News

CALL FOR PAPERS

Call for participants for a workshop:
PLANTARIUM
June 1st-2nd, 2017
Linköping University, Sweden

Keynote speakers:
Catriona Sandilands (York University) and Michael Marder (University of the Basque Country)

“Plantarium: Re-Imagining Green Futurities” addresses the question of plant-human relationships in the context  of pressing environmental issues. We invite participants to foster new ways of thinking (with) plants as a way of re-positioning the human as part of the surrounding natural-cultural environment, creating tools to seek out alternative green futures.

For more information see:
https://www.tema.liu.se/tema-g/Posthuman/arkiv-av-kalendarium/call-for-participants-for-a-workshop-plantarium?l=en

Conference on "Connecting with a low-carbon future – the challenges for the arts and humanities"

Where: University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom
When: 19 and 20 April 2017
Deadline for Papers: March 24 2017

This conference is part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network in the Arts and Humanities "Connecting with a low-carbon Scotland", and is hosted by the University of Stirling Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy.

The conference will discuss key issues in the transition to low-carbon societies. The dominant disciplines in the field so far have been the STEM subjects and social sciences such as economics and psychology. But there is growing recognition that moving successfully towards a low-carbon future requires fundamental social and cultural change. In this context, arts and humanities disciplines have distinctive and potentially powerful contributions to make. Working together, they can develop understanding of the key socio-cultural influences which affect peoples' perceptions of the challenges involved in moving to a low-carbon future, and of how to connect with them more effectively.

The conference therefore has panels for literature and theatre; law and politics; visual arts and media; and history and philosophy. The challenges to be discussed include, but are not limited to:

  • identifying barriers to achieving low-carbon transitions, and how they can be addressed;
  • achieving ethically just low-carbon transitions; and
  • understanding and influencing political power.

In addition, drawing on the work of the Royal Society of Edinburgh network and the conference panels, there will be the opportunity to contribute to the development of interdisciplinary narratives across the arts and humanities in a roundtable discussion.

Vegetal Mediations: Plant Agency in Contemporary Art and Environmental Humanities

Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative
Central European University Budapest, 5-6 May 2017
Deadline: 24 February 2017

Fokus Grupa, Herbarium, 2013-ongoing. Courtesy the artists.

Plants have always played powerful roles in social and ecological systems. Rather than mere passive bystanders to history, plants act as agents, mediating relations both among people and between people and their environments, knowledge, markets, and politics, as well as serving as mediators in non-human spheres. Recent findings by biologists have challenged prevalent assumptions that reduce them to ‘photosynthesising green machines’ (Marder) and revealed the complex social life of plants in their ability to act on their environment by controlling the microbiota on their roots, send biochemical messages to insects, recognise kin and share information about droughts and other threats. The deteriorating living conditions facing plants as a result of accelerating anthropogenic changes to the Earth System, from the effects of climate change to genetic modification, have also engendered responses and reflections from artists, writers and theorists that consider vegetal non-cognitive thought and non-representational memory, plant ethics and rights, and the relationship of humans and plants in the Anthropocene. Exploring the various social, ecological, and political mediations of plants can allow us to explore deeper understandings of the intersection of nature and culture, human and non-human, and matter and thought.

This conference seeks to open an interdisciplinary discussion of the manifold role of plants as mediators, both as agents and enablers of intra-human interactions and in terms of non-human communication and exchange. Topics to be addressed include: is it possible to think beyond an anthropocentric concern with the instrumental value of plants for nourishing our bodies, making the air breathable and stimulating our senses? What can we learn from the social life of the vegetal world that might guide our species in the search for viable solutions to ecological crisis? Do plants offer a model for coexistence and planetary being with relevance for human society, politics and economics? How might an engagement with plant agency affirm non-heteronormative ways of living and relating beyond the animal-centric perspective, in correspondence with feminist and queer critiques of the modern western notion of subjectivity? What can be learned from indigenous and ancient traditions about plants as co-members of the natural world? What can intellectual and sensorial encounters with vegetation reveal about its specific relation to temporality and what particular insights does contemporary artistic practice offer in the conceptualisation of plant agency?    

We invite proposals for papers and artistic presentations on the various ways in which plants mediate social and ecological relationships. Please send a 200 word abstract and short CV by 24 February 2017 to the organisers at eah@ceu.edu Accepted participants will be notified by mid-March.

This conference is organised by the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative at Central European University in collaboration with Translocal Institute. The Environmental arts and Humanities Initiative aims to create a common platform for academic researchers, artists, and ecological activists creatively negotiating planetary issues at the intersection between scientific and humanities-based approaches to the environment. For more information see: www.ceu.edu/eah

 Call for Papers: Themed Issue on Environment in Feminist Review

Deadline 2 January 2017


Feminism has a long and complex relationship to ‘nature’ and ‘the environment’. From critiques of the gendered nature/ culture binary to ecofeminism, feminists have alternatively rejected and celebrated women’s supposedly closer relationship to the natural world. Feminism has also long engaged critically with conventional definitions of humanism and ‘the human’, especially as derived from the exclusionist and violent definitions of the European Enlightenment. These activist and critical histories have been revised and revisited in recent years as part of a growing preoccupation in the social sciences and humanities with the environment as subject, as well as object, of study. Growing consciousness of human-induced climate change, with its vastly unequal impact on different human populations as well as the planet as a whole, adds special urgency to these concerns. Whether as part of the post-humanist critique of the humanities, the ‘animal turn’, or the ‘new materialism’, feminists and other scholar-activists are increasingly reconceptualising definitions of, and boundaries between, the human and other-than-human world.

Call for Proposals: Mutating Ecologies in Contemporary Art
MACBA Barcelona, 1 December 2016


Today, ecology is a prism through which artists are working with issues related to radical gardening and permaculture, sustainable bio-fuels, micro-economies, speculative design, open-source technologies, food access, biohacking, post-gender subjectivities and sustainable social practices. Papers are sought that seek to deep this notion of expanded ecologies by examining current transdisciplinary artistic, cultural and curatorial practices that provide different ways to understand, contest and interrogate our relation to the earth.  

FEST: Cultura/Natura Fotograf Festival
Prague, 1 October to 11 November 2016


Our aim is to introduce new perspectives regarding the dynamically developing discourse of the Anthropocene, and to map out the shifts in thinking that have been introduced at the start of the new millennium into the strongly politicised relationship between humankind and nature, not only in the fields of ecology and the natural sciences, but also and primarily in the arts and humanities, particularly anthropology and philosophy. One of the strongest programme themes of the festival is humankind’s relationship and approach to the planet Earth and the need to survive within a system that is driven by the political and economic interests of corporations and individuals. We will examine this framework through photographs and the visual arts. 

CONF: Stories of the Anthropocene Festival (SAF)
KTH Stockholm, 16-29 October 2017


As environmental humanities scholars, we believe that the Anthropocene is composed of layers of stories as well as CO2 emissions or atomic fallout. The Anthropocene is essentially a narrative about the interventions of humans on a planetary scale; it is a story written into the rocks and into the atmosphere. The Anthropocene has the ambition to overcome the dichotomized narratives of human societies versus nature, proposing a narrative embodied in the Earth.Scholars, artists, writers, filmmakers, and activists to propose a single story that can represent or encapsulate the Anthropocene.