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Emanuele Coccia: "Loving the Planet: How to Turn Ecology into Planetary Erotics"

General Programming, Climate Series

dateSeptember 28, 2022 timeWednesday, 4:00pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University locationVirtual Event
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Institute for the Study of Sexuality and Gender
  • Office of the Divisional Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
  • Maison Française
  • Department of English and Comparative Literature
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Headshot of Emanuele Coccia with title of event

Contemporary ecological discourse and science oscillate between the affirmation of a love that would occur spontaneously among living beings and the prescription of a compulsory love accompanied by a spirit of repentance. By its own confession, the problem of ecology is an erotic problem: we fail to love the planet. We have not been educated or accustomed to thinking of love as something that can affect individuals belonging to different species or kingdoms: and as we see in fairy tales, we are ready to love a frog only if it turns into a prince. This talk will ask what it means to think about nature as if the relationships that bind species are (as complicated as) love relationships and if we can understand what love is, in its original and paradigmatic form as that which always binds us to individuals of other species.

Emanuele Coccia, Associate Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, is the author of numerous books, among them: Metamorphoses (2021), Life of Plants: A Metaphysics of Mixture (2018), Sensible Life: A Micro-Ontology of the Image (2016), The Philosophy of the House: Domestic Space and Happiness (2021 in French and Italian, not yet in English), The Good in Things: Advertising as Moral Discourse (2014, in Italian). He writes on the environment, fashion, metaphyics, medieval philosophy, advertising, plant life: in short, on the way we live in our world, in the most expansive sense of the term.