What is self-cultivation? A new publication from the EnAct-project

The contemporary context of the Anthropocene presents novel challenges for our understanding of self-cultivation. Although self-cultivation is one of the longue durées of western civilization, or probably because it is so, most of the concepts we use in making sense of the phenomenon emerged in socio-historical contexts quite different from ours. What are the changes needed to the concept(s) of self-cultivation in the Anthropocene?

EnAct-project researchers Jan Varpanen, Antti Saari, Johanna Kallio and Katri Jurvakainen took up this question in a paper published recently: The Uncanny Challenge of Self-Cultivation in the Anthropocene. Drawing on work done under the label of dark ecology and psychoanalysis among others, they conceptualize the Zeitgeist of the Anthropocene with the concept of ’uncanny’. As the original German word (unheimliche) suggests, uncanny means that something very familiar (homely, heimlich) is imbued with something foreign (un-homely, unheimlich). Varpanen et al. take the strangeness induced by the intertwinement of the familiar and the foreign to be a characteristic feature of the Anthropocene.

Uncanny is used in the paper as a lens through which extant conceptualizations of self-cultivation are reviewed. As such, the paper provides some directions as to what are the key elements in conceptualizing self-cultivation for our times. More concretely, it points to the strengths and weaknesses of various existing conceptulizations (of self-cultivation) for tackling the wicked problems of these strange times.

A Lecture and a Seminar on Denialism

Tomaž Grušovnik will be giving an open lecture and two-day seminar about denialism and willful ignorance in May

Associate professor and senior researcher Tomaž Grušovnik, PhD, from University of Primorska is coming to visit Tampere University in May. His areas of research include animal ethics, agnotology, and philosophy of education.  During this visit, he will give an open lecture on the subject of  Avoiding Knowledge and Moral Responsibility: Denialism and Willful Ignorance in Environmental and Animal Ethics. Lecture will be held at Tampere university, but you can also participate via Zoom.

Tomaž Grušovnik will also be giving a two-day seminar Willful Ignorance on Wednesday May 18th and Thursday May 19th at 9.00–11.00 am. Seminar is open for doctoral researchers, master’s level students and academic staff.

more information about the events can be found here: Upcoming lecture & seminar – EnAct – Researching Environmental Activism and Self-Cultivation (enactresearchproject.com)

Teacher agency and futures thinking

POISED-researcher Jan Varpanen was the lead author in a recently published paper by the name Teacher Agency and Futures Thinking. The paper details the opportunities offered for research on teachers’ agency by concepts drawn from the field of futures studies. The open access article can be found here.

The paper is an example of collaboration between POISED and other Finnish universities. Of the other authors in the paper, Antti Laherto and Jaakko Hilppö work at the University of Helsinki University while Tuulikki Ukkonen-Mikkola works at the University of Jyväskylä. The paper was drawn up in the Finnish research and development project ”Innoplay” (2018-2022), funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The project centered around developing the conceptual and practical tools early childhood education and primary school teachers need for engaging with technology as a novel aspect of the national curriculum.

The focus of the paper itself, however, is broader in that the paper contributes to recent debates as to how teachers make a difference in confronting educational reforms. A novel approach is introduced to this discussion with the help of concepts drawn from the field of futures studies. With the help of short future essays written by the teachers who took part in the Innoplay-project, the authors illustrate how work explicitly engaging with the teachers’ images of the future opens up opportunities for reflection regarding the societal role of education and the teacher profession.

Veli-Matti Värri ja Katri Jurvakainen vastuullisuusseminaarissa

Haaga-Heliassa järjestetty Vastuullisuusseminaari kokosi joukon tutkijoita, opettajia ja muita kiinnostuneita Pasilan auditorioon perjantaina 11.3.2022.

Seminaarissa lähestyttiin kestävyyden ja kestävän kehityksen käsitteitä useista erilaisista näkökulmista. Puheenvuorojen punaisena lankana kulki teema Kohti kestävää tulevaisuutta Georg Henrik von Wrightin jäljillä.

Seminaari järjestettiin osana OKM:n rahoittamaa Kesto-hanketta.

Katri Jurvakaisen ja Samu Kuopan ihmisyyden kriisiä käsittelevä essee Vita nuovassa

POISED-tutkija Katri Jurvakainen ja verkkomedia Vita nuovan päätoimittaja Samu Kuoppa esittävät Vita nuovassa julkaistussa esseessään ekokriisin olevan oire laajemmasta ihmisyyden kriisistä. Essee popularisoi uusliberaalin yhteiskunnan kontekstissa tapahtuvaa kasvatusta käsittelevää tutkimusta, ja sen lähdemateriaalina toimivat muun muassa useiden POISED-tutkijoiden julkaisut.

Vita nuova on (post)-milleaniaalien kumouksellinen verkkomedia, joka julkaisee monipuolisesti erilaisia asiaproosallisia tekstilajeja, kuten kolumneja, artikkeleja, reportaaseja ja esseitä. Vastaiskuna nykymedian nopean sisällön trendille Vita nuova julkaisee myös paljon pitkiä kirjoituksia. Vita nuova pyrkii tuomaan esiin tuoreita näkökulmia keskittyen aikamme yhteiskunnallisiin, poliittisiin ja kulttuurisiin ilmiöihin.

Lue Jurvakaisen ja Kuopan teksti allaolevasta linkistä.