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Critical Ecologies: Theory, Culture, and the Environment

Call for Papers

‘Once Nature becomes environmentalized, its workings are submitted to the competing environmentality designs of various ecocritics’ – Timothy W. Luke
This conference seeks to shed new light on how researchers across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences conceive the interface between human behaviour and the natural environment not simply as a matter of scientific fact but as a problem for critical thought and cultural analysis. As the ecological crisis escalates, traditional conceptions of nature as the materially secure bedrock on which our social and cultural experiences are built appear increasingly obsolete. We invite participants to respond to this critical ecological situation in ways which explore different senses of the word ‘critical’ and offer new perspectives on the environment as a field of contested meanings and practices. As new conditions force us to rethink the boundaries between the human and the non-human, the cultural and the natural, the organic and the inorganic, we must also rethink disciplinary boundaries and how we can communicate across them. In bringing a range of researchers from different backgrounds together around the term ‘critical ecologies’, we hope to exploit these shifting territories in order to suggest an expansive and inclusive conception of ecological research as a mode of critical and cultural inquiry. This event will generate dialogue and exchange on how we, in Timothy W. Luke’s words, ‘environmentalize’ nature according to the competing designs of our different research strategies and theoretical concerns and how these differences may suggest the contours of a common ground. Topics might include, but are by no means confined to, the following:

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to no later than April 30th 2013.