CFP: Political Ecologies of the Far Right, Lund University

Call for Contributions

Lund University, 15-17 November 2019

www.pefr.hek.lu.se

An interdisciplinary academic-activist conference organized by the Human Ecology Division at Lund University in collaboration with CEFORCED at Chalmers University

Far-right political parties, ideologies and social movements are increasingly exercising influence across the world. At the same time, ecological issues, such as climate change, deforestation, land use change, biodiversity loss, and toxic waste are intensifying in their urgency. What happens when the two phenomena meet? How, when and why do they intersect? How are party and non-party sectors of the far right mobilizing ecological issues and discourses to their advantage, whether through championing or rejecting environmentalist claims? What are the ecological underpinnings of far-right politics today? This understudied topic forms the basis of this interdisciplinary conference on the political ecologies of the far right.

From Trump and Bolsonaro to the Sweden Democrats and AfD, a radical anti-environmentalism is most often championed by the contemporary far right. This stance resonates with a conspiratorial suspicion of the state, science, elites, globalism, and supposed processes of moral, cultural and social decay. This is most clearly pronounced in climate change denialism and defense of fossil fuels, which have undergone a global resurgence in recent years. But the same position is also articulated in, for example, anti-vegetarianism or opposition to renewables. How can we understand the causes of far right rejection of environmentalism and environmental concerns where it occurs? What broader ideologies, interests, psychologies, histories, narratives and perceptions does it reflect? What might the implications be for ecological futures if far-right parties continue to amass power? How can the climate justice and other environmental movements and anti-racist, anti-fascist activism converge and collaborate?

On the other hand, it is an inconvenient truth that there is a long-standing shadowy legacy of genealogical connections between environmental concern and far-right thought, from links between conservation and eugenics in the early national parks movement in the US, to dark green currents within Nazism. Hostility to immigration informed by Malthusian thinking and regressive forms of patriotic localism have often surfaced in Western environmentalism. Today, the mainstream environmental movement is more usually aligned with leftist, progressive policies, yet the conservative streak that always lies dormant in overly romanticized conceptions of landscape and nature, or fears about over-population, lie ripe for mobilization in new unholy alliances between green and xenophobic, nativist ideologies. In what forms does this nexus appear around the world today and with what possible consequences? What frames, linkages and concerns are central to eco-right narratives? How can environmental thinking ward off the specter of green nationalism?

How to apply:

The conference aims to bring together not only scholars working at the interface of political ecology and far right studies but also activists from environmental, anti-fascist and anti-racist organizations and movements. We believe there is still much work to do to bring together these often separate strands of scholar and activist work together, and much opportunity for collaboration, mutual learning, and networking. This conference aims to hold a space for such engagement.

Scholars: We welcome contributions from all disciplines (geography, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, political science, cultural studies, sustainability studies, STS, philosophy, art history, media studies, communication studies, et cetera). Apart from individual papers, we also welcome suggestions for panels and workshops.

Activists: At least one day of the conference (Sunday – TBC) will focus on activist practices, with an emphasis on sharing and developing ideas and synergies between green and anti-fascist thinking and working, and on ways to collectively prevent a scenario of ‘ecological crisis meets fascist populism’. We invite activist groups and individuals to submit proposals for workshops, discussions, and presentations.

In line with recent calls for radical emissions reductions at Swedish universities, we encourage prospective participants to consider other travel options than aviation if possible. We are also open to presentations via video link.

Submission of abstracts: Please send abstracts (max. 350 words) to pefr@hek.lu.se by Thursday 16th May. There are a limited number of travel bursaries available (we will prefer non-aviation means where possible) for those who are most in need of support. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • climate denialism/climate change, fossil fuels and the far right
  • anti-environmentalism of far right
  • linking environmental, anti-fascist, anti-racist activism and social movements
  • ‘cultural marxism’, conspiracy theories and the environment
  • gender, sexuality, the far right and environment (eco, hegemonic or industrial masculinities, anti-feminism, normative heterosexuality, patriarchy)
  • renewable energy, vegan/vegetarianism, animal rights, agriculture, toxic waste, land use change, biodiversity extinction, pollution etc and the far right
  • environmental science, epistemology and the far right
  • racism, xenophobia, nature, conservation, ecology, wilderness and far right
  • whiteness as/and ‘endangered’ species
  • scenarios of a far-right ecological future
  • religion, ecology and the far right
  • populism, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, alt-right, far right
  • greenwashing, industry links, capital and funding for the far right and links with environmental issues
  • far right narratives on development, progress, and futures and their ecological conceptualization
  • environmental history of green ideas in far right politics
  • dark green histories and genealogies of environmentalism
  • infiltrations of and unhappy alliances between the contemporary far right and environmentalists
  • ecofascism, bio-nazism, green nationalism
  • psychologies, affects, emotions, private lives of the ecologies of the far right
  • historical legacies of ecologically unequal exchange and racial capitalism
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Upcoming Conferences: PressEd & BSA Theory Workshop

