Environment is a fluid, elastic word. After combing the lengthy list of the many meanings of environment in a trusty Merriam Webster dictionary, one arrives at the French roots of the term: that which surrounds. The Graduate Student Association of the American Culture Studies Program at Bowling Green State University invites scholars to an interdisciplinary symposium focused on exploring the multilayered meanings of the term environment using the broadest definition of the term as a common ground for meeting and commingling. In the spirit of the environmental humanities which have called into question both boundaries between scholarly disciplines and the realms of the natural and the cultural, Culture(s) in Conversation: Environments, Landscapes, and Ecologies invites scholars to meet and share from across a diverse array of disciplines for a symposium dedicated to exploring the myriad ways in which multitudinous actors and interactions conspire to make meanings, spaces, places, and landscapes.
In an era of multi-scalar environmental crises, the humanities are re-conceptualizing the human relationship to its more-than-human world. In her book Environmental Culture: The Environmental Crisis of Reason, philosopher Val Plumwood called for an increased understanding of humanity as always existent “within the non-human sphere,” further noting our constant embeddedness and interconnectedness with landscapes and spaces.
Resisting anthropocentrism, we seek to understand humanity’s connection to the world itself, both in a cultural and physical sense. Because the environmental humanities refer to a plurality of positions, we welcome contributions from the humanities and social sciences, including but not limited to, the fields of Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Film Studies, English, History, Sociology, Philosophy, and Urban Studies. We seek individual presentations and round table discussions that approach the concept of environment from a cultural lens and encourage submissions that broaden our understanding of environment, subject, and space.
Submissions may consider:
What is the role of environment as a fundamental category of historical, social, philosophical, and cultural analysis?
What is the relationship between social identities and material and digital ecologies?
How do these socio-ecological systems understand and navigate environmental challenges and eco-injustices?
What is the relationship between film, media, and environment?
How does late stage capitalism change our understanding of environment?
How can Queer ecologies and Eco-feminism(s) trouble or destabilize the concept of environment?
How does the concept of environment intersect with (neo)colonial regimes and regimes of white supremacy?
How can we deconstruct dichotomies between rural and urban landscapes as they relate to conceptions and constructions of environment?
How are artistic, aesthetic, and architectural practices being used to respond to spatial injustices in urban, rural, and digital communities?
Keywords: Eco-racism/eco-injustice, eco-justice, eco-criticism, nature/culture, digital environments, cultural landscapes, urban ecology, eco-philosophy, environmental communications, cultural geography, anthropology, queer ecology, feminist science studies, new materialism, object-oriented feminism, naturecultures, deep ecology, ecofeminism, urban/rural, political landscapes, environmental racism, media ecology, biopolitics, and foodways.
To submit to Culture(s) in Conversation, please click the link. A 200-250 word abstract of the proposed presentation, essay, or round table is required.
The conference will take place at Bowling Green State University February 14-15, 2020 in Bowling Green, Ohio.