The Right Use of The Earth


The Right Use of The Earth

Knowledge, Power and Duties within a Finite Planet



The advent of the Anthropocene concept and Earth system sciences – putting forward upscaled temporalities in the public sphere, the dramatization of warnings on planetary limits and boundaries and on the human impacts of climate change – provide a challenging context for the humanities and social sciences.

In history, the Anthropocene has led to news converging grounds between world history and environmental history. In social and political sciences, it has led to new researches on the socio-historical construction of the global environment, the role of knowledge networks, numbers and images as well as on the power/knowledge deployed to govern the Earth as a system and to govern (through) limits.

In human geography, it has stimulated new works on the politics of scale and the processes of “planetarization”. In the field of legal studies, the Anthropocene theme, as well as planetary boundaries concept, stimulate the reformulation of foundational legal concepts as well as the study of the emergence of new legal process at the crossroads of national and international levels.

Cropping up these developments and at the crossroad of world and connected histories, environmental history, human geography and social, political and legal studies, the conference will examine how ideas of a global, unified and limited earth played a role in human reflexivity, and how the 'right use' of the Earth as a whole has become, and is increasingly becoming, an object of knowledge making and government practices.

The conference will be held in Paris. It is part of the Paris Sciences et Lettres-Environnement Research Program on “Environmental Humanities in the age of Anthropocene”, and is supported by the NYU-PSL Global Alliance.

Please note that Amphi Jaurès and Room 236A are located at 29 rue d'Ulm, while Amphi Dussane and Room Résistants are at 45 rue d'Ulm (see last page for directions).

Please also note that the entry to 45 rue d'Ulm is located at 24 rue Lhomond.




Tuesday 29 May 2018


9:00 : Registration

9:20 : Welcoming speech
Alain Fuchs, president of PSL University (JAURES)

9:30 : Conveners' Introduction


9:45 : Keynote (Jaurès)

Planetary Boundaries : the Science and the Global Policy Implications

Speaker : Katherine Richardson, University of Copenhagen
Chair : Stefan Aykut, University of Hamburg

10:45 : Coffee Break


11:00 : Roundtable (Jaurès)

Planetary boundaries, Thresholds, Budgets as « hard data » for effective global environmental governance ?

Chair : Stefan Aykut, University of Hamburg
Participants : Katherine Richardson, University of Copenhagen
Sabine Höhler, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Oliver Geden, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg and SWP, Berlin
François Gemenne, University of Liège/SciencesPo


12:30 : Lunch


14:00 : Roundtable (Jaurès)

La sûreté de la planète : esquisse d'une communauté de valeurs (en français)

Chair : Mireille Delmas-Marty, Collège de France
Participants : Laurent Neyret, University of Versailles
Cécile Rénouard, ESSEC Paris
Camila Perruso, University of Paris 1/Collège de France
Catherine Le Bris-Hervé, University of Paris 1

16:30 : Coffee Break


17:00 : Keynote (Jaurès)

In Our Hands ? The Legal Organisation of the Anthropocene

Speaker : Jorge E. Viñuales, University of Cambridge
Chair : Luca d'Ambrosio, Collège de France

18:00 : End of the first day


Wednesday 30 May 2018


9:30 : Planetarization of the World, Planetarisation of Law ?

Speakers : Magali Reghezza, ENS and Luca d'Ambrosio, Collège de France
Chair : François Gemenne, University of Liège/SciencesPo

10:45 : Coffee Break

11:00 : Table Ronde (Jaurès)

Le droit, la terre et la Terre (en français)

Chair : Alain Supiot, Collège de France

La terre et la Terre : une question d'échelle et de devoirs
Augustin Berque, EHES

L'optimalité mathématique et le pilotage des hommes à l'aube de la Transition
Giuseppe Longo, ENS

La face inappropriable de la Terre. Une autre façon d'instituer le rapport au sol et aux choses (Kasena, Burkina Faso)
Danouta Liberski-Bagnoud, CNRS

Limiter la braderie des terres d'Afrique centrale ; un enjeu de portée planétaire
Pierre-Etienne Kenfack, University of Yaoundé


11:00 : Session I (Room 236A)

Early Modern Geopower/Geoknowledge

Chair : François Regourd, University of Paris Nanterre

From the « sacred tree » to the « sacred earth » : natural theology, water cycle and climate change 1500-1700
Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, EHESS

The Reformation's Anthropocene : Gender, Global Catastrophe, and Embodied Geologic Agency in Sixteenth-Century Italy
Lidia Barnett, Northwestern University

 « For our land and the whole of Europe » : local and global in early modern debates on climate change
Sara Miglietti, John Hopkins University

Blue Planet : Science, Technology and Law in the Emergence of the global ocean, 16th.19th.century
Lino Camprubi, MPI for the History of Science


