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Reference : UMR1563-JEATHI-002
Workplace : GRENOBLE
Date of publication : Monday, November 09, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Rachel Thomas
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 January 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
The development of the field of ambiances over the last thirty years has largely contributed to making explicit the role of sensitive environments, perceptual modalities and affective tones in the construction of social life and inhabited worlds. Based on a posture of a phenomenological or more deliberately pragmatist nature, this work, by describing forms of experience in situation, reveals how ambiances affect and permeate the forms of social life. But few of them so far explicitly ask the question of the socio-ecological issues linked to the current changes in our living environments. What about the reconfiguration of our ways of being, of perceiving and of feeling in the era of the Anthropocene? How to account for ecological transformations in the light of sensitive experiences, by focusing in particular on daily gestures, usual practices and ordinary modes of attention? In other words, in what way and how does the ambiances approach allow us to understand the transformation of contemporary sensibilities in our living environments?
The stake of this thesis lies precisely in its capacity to question the operational and critical dimension of the ambiances with regard to the current and future socio-ecological transformations of inhabited worlds. The central hypothesis of the work will be based on a field of knowledge largely constituted within the problematic of ambiances: that of sound. Precisely, it will be a question of asserting and putting to the test the heuristic power of the various ways of listening to the world: listening to the living environments allows us to reveal the interdependent relationships with the world that surrounds, to make manifest what is happening in ecological matters, and also to question our ways of being sensitive to it.
The general problematic of the thesis will be organized around three main orientations: a specific questioning on the articulation between ambiance and ecology (to what sensitive ecology does ambiance lead?), a particular attention given to listening and sound ecology (how to listen to a precarious and uncertain world?), the inclusion of this questioning within a critical approach and a renewed political ecology (how does a sensitive approach open up does it have new avenues for a political ecology?).
The thesis will rely heavily on the work of two groups of researchers. On the one hand, it is part of the ANR Sensibilia research (Sensitivity to the test of the Anthropocene), the objective of which is to test the anthropocene of the various sensitive paradigms that are interested in to contemporary experiences and transformations in living environments. Three inputs are more particularly developed in this group of researchers and will serve as a basis for the development of an approach to the atmospheres of the Anthropocene: a thorough mapping of sensitive approaches in terms of socio-ecological issues; a series of research seminars which will discuss the theoretical proposals, conceptual tools and methodological devices in terms of a sensitive approach; experimentation and testing of these approaches in the context of various study sites and projects implemented in the Grenoble region. An ethnographic follow-up of all these sites will be carried out within the framework of this thesis.
On the other hand, the thesis will also be based on the research group “urban ambiances, criticism, politics” of UMR 1563 AAU. This group wonders about the possibility of formulating a critique of the urban based on the attention paid to the effects of transformations of urban ambiances on the human sensorium and the sensitive forms of urban life. It will be a question here of participating in the various projects initiated and to come concerning the implementation of a political ecology of ambiances.
The thesis will be carried out at CRESSON (UMR 1563 Ambiances Architectures Urbanités) located at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Grenoble. It will also be in direct contact with the partner team of ANR Sensibilia research: UMR PACTE, Environment team. This doctoral research will benefit from the dynamics and active collaborations between the 2 teams (CRESSON and PACTE). An office and infrastructure (network, documentation, etc.) will be made available to the doctoral student.
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