Schering Stiftung


Photo: Pixabay

Lecture evening with Hannah Landecker

Anthropocene in the Cell: Interiority After the Industrialization of Metabolism

Photo: Pixabay

Lecture evening with Hannah Landecker

Anthropocene in the Cell: Interiority After the Industrialization of Metabolism


September 16, 2021, 6–8 p.m.


Schering Stiftung
Unter den Linden 32-34
10117 Berlin

Lecture in English.

Please register for the event via the form below.

Please note: Admission can only be granted with proof of full Corona vaccination, recovery or a negative test result.

Much scientific and technological effort was applied in the twentieth century to understanding metabolism, a conceptual domain that encompassed the use of food for energy and building blocks, the processing of oxygen in the service of organismal respiration, and the containment and excretion of biologically hazardous toxicants that reached cells. Metabolism was also a target of engineering and improvement, producing nutrients and chemicals at new scales across many kinds of microbes, plants, and animals. Today we occupy a biochemical landscape that is the legacy of this era: we arrive in the course of this story in a time when Nature is no longer something outside of reason, ready to be assessed by and subjugated to it.  Rather, the aftermath of previous forms of scientific and technical reason are written into our cells, with perhaps unexpected effects on the ability to say that bodies live “in” environments, and posing the question of whether we have an adequate vocabulary for insides and outsides in a time of anthropogenic biology.

This talk draws on ethnographic and historical work in the biosciences, using examples such as the “leaky gut” and dysbiologies linked to shift work to think through what is happening to the various membranes, compartments, boundaries, sequences, and other arrangements of space and time that characterize metabolic processes, after industrialization.  Working through these examples helps map out a larger picture of the ways in which material relations between social and biological organization are shifting in the Anthropocene.

The lecture will be held in English. Following Hannah Landecker’s lecture, there will be a conversation between her and artist Susanne M. Winterling.

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Susanne M. Winterling: TEMPERATE – 

Exhibition — May 20 – September 19, 2021

A fluorescent bacterium is the protagonist of Susanne M. Winterling’s installation “TEMPERATE.” Visitors meet the glowing bacterium in an exhibition room heated to body temperature.

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The speakers 

Hannah Landecker is a historian and sociologist of the life sciences, currently in residence as a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin for the 2021-2022 academic year. She holds a joint appointment in the life and social sciences at the University of California Los Angeles, where she is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, and the Institute for Society and Genetics, an interdisciplinary unit at UCLA committed to cultivating research and pedagogy at the interface of the life and human sciences. Originally trained in cell and developmental biology at the University of British Columbia, Landecker went on to do a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at MIT, and has researched and taught across many disciplines.  Landecker is the author of Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies (Harvard UP, 2007), and has published widely on biotechnology and the intersection of biology and film. Her more recent work concerns the rise of antibiotic resistance, and the history and sociology of metabolism and epigenetics.



Susanne Winterling works across a range of media to explore the sentient economy, cultures and transformations of elements and materialisations. With an emphasis on enhancing our perceptual and critical consciousness, Winterling undertakes affective and material-based research that highlights interaction between materials, elements and species. Susanne Winterling lives in Berlin.



The lecture evening is a cooperation with Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and part of Berlin Art Week 2021.

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin


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Schering Stiftung

Unter den Linden 32-34
10117 Berlin

Telefon: +49 - 30 - 20 62 29 65

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