13:00 : Lunch


14:30 : Session 2 (Jaurès)

Nature and Law : Lessons from Indigenous Cosmologies

Chair : Catherine Le Bris, CNRS/University of Paris 1

Living Well with the Earth : the Whanganui River Act of 2017
Betsan Martin, Response Alliance and Linda Te Aho, University of Waikato

Is Nature a Person too ? The legal and scalar movement of personhood as a tool for governing the Anthropocene
Ellen Kohl, St. Mary's College of Maryland and Jaime Walenta, University of Texas

The concepts of « Good Living » and « Long Last Development » in the South-American constitutional case-law
Cosimo Gonzalo Sozzo, University of Santa-Fe

Indigenous Property Rights in the Interamerican Court of Human Rights case-law
Delphine Couveinhes-Matsumoto, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

Towards a transgenerational legal matrix : tools and practices
Emilie Gaillard, University of Caen

Rocks, Earth, and Relations : The Anthropocene Between Art and Anthropology
Eugenia Kisin, NYU


16.00 : Session 3 (Résistants)

Governing transnational commons

Chair : Peder Anker, NYU

Silva Mediterranea : A Mediterranean international cooperation
Martine Chalvet, Aix-Marseille University

Nazi « Geopower » : expansion, experts and the right use of the land, 1930-1945
Margot Lyautey, EHESS

Global water and its limitations
Jamie Linton, University of Limoges
Myriam Saadé-Sbeih, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies - Geneva

Collect, save, adapt : biodiversity repositories and archiving in times of ecological catastrophe
Anna-Katharina Laboissière, ENS

18.30 : End of the second day


Thursday 31 May 2018


8:45 : Welcome

9:00 : Plenary session (Jaurès)

How did we come to know we have global environmental problems ? Knowing and governing the Earth in western modernity

Chair : John Tresch, University of Pennsylvania

Speakers :

Improving planet Earth in the 18th century
Fredrik Albritton Jonsson,University of Chicago

Towards a history of geopower : up-scaling « resources » and « mankind », and the right use of the globe around 1900
Christophe Bonneuil, CNRS/EHESS

10:30 : Coffee Break


10:45 : Roundtable (Jaurès)

Staging and debating the limits of the Earth during the cold war

Chair : Marc Elie, EHESS

« Limits to Growth »in Soviet Perspective. Critical Discourses on modernity in the USSR during the 1960s and 1970s
Malte Rolf, University of Bamberg

Grasping the Limits : M. King Hubbert's Concept of Peak Oil
Ronald Doel, Florida State University

Governing the Earth's environmental limits to growth through economization : from the Paley Commission to the RFF,1952-1964
Yannick Mahrane, EHESS

Soviet Policy Sciences and Earth System Governmentality
Egle Rindzeviciute, Kingston University


10:45 : Roundtable (Dussane)

Climate Justice and Climate Change Liability

Chair : Marta Torre-Schaub, CNRS/University of Paris 1

Global climate justice : principles to share the carbon budget
Antonin Pottier, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Is anybody responsible for climate change ?
Catherine Larrère, University of Paris 1

Climate Change and Vulnerabilities
Agnès Michelot, University of La Rochelle

The role of civil society in energy transitions
Clémence Dubois, 350.org


12:30 : Lunch


13:50 : Session I (Jaurès)

Post WW2, great acceleration, and the rise of the « global environment »

Chair : Christophe Bonneuil, EHESS/PSL

Shortage of resources and political model in the GDR
Michel Dupuy, IHMC

How Norway Became an Environmental Pioneer for the World
Peder Anker, NYU

Terraforming Technoscience and Environment in Experimenting with Earth
Sabine Höhler, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

From Space Colonization to Anti-Colonialism : The Life and Death of NASA's First Initiative to Study the Earth as a System
Jeni Barton, University of Toronto


13:45 : Session II (Dussane)

Knowing the Earth (18th-20th century)

Chair : Sara Miglietti, John Hopkins University

Immanent Geology: Organicism and the Principle of Self-Organization in Earth Science
Daniel Andersson, Linköping University

Geomorphology, Empire, and the Earth without History
Etienne Benson, University of Pennsylvania

Mephistopheles on Mauna Loa : the volcano in early modern science and late capitalist geoknowledge
Karen Holmberg, NYU

From Gaia's physiological functioning to the planetary boudaries of the Earth system
Sébastien Dutreuil, CNRS

I5:50 : Coffea break


16:10 : Session 3 (Jaurès)

Governing a finite planet : states, markets or civil society ?

Chair : Stefan Aykut, University of Hamburg

Platform Politics. New Departures for Climate Action ?
Esther Meyer,Gregor Schmieg and Isabell Schrickel, Leuphana University Lüneburg/Arizona State University

Where Action Outpaces Law : Non-state Actors in the Global Response to Climate Change
Adrian Macey, Victoria University of Wellington

Diego Landivar and Emilie Ramillien, Origens Media Lab

Governing the Anthropocene through limits : should we use markets, law or gods ?


