Glenn Albrecht retired as professor of sustainability at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia in June 2014. He is now an Honorary Fellow in the School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney. He was at the University of Newcastle as Associate Professor of Environmental Studies until December 2008. He is an environmental philosopher with both theoretical and applied interests in the relationship between ecosystem and human health, broadly defined.
He has pioneered the research domain of ‘psychoterratic’ or earth related mental health and emotional conditions with his concept of ‘solastalgia’ or the lived experience of negative environmental change. Solastalgia has become accepted worldwide as a key concept in understanding the impact of environmental change in academic, creative arts, social impact assessment and legal contexts.
Glenn Albrecht’s work is now being used extensively in course readings, new research theses and academic research in many disciplines including geography, philosophy, literary and environmental studies. His work is also being published in languages other than English. He has publications in the field of animal ethics and has published on the ethics of relocating endangered species in the face of climate change pressures and the ethics of the thoroughbred horse industry worldwide With colleagues, Nick Higginbotham (University of Newcastle) and Linda Connor (Sydney University) under Australian Research Council Discovery Project grants, he has researched the psycho-cultural impact of mining in the Upper Hunter Region of NSW, Australia and the impact of climate change on communities, again in the Hunter Region. He has researched the social impact of gas fracking and coal mining on people and communities in the Gloucester region of NSW.
Glenn Albrecht is also a pioneer of transdisciplinary thinking and, with Higginbotham and Connor, produced a major book on this topic, Health Social Science: A Transdisciplinary and Complexity Perspective with Oxford University Press in 2001. His current major transdisciplinary research interest, the positive and negative psychological, emotional and cultural relationships people have to place and its transformation is one that sees him having a national and international research profile in an emergent field of academic inquiry where he has been recognised as a global pioneer. International citations to his academic productions are increasing annually and references to his psychoterratic concepts (particularly solastalgia) in global climate discussion, philosophy, art, music and culture are now too extensive to fully document.
New concepts such as his idea of ‘The Symbiocene’ are also attracting international interest. Glenn now works as a ‘farmosopher’ on Wallaby Farm in the Hunter Region of NSW. He continues to research and publish in his chosen fields. He has completed a scholarly book, ‘Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World’, published by Cornell University Press, to be released in May 2019.
Blog: Psychoterratica: https://glennaalbrecht.com/
Book: ‘Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World’, will be published by Cornell University Press in May 2019.
WORKSHOP: The Symbiocene: A Vision for the Future
Dr Glenn A. Albrecht PhD
The Anthropocene, or period of human dominance over nature must give way to the Symbiocene or period of human re-integration with nature. Australia produced a radical thinker who published the following thought in 1946, “The courageous decision to build civilization into a symbiosis with a revitalised world, possessing stable, healthy soil, clear streams, unburnt forests and dust-free air, with people working on the land, close to reality, would bring new balance and new life.”
That thinker was Elyne Mitchell, famous as the author of the Silver Brumby series of horse books for children, less so for her prescient book, ‘Soil and Civilisation’ (1946). I propose a number of Symbiocene principles, based on symbiotic science, that will bring Mitchell’s vision into reality, all of them consistent with Australia Remade and especially part 2, a natural world for now and the future. I also outline the kind of emotional literacy that humans need to love nature and life. We must move away from the age of solastalgia and into the age of ‘eutierria’ or good Earth feelings.