Organised by John Palmesino & Ann-Sofi Rönnskog (Territorial Agency); Davor Vidas (Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Oslo) and Alain Pottage (London School of Economics)

Session 7: Is law from the Holocene?

Series: Open Seminar - Plan the Planet
Date: Monday 25 November 2019
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 121 mins
Law is inscribed on the earth as an horizon: the intersection between lines of sight and the surface of the planet. The horizon both fixes a location and establishes a backdrop. It marks a position and an escape. Today, seas are ploughed and hard-gridded, deltas are consolidated and restructured, skies articulated and relayed. The Anthropocene is inverting agencies across the globe: from figures to ground. Lands are destabilised, and subsiding, the seas are made solid, carved up and divided, deltas are channeled and tempests man-made. The tangential condition of the horizon is opened up. No lands, oceans and skies to appropriate and subdivide. The Earth is no longer inert, it is moved, and it moves us.

Davor Vidas is Research Professor in International Law and Director of the Law of the Sea Programme at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway, and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester, UK. He is a member of the Anthropocene Working Group and Chair of the Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise at the International Law Association. During the course of the past 25 years, he served as Principal Investigator for several major research projects on international law and interdisciplinary approaches to ocean issues. Professor Vidas is the author or editor of ten books on international law, and also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal monograph series Brill Research Perspectives on the Law of the Sea and of a popular-science book series Anthropocene.

Alain Pottage holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh and the London School of Economics. Before joining the Law Department of the LSE, he was a researcher at the Law Commission and a lecturer in the School of Law at King's College London. He has been a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris, the University of Sydney, and Cornell Law School. Alain Pottage’s current research projects focus on three areas. Together with Mario Biagioli, he is writing a critical historical study of the foundations of modern intellectual property discourses. He is preparing a monograph on the historical sociology of brands and trade marks, with particular reference to the medial and material agency of contemporary brands. The third research project is on the implications of the Anthropocene hypothesis for law, first part published as ‘Our Geological Contemporary’.  

Selected readings:
Our Geological Contemporary by Alain Pottage in Searching for Contemporary Legal Thought edited by Justin Desautels-Stein, Christoper Tomlins 
The World Ocean in Globalisation by Davor Vidas and Peter Johan Schei
The Life of Plants, A Metaphysics of the Mix by Emanuele Coccia
The Sensitive Life: A Micro-ontology of the Image by Emanuele Coccia

All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.