인류세 연구와 한국 환경사회학 : 새로운 질문들

인류세 연구와 한국 환경사회학 : 새로운 질문들
Environmental Sociology in the Anthropocene : New Questions

저자: 최명애, 박범순 (Myung Ae Choi & Buhm Soon Park)

최근 한국 사회에서 ‘인류세’라는 개념이 눈에 띄게 퍼져가고 있다. 인류세는 인류의 활동이 지구 환경 변화의 결정적 요인이 되었음을 가리키기 위해 제안된 새로운 지질학 시대의 이름이다. 2000년대 초반 지구 시스템 과학자들과 지질학자들이 제기한 이 개념은 정치학, 정책학, 인류학, 지리학 등 사회과학의 제 분야로 빠르게 확산되고 있다. 이 논문은 국내 환경사회학에서 본격적인 인류세 연구를 위해 해외 연구 동향을 소개하고, 국내 연구가 개입할 수 있는 지점들을 짚어 보고자 한다. 필자들은 먼저 지질학 논의를 중심으로 인류 세 개념의 등장을 소개하고, 사회과학의 주요 인류세 연구 경향(실증주의적접근, 정치경제적 접근, 신유물론적 접근)을 소개한다. 이어 ‘파국’과 ‘단절’ 논의를 통해 인류세 연구가 기존 환경사회학의 자연-사회 연구를 혁신할 수 있는 잠재성을 찾아본다. 마지막으로, 향후 인류세 연구가 확장될 수 있는 네 가지 연구 분야를 살펴본다. 필자들은 인류세가 근대의 체제, 가치, 사유를 반성하는 계기로 삼고, 확연히 구분되는 사유 체계를 발전시키고자 하는 인식론적 논의임에 주목한다. 특히 인류세 논의의 실험적이고 미래지향적인 탐색에서 기존 환경 연구와 환경 정치를 새롭게 발전시킬 가능성을 찾아본다.

개제: 환경사회학연구 ECO 23 (2), 2019.12.
논문 링크: http://www.dbpia.co.kr/journal/articleDetail?nodeId=NODE09288046#

Social Theory in the Anthropocene 1. Catastrophe and Patiency

Journal article by Hong-Jung Kim (2019)

“인류세의 사회이론 1: 파국과 페이션시 (Social Theory in the Anthropocene 1. Catastrophe and Patiency)”


First proposed by Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer in 2000, the concept of the Anthropocene has had staggering repercussions in a variety of disciplines. In response to the Anthropocene narrative as a problematization of the eco-ontological urgency that humanity is confronted within the 21st-century, I will deal with the following theoretical themes in this article. Firstly, I will analyze the central agendas underlying the Anthropocene discourse: the expansion of human agency into the planetary level and the possibility of unprecedented catastrophes in the near future. Secondly, I will propose to address the Anthropocene discourse as problem assemblage. Thirdly, I will examine Clive Himilton and Dipesh Chakrabarty’s theses in order to understand the shock that was brought to bear on the humanities and social sciences by the Anthropocene narrative. Fourthly, I will reinterpret the allegory of the angel appearing in Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History to explore new possibilities of transformative becoming of the subjectivity, focusing on the concept of patiency. Finally, I will present the concept of reflexive catastrophism.

Assemblage, Benjamin, Angel of History, Catastrophism, Agency, Patiency, Agentializing Patiency

Published in the Korea Association of Science and Technology Studies (KASTS)

Full article link (article in Korean):

Documenting Nature of the DMZ through Digital Twin and a Citizen Science Platform

Documenting Nature of the DMZ through Digital Twin and a Citizen Science Platform

CAS featured stories 2

Documenting Nature of the DMZ through Digital Twin and a Citizen Science Platform

Myung Ae Choi

The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is often regarded as “the treasury of ecology”. This 248-km long ribbon of territory is left “untouched” since the armistice agreement in 1953 due to the prolonged Cold War politics in the Korean peninsula. However, other stories also emerge, arguing that the DMZ is not untouched but actually intervened with a range of human and nonhuman activities for military and other purposes. Although most of the human settlements were removed, other humans such as soldiers have made regular presence in and around the DMZ. Cranes fly across the Military Demarcation Line between the North and South border, while wild boars come down below the Southern Limit Line foraging food. These stories challenge the prevalent idea of the DMZ as an ecological paradise, and instead suggest an alternative narrative of the DMZ as a hybrid Nature emerging from the intertwined performance of humans, animals, and objects.

However, very little is known about who the human and nonhuman actors are, and how they interact with one another within and around the DMZ. Existing studies on the ecologies of the DMZ provide an overview of DMZ’s biodiversity, largely focussing on endangered species (유소영 & 서재철, 2008; 국립생태원, 2016; 문만용, 2019). Still, few examinations have explored the ecological landscape of the DMZ at a local and ethnographic level, which might prevent us from developing rich and nuanced understandings of the multispecies entanglement in the DMZ.

(C) DMZ Museum (photo by Yongjin Kim)

This research project aims to document nonhuman species, including but not limited to endangered species, in selected sites around the DMZ. It differs from the existing ecological surveys in three ways. First, it focuses on ecological data produced at the local level, rather than another overview of the DMZ in general. Second, the scope of nonhuman species is more inclusive than the conventional surveys, as feral animals and invasive species are also included in addition to endangered species. Third, a participatory research method is used to involve local residents in the process of environmental knowledge production.

The research team is currently developing a citizen science platform for local residents to participate in environmental monitoring in their own neighbourhood. Prof Woontack Woo, Augmented Reality Research Centre at KAIST, is keen to design and implement an open data platform where local residents can identify the selected nonhuman species, and document and share their findings by using a Digital Twin. Prof. Buhm Soon Park, a historian at Center for Anthropocene Studies (CAS) and Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy, explores the affirmative potential of participatory research platforms for “information environmentalism”(Fortun 2004), through which local residents and researchers can enhance their knowledge and sensibility toward the environment. While sharing the enthusiasm for citizen science, Dr. Myung Ae Choi, an environmental geographer at CAS, is particularly interested in the geographies and modes of encounters, through which local residents interact with feral and invasive species, let alone endangered species. Through an interdisciplinary investigation of the ecologies of the DMZ, the research team attempts to develop an alternative theorisation of the DMZ as an “Anthropocene Nature”.

유소영, 서재철 (2008), DMZ 155 마일을 걷다 – 2008 비무장지대 일원 환경실태보고서, 녹색연합: 서울
국립생태원 (2016), DMZ 일원의 생물다양성 종합보고서, 환경부 & 국립생태원: 충남 서천
문만용 (2019), 비무장지대 생태조사의 의의와 전망, 대동문화연구 106, 35 – 64쪽
Fortun, Kim. (2004) “From Bhopal to the Informating of Environmentalism: Risk Communication in Historical Perspective.” Osiris, vol. 19, pp.283–296.