Some great news today. I have been awarded an ISRF Mid-Career Fellowship with the project Phenomenal time: a field philosophy for more liveable worlds. The 12 month project will start in August next year, so still a while away, but I'm looking forward to starting to think more about phenology through an environmental humanities lens, and developing some appropriate field philosophy methods. I'll write more about these issues along the way, but in the meantime here is the project abstract:
Around the globe, stories of environmental mismatches in timing are demonstrating the complicated effects of climate change. Arctic caribou are arriving at their feeding grounds too late for peaks in vegetation growth with devastating effects on new mothers and calves. Atlantic puffins and European woodland birds are also hatching chicks outside of the best times for catching prey.Importantly, this ‘time out of joint’ applies not only to ecological contexts, but social ones as well. Political cycles are thought to encourage short-term thinking, when the climate crisis demands sustained action, and our seemingly ephemeral everyday practices are causing changes that will last into deep geological time. Conventionally, the time of our lives has been studied separately from the time of nature, but the climate crisis has shown that both need to be thought together. In particular, we need ways of understanding and responding to temporal mismatches in order to address the fundamental question of how to better coordinate ourselves in a time of climate breakdown. While the potentials of geological time has drawn much attention (Bjornerud), this project will explore a subfield of ecology — phenology — which studies cyclical and seasonal phenomena in plants and animals. Studying the ways that living beings produce complex temporal arrangements with each other in order to make life possible — and the mismatches that occur when things shift — phenology shows us the possibilities and limits of recalibrating time when everything around us is changing. Initiating a new conversation between the humanities, social sciences and ecology, this project will draw on innovative methods in ‘field philosophy’ to support collaborative enquiries with professional and amateur phenologists. The aim is to explore how new understandings of time can play a role in fostering an awareness of interdependence in the hope of more livable worlds.