This April, I will be participating in two conferences. The first one is a twitter conference on blogging called PressEd (18 April 2019), co-organised by Pat Lockley from the Global Social Theory team. I am rather excited about participating in this unusual format, as I teach a module on research communication at Leicester Geography. One of the options for students is to write a twitter thread, and indeed the papers for this conference are written as a series of 15 tweets – even the abstract was submitted as a single tweet. As I keep telling my students, a good twitter thread is harder to write than they think, as they tend to very quickly find out. This also means that I need to stick to my own teachings, as my students will be keeping me on my toes…

Here is the abstract, helpfully condensed by the conference organisers into the title ‘A useful ‘waste of time’ – blogging and the pursuit of ‘excellence’: “Academics keep saying that blogs are ‘an amazing resource’ for research & teaching, but also ‘a waste of time’ as they don’t count as impact or REF publication. This way, they embody tensions of the neoliberal university, but can they do more?” I will live tweet this paper on 18 April from 20:50. Obviously it will be there from then onwards. You can check out the full schedule here, and also tailor it to your respective time zone.


This explains any strange tweets…

The second conference is the British Sociological Association (BSA) Conference (24-26 April 2019, Glasgow Caledonian University). I have never been, but since it’s in Glasgow and has a theory workshop, I couldn’t say no. I am hoping to co-organise a workshop on the theory and race for the RACE Working Group, so this will be an invaluable experience. Also, due to the support of academics such as Gurminder Bhambra and Claire Blencowe, I am (literally) a card carrying honorary sociologist, so I would like to get a better sense of similarities and differences. The workshop, organised by Gurminder Bhambra, asks “how could we do theory differently and what sort of different theory would we need to participate effectively in the conversations around decolonising knowledge?” Participants include Nasar Meer, James Trafford, Sarah Victoria Burton and Lisa Kalayji. I will be presenting on “Teaching anti-racist materialisms”, an issue that again relates to my teaching practice, but is also based on material from the theory book that I’m currently writing. Here is the abstract:

“This paper asks what it means to teach an anti-racist materialism. The paper will look at both historical/dialectical materialism and new materialism. Due to its ‘levelling’ movement, materialism is generally associated with anti-elitism and anti-anthropocentrism. However, materialist history is also entangled with racist scientific and even occult histories, as, for instance, authors such as Donna V. Jones have argued. In this paper, I would like to take a closer look at the materialist histories that do not tend to get taught, and how not teaching them leaves many of our supposedly progressive theorisations with tacit racist elements. The paper argues that, instead of singling out racist theorists such as Heidegger etc and distancing us from them, we should look at all theory as having a racist heritage that still remains underexamined.”

 

CFP: Resistance in the Master’s House: Researching race in troubling times

Reposted from the Race, Culture & Equality Working Group list. This is a very important call for researchers in any field:

Call for Papers for Session at RGS-IBG Conference, London, 27th-30th August 2019

Resistance in the Master’s House: Researching race in troubling times

Session Convenors: Shereen Fernandez (QMUL) & Azeezat Johnson (QMUL)

Sponsored by: Race, Culture and Equality Working Group (RACE)

The proposed session works from Audre Lorde’s (1984) warning against using the Master’s tools to dismantle the Master’s house (i.e. the evolving implicit and explicit logics of white supremacy). This is an opportunity for us to confront our role as academics in the reproduction of white supremacy: how does anti-racist scholarship and activism occur alongside and/or in spite of the white supremacist logics that sustains the Master’s house? This is particularly important to address at the RGS-IBG conference given the expense of participating in these spaces of knowledge dissemination, thus controlling who can (literally) afford to participate in the development of academic scholarship. We explore these questions in light of our neo- and re-colonising contexts (Esson et al. 2017), as well as the intertwined histories of coloniality, white supremacy and the discipline of Geography (McKittrick 2006; Noxolo, Raghuram, and Madge 2008; Yusoff 2018). This interrogation of our role in academia is used to re-imagine racial justice in these troubling and uncertain times.

