Novel Natures? Ontologies, Ethics and Politics beyond the Human

Gene drive

Planetary crises such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity are currently changing discourses about the relationships between humans and non-human beings and between "human" and "natural" systems. But the development of new biotechnologies and new forms of knowledge, such as genomics, have also contributed to bringing the question of the culture/nature relationship back to the forefront of academic and social debates in recent decades. How humans interact with their "more-than-human" environment is thereby increasingly captured as an ethical and political problematic in which questions of responsibility, "agency," justice, and representation arise anew.

In my research project, I examine renegotiations of concepts of nature through normative debates in nature conservation about the use of new (bio)technologies. Here, both the object of nature conservation - that is, the question of what is actually the good worth protecting and why - and more concrete forms of knowledge, goals, strategies, and tools of nature conservation are controversially discussed. Drawing on these debates, my research pursues two questions: First, I examine how ontologies of nature, epistemological questions, and normative ideas are interconnected in life science discourses, and how these connections shift in their translation across disciplinary boundaries. Second, I examine various strategies in contemporary political theory for bringing the "more-than-human" more to the forefront of normative thinking. From this engagement, I aim to develop my own post-anthropocentric perspective that is able to contribute constructively to concrete disputes in conservation, while at the same time being connectable to debates at the intersections of political theory, social philosophy, and ethics.

Habilitation Project

Rosine Kelz

Project-related publications

Kelz, Rosine, 2021: Tissue Culture and Biological Time - Alexis Carrel, Henri Bergson and the Plasticity of Living Matter, in BioSocieties, doi:10.1057/s41292-020-00224-2.

Kelz, Rosine/Knappe, Henrike, 2021: Politics of time and mourning in the Anthropocene, in: Social Sciences, doi:10.3390/socsci10100368

Kelz, Rosine, 2021: The Ethics and Politics of Temporality: Judith Butler, Embodiment, and Narrativity, in Rae; Ingala Gomez (eds.), Historical Traces and Future Pathways of Poststructuralism. Aesthetics, Ethics, Politics, Routledge, pp. 160 - 180.

Kelz, Rosine, 2020: Genome editing animals and the promise of control in a (post)anthropocentric world, in Body and Society, 26 (1), pp. 3 - 25, doi:10.1177/1357034X19882762

Kelz, Rosine, 2019: Thinking about future/democracy: towards a political theory of futurity, in: Sustainability Science, 14 (4), pp. 905 - 913, doi:10.1007/s11625-019-00697-6