We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

Research lectures, seminars and events

The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but  wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.


Professor Chia-Ju Chang - Life Outside the Dome: The Possibility of Aerophilia in the Anthropocene

8th October 2020, 16:00, Zoom, Professor Chia-Ju Chang (Brooklyn College)

All talks are free and open to the public.

The zoom link will be sent out via the mailing list of the Centre for Culture and Ecology (normally on Tuesdays before the event). You can be added to the list by emailing If you want to join for just this talk, you can email or

This talk will be chaired by Dr William Schaefer.


This talk zooms in on the phenomenon of blaming and stigmatizing cultural (e.g. Chinese and Asians) and nonhuman (e.g. animals and microbes) others for the outbreak of disease. Since the idea of scapegoating lies at the center of my examination of Covid-pathology, I turn to Girard’s idea of scapegoat theory to help understand the underworking of this psychosocial mechanism. Girard’s scapegoat mechanism theory help demystifies the way in which humans cope with a crisis, here the pandemic. In the aftermath of demystification, however, we have yet to come to terms with the very modernist, rationalistic nature of demystification mechanism in a more-than-human eco-cosmopolitan world. Here one might ask: how do we imagine hope in the post-Covid era and the era of climate change beyond the Girardian demystification project without regressing back to Enlightenment thinking characterized by rationalist epistemology?

About Professor Chia-Ju Chang

Prof Chang has taught at several universities, including the University of Florida at Gainesville; Trinity University, Texas; and Washington and Lee University, Virginia. Her first book in Chinese, The Global Imagination of the Ecological Communities: Western and Chinese Ecocritical Praxis (Jiangsu University Press, 2013), won the 2013 Bureau of Jiangsu Province Journalism and Publication Book Award (Social Science division). She is also a co-editor of an anthology, Ecocriticism in Taiwan: Identity, Environment, and the Arts (w/ Scott Slovic, Lexington, 2016).

Contact for more information about this event.

Download this event in iCalendar format