Environmental humanities: a challenge for social sciences

Environmental humanities: a challenge for social sciences

Conference led by Grégory Quenet, University Professor

"Is this the end of sustainable development?" From an environmental humanities perspective, Grégory Quenet examines the links between man and nature, and society and the environment. This discipline first took shape in the early 1960s when, with the ‘environmental crisis’ becoming a social, cultural and political issue, philosophy and history began to question Man’s place in the environment. The acceleration of changes to the environment and the climate in recent decades calls for a radical restructuring of social sciences and the humanities.

This restructuring, however, does not mean getting rid of all that has been previously achieved. On the contrary, it should be a type of renaissance leading to the ability to inhabit our world in a different manner by re-interpreting our cultural forms as a means to re-connect with nature. Via a series of original analyses, Grégory Quenet shows how that, which appears to be most distant from nature – heritage, culture, cities, the Palace of Versailles, the Grand Canal under the Chinese Emperors – is, rather, intimately connected to it. By examining the Anthropocene Era, Grégory Quenet issues a plea for new forms of co-existence between humans and non-humans that are attentive to the diversity of living being and cultures.

For a joint conference with the sustainable development expert Emmanuel Delannoy, Grégory Quenet will present some highly unusual nature-filled spaces. Accessible to both the general public and those with experience in the field, the different conferences offer a rewarding intellectual exercise to all those present.


Basing his research on a systemic vision and an interdisciplinary approach combining philosophy, economy and ecology, Emmanuel Delannoy advocates for a new ethics of the relations between human and non-human living creatures and proposes new micro- and macro-economic models which take into account the physical limits of the biosphere. He also offers concrete measures to adapt managerial practices within companies and territorial organizations. From theory to practice, he bets on permaeconomy, biomimetism, collective intelligence and ecological solidarity.

Grégory Quenet is a university professor specialising in environmental history, and the creator of a French-language website for the environmental humanities. He is the author of Versailles, a natural history – a book examining the natural history of the Palace of Versailles from the time of its construction through to the French Revolution. The book highlights the difficult relationship between the demands of the royal construction and the palace’s natural setting.



By Grégory Quenet and Emmanuel Delannoy

12.10.2016 18:00 - 12.10.2016 19:30


Institut français of Beijing

Guangcai International Mansion, 18 Gongti Xilu

Chaoyang district, Beijing, Beijing


Phone : 010-6553 2627


11.10.2016 - 11.10.2016


Broad City
Changshaxian district, Changsha, Hunan



09.10.2016 14:00


Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

7, 622 Nong, Huaihai Zhonglu

Luwan district, Shanghai, Shanghai


Phone : 021-53060606


10.10.2016 10:00


College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University

2, 1147 Nong, Siping Lu

Yangpu district, Shanghai, Shanghai







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Cinema Program of the Institut français in Beijing



Cinema Program of the Institut français in Beijing



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