Another CFP – this time for the Associate of American Geographers Conference in Tampa, Florida, 2014. In case you have been wondering about the recent absence of essay-style posts, I have been guest blogging at Society & Space and have also written a review for Science as Culture (on living with insects) that will be published shortly (e-mail me if you cannot access it).
Geophilosophy and the Geo-Social
Call for Panels/Papers
Harlan Morehouse, University of Minnesota
Rory Rowan, Wageningen University
There is a growing consensus that in the 21st century the planet is no longer the concern of geologists and climate scientists alone, but that philosophical and social thought must also increasingly engage with planetary concerns. Emergent literatures across the social sciences and humanities are struggling to generate new conceptual frameworks and research strategies to adequately account for the complex knots that bind social, geological, biological and technological forces together, as well as the catastrophic potentials that reside within them (see, for example: Braun and Whatmore 2010; Clark 2010; Ellsworth et al 2012; Saldanha 2013; Yusoff 2013; and the special issue of the Oxford Literary Review, 2012). At the recent RGS-IBG conference in London, Nigel Clark, Arun Saldanha and Kathryn Yusoff characterized this messy tangle of anthropogenic and nonhuman forces as the ‘Geo-Social.’ In many ways, this ‘Geo-Social’ can be considered the foundation of geographic scholarship. However, as many begin to examine the links between social history and geologic change in the context of Climate Change and the advent of the Anthropocene, the ‘Geo-Social’ invites a radical reassessment of fundamental conceptual frameworks across a number of registers – from the epistemological and ontological to the political and ethical – and a re-articulation of Geography’s relation to other disciplines. But just as these issues strain traditional disciplinary boundaries and standard methodological frameworks, they open the possibility for new forms of collaborative research stretching across the natural and social sciences and the humanities, and involving both empirically based work and speculative thought.
The massive transformations in human-planet relations also raise fundamental philosophical questions and invite re-evaluations of the complexity of concrete Geo-Social entanglements: How, for example, do planetary conditions affect our philosophical frameworks and how do we frame the Earth philosophically? Thus, in addition to examining the Geo-Social, we aim to examine Geophilosophy as a form of thought specifically committed to exploring the relationship between philosophy and the Earth. Geophilosophy has a rich heritage in modern Continental Philosophy arguably reaching from Kant and Nietzsche through Deleuze and Guattari to contemporary thinkers like Elizabeth Grosz (2008), Reza Negarestani (2011), John Protevi (2013), Michel Serres (2012) and Ben Woodard (2012). We aim to place Geography at the forefront of this debate in the belief that its critical traditions and recent efforts in rethinking human-nonhuman relations can provide crucial insights that deepen philosophical traction on the world whilst locating disciplinary concerns at the cutting edge of wider theoretical debates. We particularly seek to engage with recent attempts in Geography to re-interrogate the ‘geo’ as a way to engage with planetary questions without re-inscribing the economic and political over-determinations of ‘globalization.’
These sessions seek to advance conversations begun at the “Anthropocene” sessions at the 2013 AAG in Los Angeles and the 2013 RGS-IBG by further exploring the philosophical and empirical implications of the Geo-Social. We specifically seek papers that address any of the following concerns, among possible others:
· What modes of thought are best suited to understanding the matrix of human and non-human forces that make up the Geo-Social today? What are the political stakes of rethinking how we conceive of Geo-Social relations?
· How might Climate Change and the advent of the Anthropocene affect the ways in which we conceive of the Earth, and what new philosophical possibilities might be opened by these developments?
· What new perspectives can Geography bring to the philosophical traditions of Geophilosophy – from Kant to Negarestani – and how might it bear on its future trajectories?
· What questions and forms of knowledge production – imagined, emergent, or well established – are needed in the face of an emerging ecological catastrophe?
· Do 21st century environmental conditions call for new forms of experimental research and praxis-based approaches that bridge the physical and social sciences? How might we develop modes of examination that refuse the distinction ‘physical or social’ without reinforcing the neoliberal university’s call for ‘transdisciplinarity’?
· What is the relationship between existing Geo-Social formations and histories of capitalism? Beyond the privatization/neoliberalization of non-human life through carbon markets and ecosystem services, around what forms of value might post-capitalist Geo-Social formations organize?
Please send inquiries / abstracts of no more than 250 words to Geophilosophy.AAG2014@gmail.com by October 5th 2013.
Braun. B. and Whatmore, S., editors. (2010). Political Matter: Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Chakrabarty, D. (2009). The Climate of History: Four Theses. Critical Inquiry, 39. 197-222.
Clark, N. (2011). Inhuman nature sociable life on a dynamic planet. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Clark, N., Saldanha, A., and Yusoff, K. editors. (forthcoming 2014). Capitalism and the Earth. Brooklyn, NY: Punctum Books.
Ellsworth E., Kruse, J., and Beatty. editors (2012). Making the Geologic Now: Repsonses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life. Brooklyn, NY: Punctum Books.
Grosz, E. (2008). Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth. New York: Columbia University Press.
Negarestani, R. (2011). Globe of Revolution: An Afterthought on Geophilosophical Realism. Identities, 17, 25-54.
Protevi, J. (2013). Life, War, Earth: Deleuze and the Sciences. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Saldanha, A. (2013). Some Principles of Geocommunism. Retrieved from:
Woodward, B. (2013). On an Ungrounded Earth: Towards a New Geophilosophy. Brooklyn, NY: Punctum Books.
Yusoff, K. (2013). Insensible Worlds: Postrelational Ethics, Indeterminacy and the (K)nots of relating. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 31(2), 208–226. doi:10.1068/d17411
Yusoff, K. editor. (2013). 400ppm: Exit Holocene, Enter Anthropocene. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Retrieved from http://societyandspace.com/2013/07/26/400ppm-exit-holocene-enter-anthropocene