The New Orleans Anthropocene Field Campus aims to produce deep understanding of New Orleans and the Mississippi River as sites of the Anthropocene, while building tactics and a collaborative community for engaging the Anthropocene at different scales and sites around the world. Work during the Field Campus will contribute to a digital research space (and exhibition) that can continue to grow, supporting sustained collaboration among geographically dispersed Anthropocene researchers and activists.  

About the Quotitidan Anthropocene Project

The Quotidian Anthropocene project explores how the Anthropocene is playing out on the ground in different settings. The aim is to create both...Read more

Quotidian Anthropocenes, Shared Questions

The Open Seminar will direct collaborative attention to the many scales and types of systems that interlace and synergize to produce anthropocenics on the ground in particular locales and vernanculars. These questions will guide our engagements.


About the project

September 1 – 6, 2019

Led by Kim Fortun (University of California Irvine) + Scott Gabriel Knowles (Drexel University)

The New Orleans Anthropocene Field Campus will develop tactics for interdisciplinary engagement with the Anthropocene at the local level.  The Campus is part of the Mississippi: An Anthropocene River project organized by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (HKW) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (MPIWG).  The Campus is also part of the ongoing Quotidian Anthropocene Project, which runs Field Campuses in different locations globally, a multimedia archive, and an online Open Seminar. 

Learn more about the Quotidian Anthropocene project (including videos about the project) on its digital platform. Also see the archive for the St. Louis Field Campus in March 2019. 

The New Orleans Field Campus will run before and within the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).  The Field Campus will start on Sunday evening, September 1 with an informal meet-up.  On Monday and Tuesday, we will visit various field sites, interlaced with time for collaborative analysis.  On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, there will be Field Campus activities within the 4S conference. 

Throughout the Field Campus, we will use the concept of the Anthropocene to catalyze meaningful exchange not only among scholars but also with non-academic practitioners, activists, and artists.  Participants will work closely with community partners and local experts who are striving to expose processes of environmental change and injustice within the Greater New Orleans Region. 

A major goal of the New Orleans Anthropocene Field Campus is to investigate the history of labor in New Orleans in within the context of the Anthropocene: How was the environmental violence wrought on the land and riverscapes of the region by plantation agriculture and the petrochemical industry also registered in the bodies of slaves and workers? How do we record, measure, and archive these effects?  And what can we learn from this history to contribute to broader strategies for recovery and healing, surviving and growing in the Anthropocene? 

We will strive to place ourselves meaningfully and helpfully into local discussions concerning histories of environmental change as well as possible futures.  Organizers will create venues for discussion that might not be possible otherwise, serving as a corps of researchers willing to work towards useful outcomes while training people in archiving, public data collecting and analysis, and ethnography. The field campus will focus on New Orleans, but participants will gain skills relevant to deploying similar field school tactics in other locations. The Anthropocene is global, but we discover it locally and everyday.

The field campus will culminate with an exhibit of works in progress at 4S 2019 New Orleans, with an opportunity to further develop works using the Mississippi Anthropocene River Open Seminar as a platform. The New Orleans Field Campus, St. Louis Field Campus, and the Mississippi River School Open Seminar are part of the larger Mississippi: An Anthropocene Riverproject, which brings together people actively responding to the massive social, cultural, and environmental changes associated with the Anthropocene in the Mississippi River region. organized by local groups collaborating with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Germany’s national center for contemporary arts.


Applications for the Field Campus are closed.

Approximately five hours of work is expected both in the lead-up to and after our New Orleans meetings. If you have any questions about the field campus program, contact Jason Ludwig ( For questions regarding the digital workspace, contact Tim Schütz (



Participants join the River School’s online research platform and begin sharing found documents – maps, environmental and social data, and photographs – about the New Orleans region as a way to jump-start collaborative work and engagement with New Orleans. All participants must be active participants in online activities in order to prepare for the Field Campus.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 7PM: Welcome Meet-Up

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2: Slavery and the Anthropocene

The field school will start by considering the connections between the history of slavery and of plantation economies in the South with the concept of the Anthropocene. The day’s activities will include a trip to a plantation museum focused on the history of slavery. 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3: Petrochemical Labor

This day is dedicated to working with local environmental justice organizations whose activism centers environmental health and air pollution caused by the petrochemical industry


Participants will attend two panels and a networking lunch meet-up at the Society for Social Studies of Science’s annual meeting, which are focused on the Quotidian Anthropocene Project:

9:45-11:15am: Journalism, STS, and the Anthropocene

11:30-1:00pm: Disaster STS Meet-up Lunch

1:00-2:30:  Quotidian Anthropocenes Afternoon: Open Seminar Seession at 4S

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5: 4S Making & Doing Exhibit 

1:15-5:30pm 4S Meeting: Making and Doing Session “Narrating Anthropocenes”

 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 : The  QA Project in Comparative Perspective

1:2:30: Making and Doing Roundtable 

Reading Materials