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April 9th: Bruce Clarke, "Adventures in the Systems Counterculture: From the Whole Earth Network to Autopoietic Gaia"

Apr 09, 2018
from 04:00 PM to 06:00 PM

STS Conference Room (SSH Building 1246)

"Adventures in the Systems Counterculture: From the Whole Earth Network to Autopoietic Gaia"

This talk will address the emergence and development of the systems counterculture in the milieu of the Whole Earth network, exploring the parallel unfoldings of both second-order or neocybernetic systems theory and the Gaia concept. Considering the larger context of the Whole Earth network, the emerging bifurcation between first- and second-order cybernetics can be tracked in the Whole Earth Catalogue of the 1970s, followed in the 1980’s with the eventual eclipse of Co-Evolution Quarterly’s bio-ecological orientation by the discourse of cyberculture. This talk aims to bring back into contemporary currency the accomplishments of “organic cybernetics” and the co-evolutionary imperative that coalesced in the decade of the 1970s.


Bruce Clarke is Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Literature and Science in the Department of English at Texas Tech University. His research focuses on 19th- and 20th-century literature and science, with special interests in systems theory, narrative theory, evolution, and ecology. He is the author of Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics (University of Michigan Press, 2001), Posthuman Metamorphosis: Narrative and Systems (Fordham University Press, 2008), and Neocybernetics and Narrative (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), among many other publications. He edits the book series Meaning Systems, published by Fordham University Press.