Please send abstracts (max. 300 words) to Shereen Fernandez (s.fernandez@qmul.ac.uk) and Azeezat Johnson (a.johnson@qmul.ac.uk) by Monday 4th February.

We invite abstracts that relate (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • How do we move beyond self-flagellating statements about reflexivity and positionality, and towards challenging power structures and racial inequality within and beyond the academy?
  • How do we organise effectively as academics given the urgency of these systems of oppression? What are some practical methods of activism that we as academics can take up across different local, national and regional contexts?
  • How do we resist the depoliticization of tools that critique the functioning of white supremacy? What can be done to re-engage with the explicitly political rationale of decolonisation, postcolonialism and intersectionality?
  • Where does/can racial justice take place? How do we account for shifting constructions of race across different temporal and regional contexts?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of social media and ‘private’ communication for activists and scholars working on racial justice?
  • How do we perpetuate legislation and border controls within the academy (e.g. through the Prevent Duty or immigration checks), and how does this impact work on racial justice?

We are particularly keen to engage with scholars located outside of the “Global North” and under-represented groups within the “Global North”. We encourage scholars within and beyond Geography to apply.

References

Esson, James, Patricia Noxolo, Richard Baxter, Patricia Daley, and Margaret Byron. 2017. ‘The 2017 RGS-IBG chair’s theme: decolonising geographical knowledges, or reproducing coloniality?’, Area, 49: 384-88.

Lorde, Audre. 1984. Sister Outsider: essays and speeches (The Crossing Press: California).

McKittrick, Katherine. 2006. Demonic grounds: Black women and the cartographies of struggle (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis).

Noxolo, Patricia, Parvati Raghuram, and Clare Madge. 2008. ‘‘Geography is Pregnant’ and ‘Geography’s Milk is Flowing’: Metaphors for a Postcolonial Discipline?’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 26: 146-68.

Yusoff, Kathryn. 2018. A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (University of Minnesota Press: Minnesota).

 

Please also take a look at this related publication: The Fire Now: anti-racist scholarship in times of explicit racial violence

Race & Climate Change Workshop @ Birkbeck

via Lisa Tilley

A one-day workshop event followed by a public roundtable session at Birkbeck, University of London, Wednesday February 27 2019

This one-day event offers a space for considering how ‘race’, ‘racialisation’ and ‘racism’ operate as key terms of reference within the political, cultural and economic contexts of climate change. However, whereas ‘climate justice’ is often understood as the sanctioned space for discussions about race and climate change, this event broadens the scope by asking how and to what extent ‘race’ organises the more encompassing discourse of climate change, including its epistemologies (i.e., the history of climate change, climate science, mitigation, adaptation/resilience, geoengineering, justice/law), its institutions (i.e., UNFCCC, IPCC, Green Climate Fund), its geographical imaginaries (i.e., North/South, West/East, developed/developing, settler-colonial/Indigenous), its aesthetic genres (i.e., cinema, cli-fi, media), and its ontological forms (i.e., catastrophe, crisis, apocalypse, futurism). Consequently, the event is set up to grapple with the tension between the racialisation of climate change discourse and the racialised global structures and processes which contribute to a warming world and generate its differential effects on communities across the globe. How this tension plays out in relation to the intersectional dimensions of climate change (i.e., gender, class, and sex/sexuality) is also of paramount concern.

We invite contributions from scholars working on themes related, but not limited, to: Indigeneity, whiteness, blackness, migration, Afrofuturism, Afropessimism, development, the Anthropocene, settler colonialisms, critical race theory, political economy/ecology of oil and gas extraction, postcolonial theory, political theology, race and the international, queer ecology, biopower/geopower, climate change as a racialised object, climate change and fascism and/or the alt-right, and political geology.

Participants are invited to submit 200 word abstracts to any member of the organising committee:

Anupama Ranawana (a.m.ranawana@outlook.com)

Lisa Tilley (l.tilley@bbk.ac.uk)

Andrew Baldwin (w.a.baldwin@durham.ac.uk)

Tyler Tully (tyler.tully@exeter.ox.ac.uk)

 

The deadline for submitting abstracts is December 14th. Acceptance notifications will be sent shortly thereafter.

Kathryn Sophia Belle @ Goldsmiths CPCT

1949: A Debate Between Claudia Jones and Simone de Beauvoir – a lecture by Kathryn Sophia Belle

5-7pm

Thursday 4 October 2018

Room RHB 256

Goldsmiths, University of London

New Cross SE14 6NW

I am very excited that Kathryn Sophia Belle is speaking at the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go due to teaching commitments (which involve using her work), but I hope that some of you can go!

