Selection of talks, workshops, conferences and podcasts

Selection from 2023/24:-

January 2024, David Chandler and Jonathan Pugh will be recording a talk and discussion about ‘The World as Abyss’ with Foreign Objekt.

January 2024, David Chandler and Jonathan Pugh will be recording a podcast about ‘The World as Abyss’ with Lateral, the Cultural Studies Association’s journal.

January/February 2024, Jonathan Pugh will be taking part in a week of dialogues, directed by AbdouMaliq Simone, on ‘Popular Territories/Surface Blackness/Improbable Commons’.

Three Panels on ‘Critique After Relation’ - International Studies Association, San Francisco, April 3-6, 2024. Convenors: Jonathan Pugh (Newcastle University) and David Chandler (University of Westminster).

Abstract: For many of us, it appears that relationality is already at the centre of international studies. Neoliberal and neo-institutional frameworks of governance and policymaking, for example, depend precisely on ontologies of relation to explain and to legitimate differences in outcomes and rationalise the reproduction of inequalities and exclusions – as the relational and material sociologists (constructivists and actor network theorists) argue, anarchy or capitalism, or anything else, “is what actors make of it”. The swift move of many critical theorists from modernist ontologies of top-down transformation to bottom-up ones of relation, entanglement and emergence, of post- and more-than-human assemblages and sensitivities, are moves that shift the register from critique to affirmation. These relational approaches have come under a variety of critiques, which range from charges of appropriation to those of reinstating the (post- or more-than-) human at the centre, to starting from metaphysics rather than foundational cuts and worlding violences. For these panels – Critique Beyond Relation – we welcome inputs and contributions that seek to challenge the hegemony of relation, potentially drawing upon ideas of non-relation, of refusal, of withdrawal, of the infinite, of quantum superpositionality, of negation, spaces, voids, and the abyss, just to name a few potential examples.

Panel: Social Archaeologies and Islands. At the Society for American Archaeology Conference, New Orleans USA, 2024. Convenors: James L. Flexner, Scott Fitzpatrick, Sandra Monton-Subias, and Helene Martinsson-Wallin. Discussant: Jonathan Pugh.



Island archaeology has advanced significantly during the past two decades, from exponential increases in empirical data to new theoretical breakthroughs, particularly in ecological and evolutionary approaches. While these bodies of knowledge are essential for understanding islands, we propose that a predominance of “scientific” theoretical frameworks for interpreting islands could be complemented by more social understandings of life on islands in the past, with broad implications for islander presents and futures. Island studies in general have moved from using islands as laboratories to research of islands and islanders on their own terms. From the early 2000’s the field of Island studies have been growing vastly, mainly due to multidisciplinary studies of current global issues and phenomena from the perspective of islands and islanders. The studies of past island life and islanders’ maritime relationships can for example contribute in major ways to understanding current sustainability issues and conservation strategies.  This session brings together perspectives from islands around the world to engage with the diversity of social archaeologies that emerge from the perspective of smaller as well as larger landmasses surrounded by rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans. The session also highlights engagement with the water itself as a medium of human experiences in the past as they link to the present.

Selection of previous …

On 16th February, 2021 David Chandler and Jonathan Pugh discussed Anthropocene Islands with the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft Bonn lecture series on 'Ecology and the Metamorphosis of Modern Society' (University of Bonn, 2020-2021) See here

On 15th March, 2021 David Chandler and Jonathan Pugh discussed Anthropocene Islands at a virtual coffee morning, University of Westminster. See here

On 6th September 2021 David Chandler presented ‘Islands and the End of Modernity’ for Philosophy in Our Times, see here

On 22nd September, 2021 Jonathan Pugh was interviewed by Laureline Simon for the online magazine Tero. The interview will be published later in the year.

On 23rd September, 2021 Jonathan Pugh was interviewed by Phil Hayward for the ‘Island Conservations’ Podcast Series of the SICRI (Small Island Cultures Research Initiative) network. The podcast can be found here on the SICRI network website.

On 28th Sept 2021 Jonathan Pugh was interviewed by Erica Angliker (ICS-London) and Lilian Laky (University of Sao Paulo). The interview launched the publication of the volume "Questions of Insularity" in the journal Mare Nostrum. It was also be transmitted though the youtube channel here.

On 1st December, 2021. Jonathan Pugh discussed ‘Anthropocene Islands, Entangled Worlds’. Amor Mundi: Multispecies Seminar Series. Chiang Mai University. A YouTube of the talk and discussion can be found here

On 7th May, 2022 the podcast station ‘A Correction’ did an interview with Jonathan Pugh on islands and the Anthropocene. The podcast can be found here

River Islands: redefining the Anthropocene. Ashoka University, October, 2023. Keynote address: Jonathan Pugh. Negating Islands: Non-Relational Geographies. For discussion see here

October and November, 2023. Series of lectures to MA students at the Jersey International Centre of Advanced Studies (Jonathan Pugh).

December, 2023. Series of lectures to MA students at Trinity, Dublin (Jonathan Pugh).

Taster of the book ‘Anthropocene Islands’ (34 mins)

Longer talk on ‘Anthropocene Islands’ (1 hr 18 mins)