16:10 : Session 4 (Dussane)

Pathways to sustainability : what scope for political action ?

Chair : Oliver Geden, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg and SWP, Berlin

Between Prospective, Utopias and Politics, how to think a return to the Terrestrial ?

Environmental security in the Anthropocene : between boundaries and normative pathways
Judith Nora Hardt, University of Hamburg

Soil, carbon and the promises of « negative emission technologies »
Céline Granjou, IRSTEA

The Great Acceleration – a challenge for social-ecological transformations
Christoph Görg, Andi Maier, Melanie Pichler, Christina Plank, Anke Schaffartzik and Fridolin Krausmann, Institute of Social Ecology, University of Klagenfurt

18:00 : Keynote (Jaurès)

Plantationocene : Life in Past and Coming Ruins

Speaker : Anna Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz/Aarhus University

Chair : Christophe Bonneuil, CNRS/EHESS

19:00 : End of the third day


Friday 1 June 2018


9.30 : Keynote (Jaurès)

Anthropocenic Promises : The End of Nature, Climate Change and the Process of Post-Politicization ?

Speaker : Erik Swyngedouw, University of Manchester

Chair : TBC

10.30 : Coffee Break


10:50 : Session I (Jaurès)

Up-scaling and down-scaling the « global »environment

Chair : Erik Swyngedouw, University of Manchester

Up-scaling and down-scaling, top-down and bottom-up : Critiquing the scalar imaginary of community low carbon transitions
Gerald T. Aiken, University of Luxembourg

Scales and Constructions of Rivers. Temporal Approach of the Rhône Riverscapes since WW2
Emeline Comby, Yves-François Le Lay and Hervé Piégay, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté /University of Lyon 3

Transcalar water scarcity : Construction and political use of narratives about a « finite resource » in South Africa, 1912-2017
David Blanchon, University Paris Nanterre

Worlds on a Body Scale. Amazonian Socioclimatic Outreaches
Aníbal G. Arregui, University of Vienna

Governing the local commons through global discourses - A map of the new geopolitics of local sovereignty in the Himalayas
Mauve Létang, University Paris-Sorbonne


10 :50 : Session 2 (Dussane)

Concepts and norms in global environmental discourses

Chair : Frédéric Worms, ENS

Environmental conflicts in a finite world of the Anthropocene
Donatien Costa, University of Paris Nanterre

Beyond limits fetishism : how to make sense of the « planetary boundaries »
Pierre Charbonnier, EHESS

The limits of the planet in political philosophy
Fabrice Flipo, Institut Mines Télécom

The rise of the Anthropocene concept in international arenas
Pierre de Jouvancourt, University of Paris 1

Predation vs production in discourses on the right use of the earth
Baptiste Morizot, Aix-Marseille University


13.00 : Lunch


14.30 : Keynote

Imperial modes of living : global capitalism, North-South relations and the limits of a planetary form of life

Speaker : Ulrich Brand, Universität Wien
Chair : TBC


15:30 : Session 3 (Jaurès)

Life, soils and undergrounds as sites of limits/abundance construction

Chair : Birgit Müller, EHESS

Increase inventory, control downstream flows ; Politicization of the underground and conflictual definition of the limits of Earth
Sébastien Chailleux, Centre Emile DurkheimI


Governing global agriculture through yield gaps : Rise and frictions of a paradigm
Nelly Leblond, University Montpellier 3

The weight of the world : Constituting an expert Leviathan for global biodiversity governance
Jasper Montana, University of Sheffield


15:30 : Session 4 (Dussane)

Situating planetary knowledge, temporalities and visualities

Chair : Bruno Latour, SciencesPo

Where on Earth are we going ? The Great Acceleration and its visual antecedents
Sebastian Grevsmühl, CNRS/EHESS

De-black Boxed the Globe, Mapping the Critical Zone
Alexandra Arènes, Society of Cartographic Objects

A Fraught History of a Finite Planet : Problems and Prospects of « Big History »
James Fleming, Colby College

18.00 : End of the conference



For security reasons, all participants have to register on the conference website/Pour des raisons de sécurité, tous les participants doivent s'enregistrer sur le site de la conférence : https://rightuseofearth.sciencesconf.org/registration/index

Thank you for your cooperation / Merci de votre coopération

Organisé sous la direction scientifique de Christophe Bonneuil, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, PSL, Luca d'Ambrosio, Collège de France, PSL, Magali Reghezza, ENS, PSL, Stefan C. Aykut, Hamburg University et Peder Anker, NYU

École Normale Supérieure
45 Rue d'Ulm
75005 Paris