Here is some info from the CPCT website (as Belle has pointed out on Twitter, the cover image does make for a poignant/disturbing juxtaposition):


Kathryn Sophia Belle (formerly known as Kathryn T. Gines), is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of Hannah Arendt and the Negro Question (Indiana UP, 2014) and the co-editor (with Donna-Dale L. Marcano and Maria del Guadalupe Davidson) of Convergences: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy (SUNY, 2010) and a founder of the journal Critical Philosophy of Race. She is the founding director of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers.

“This paper puts Claudia Jones (“An End to the Neglect of the Problems of Negro Women!”) in conversation with Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex). It pays particular attention to Jones’ intersectional analysis (of Black women’s experiences as simultaneously raced, classed, and gendered), juxtaposing it to de Beauvoir’s analogical approach (analysing gender oppression as analogous with racial oppression).”

This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Feminist Research.

All welcome!

Workshop: “Weathering as Intersectional Feminist Praxis” @ Goldsmiths

Feminist Review

Readers might be interested in this upcoming workshop, connected to the Feminist Review Environment Special Issues, in which I also have an article.

via Yasmin Gunaratnam/Feminist Review

In conjunction with the publication of Feminist Review Issue 118 – Environment, we are pleased to co-host a workshop with the Centre for Feminist Research (Goldsmiths) on the theme of environmental humanities and feminism with Astrida Neimanis* at Goldsmiths on Wednesday 24th October 2018, 2-5 pm.

The workshop will explicitly take up the concept of “weathering” as an embodied engagement with climate change. Through discussion, writing, reflection, and interactive exercises, we will examine how weathering is a more-than-meteorological process in which lineaments of power entangle ecological, social, and political worlds. We invite applications from postgraduate students, early career scholars, activists and artists who are interested in participating in this inter-active workshop.

Please send a short statement (250-300 words) outlining your areas of work and how it would benefit from participation in the workshop to Astrida at astrida.neimanis@sydney.edu.au by 1 October 2018. Participants will be asked to read “Weathering” (Neimanis and Hamilton, feminist review 118 [2018]: 80-84) as advance preparation.

The workshop will be followed by a public talk by Astrida Neimanis: Naming without Claiming? Citation Practices and Feminist Foundations in Environmental Humanities

Discussant Kathryn Yusoff** (Geography, Queen Mary, London)

From the nature/culture binary to the notion of situated knowledges, feminist conceptual labours are arguably foundational to contemporary environmental humanities scholarship. Yet, while names like Donna Haraway and Val Plumwood may make their way into bibliographies, most field-defining texts in environmental humanities do not consider how the feminism of such thinkers is integral to their concepts. Based on research conducted with Jennifer Mae Hamilton, this talk considers the stakes of naming feminist figures without claiming their feminist commitments in the process of field formation; it concludes by suggesting how an explicitly feminist environmental humanities might be enacted.

*Astrida Neimanis is a Senior Lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, on Gadigal Country, in Australia. She is Associate Editor of Environmental Humanities, and together with Jennifer Mae Hamilton, coordinates the COMPOSTING feminisms and environmental humanities research group. Her recent book is Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology (2017).

**Kathryn Yusoff is Professor of Inhuman Geography at Queen Mary (University of London). Her work is centred on dynamic earth events such as abrupt climate change, biodiversity loss and extinction. She is interested in how these “earth revolutions” impact social thought. Broadly, her work has focused on political aesthetics, social theory and abrupt environmental change.

Two upcoming talks at Westminster and Birmingham on geopoetics

I am giving two talks this term on my current work on geopoetics. The talks are based on a chapter for a collection called ‘Geopoetics in Practice’ (Editors: Eric Magrane, Linda Russo, Sarah de Leeuw, Craig Santos Perez). The instructions for authors were to write a poetic piece and a commentary on their practice (or both combined). I submitted a piece entitled ‘Geopoetics, via Germany’, which also represents a critique of the geohumanities. It is an autobiographical piece which moves between family/local environmental history and German/geopolitical history. It was emotionally very hard to write, and it is even harder to read, but I think I have found a format in which I can present the work.

The first talk is at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster (32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW), Tuesday 25 September 2018, 4-5.30pm.

The second talk is at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham (Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT), Tuesday 13 November 2018, 1-2pm.

Both are departmental seminars, but should be open to visitors.