World Weary: Cultures of Exhaustion

This conference examines the relevance of exhaustion for interdisciplinary research in the environmental humanities. We are interested in academic and non-academic responses to the interrelated meanings of exhaustion, and its durative effects on livelihoods and ecosystems. For more information see our website:

The following speakers have been secured. Writer Daisy Hildyard will produce a new piece of written work for the event. The Second Body (2018) investigates how bodies are local and networked within ecosystems, and examines the limits of anthropocentric thinking and experience. The conference will close with a keynote by Claire Colebrook (Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University), whose academic reputation will significantly raise the event’s profile. Colebrook has written extensively on the Anthropocene, extinction, queer theory and visual culture, and is the co-editor of the Critical Climate Change series by the Open Humanities Press. She is completing a book on fragility (of the species, the archive and the earth), making her a perfect fit for the conference theme.

Our core objectives:
Visual study in the environmental humanities: ecocritical study in art history is nascent and rarely combined with literary ecocriticism, we want to foster this research culture within the White Rose.
Accessibility: with our range of speakers we aim to bridge research barriers between academic and non-academic/cultural contexts, developing partnerships where possible.
Collaboration: we are interested in how the event will exist as a cross-disciplinary network for scholars, researchers, artists and writers. Our dialogue with the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity also aims to expand this dialogue on an institutional level in York.


£ 3165

Lead Student

Francesca Curtis, Department of History of Art, University of York

Other student organisers

Gabriella Beckhurst, University of York/University College London; Cecilia Tricker-Walsh, University of Sheffield