Living with Bushfire Seminar Series: Summertime

Image by Daria Nipot, via Shutterstock ID: 1616176540
Wednesday 17 February 2021
3.00 - 4.00pm

This event has passed


Online (Zoom)


School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry

Professor Danielle Celermajer reads from her new book Summertime and reflects on how we situate ourselves within a climate changing world.

Summertime: Reflections on a Vanishing Future – A reading and discussion

In the midst of the black summer fires, Danielle Celermajer began to write about the cataclysm that was unfolding for the multispecies community in which she lived. These seeds of writing became Summertime (Penguin, 2021), a book of creative non-fiction – a genre that departed from Celermajer’s scholarly writing on multispecies justice.  In this talk, she will reflect on some of the challenges of ‘representing’ a climate changing world in ways that do not locate it as an object of analysis, but as the living midst that is our shared home. How can writing bring us close into what it feels like and means not only for humans but the beings with whom we live, to experience the violent unravelling of worlds? In this talk, she will read from Summertime to illustrate how she tried to meet these representational and ethical challenges, not to provide answers, but as a point of departure for conversations we need to have amongst ourselves as scholars living in and deeply concerned about a climate changing world.


Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney, and Deputy Director – Academic of the Sydney Environment Institute. Her books include Sins of the Nation and the Ritual of Apology (Cambridge University Press 2009), A Cultural Theory of Law in the Modern Age(Bloomsbury, 2018), and The Prevention of Torture: An Ecological Approach (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Dany is Director of the Multispecies Justice Project and along with her multispecies community, she has recently lived through the NSW fires, writing in the face of their experience of the “killing of everything”, which she calls “omnicide”. Dany is the Research Lead on Concepts and Practices of Multispecies Justice.

Ruth Barcan (Chair) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies. Ruth’s teaching and research focus on embodiment and the senses in everyday life, with a particular interest in everyday practices of sustainability. Ruth is the author of Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices (Ashgate, 2013), Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses (Berg, 2011), Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (Berg, 2004), and the co-editor of Imagining Australian Space: Cultural Studies and Spatial Inquiry (UWA Press, 1999) and Planet Diana: Cultural Studies and Global Mourning (Research Centre in Intercommunal Studies, UWS Nepean, 1997).

About the series

The Living with Bushfire: Emerging Research Seminar Series brings together researchers from around the University of Sydney and beyond to explore diverse approaches to the topic of bushfire from the humanities and social sciences. The series seeks to offer an informal space to share emerging research with interested colleagues in order to gain feedback and to inform collaborative conversations.

This series is being co-ordinated by Associate Professor Ruth Barcan and Associate Professor Thom van Dooren.

If you would like to attend, please contact SEI Events Coordinator Genevieve Wright (genevieve.wright@sydney.edu.au) to confirm availability by Monday 15 February 2021.