author of The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (Columbia, 2019), and co-editor of Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations (Columbia, 2017).

Discussion 2

Margaret Barbour is a Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Science at The University of Sydney and also Dean of the School of Science at The University of Waikato. During her PhD, she developed new understanding, and mechanistic models, of variability in the oxygen isotope composition of plant tissue. Her work was the first to theoretically describe and demonstrate the record of leaf evaporative environment present in the oxygen isotope composition of plant material. This work has subsequently been applied to reconstruct past climates from tree ring stable isotopes, as an indicator of plant regulation of water loss, and as a selection tool for yield in grain crops. Margaret was awarded the Outstanding Physiologist of the Year 2006, by the New Zealand Society of Plant Biologists. In 2010 Margaret joined FAFNR as an ARC Future Fellow in Biosphere-atmosphere interactions.

Dalia Nassar is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. She works on German romanticism and idealism, the philosophy of nature, aesthetics and environmental philosophy. Her current project focuses on a distinctive methodological approach to nature, which emerged in the late Enlightenment and Early Romanticism, and on the ways that this methodology can be brought to bear on current environmental questions and concerns. She is the author of The Romantic Absolute: Being and Knowing in German Romantic Philosophy, 1795-1804, which considers the meaning of the crucial notion of the ‘Absolute’ in German philosophy between Kant and Hegel, and editor of the collection, The Relevance of Romanticism: Essays on German Romantic Philosophy.


Astrida Neimanis is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at The University of Sydney. Her research is located at the intersection of feminist theory and environmental humanities, with a focus on water, weather and bodies. Her current project is investigating military and chemical legacies at the bottom of the sea. Her writing has appeared in places such as HypatiaEthics & EnvironmentFeminist ReviewAlphabet City, and Harvard Design Review, and various edited collections and gallery spaces, in collaboration with other writers, artists and makers. Her books include Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology (2017) and the co-edited collection, Thinking with Water (2013).


Please send your Expression of Interest (EOI) to Genevieve Wright ( should you wish to attend this event by Wednesday 5 August 2020.


Aug 06 2020


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm




Sydney Environment Institute
+61 2 9351 5445

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