CFP: Deep Commons Conference 2022 (Cork, Ireland, 27-29 Oct)

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Deep Commons Conference 2022 – Call for Abstracts

Link to conference webpage:

This event will take place online from October 27th to 29th – hosted by 
the Department of Government and Politics, University College Cork, 
Ireland, in association with La Terre Institute for Community and 
Ecology, Mississippi, USA.

Conference Theme:  Cultivating Ecologies of Solidarity and Care beyond 
Capitalism, Patriarchy, Racism and the State.
Keynote Speakers:
Ashish Kothari – a founder-member of Indian environmental group 
Kalpavriksh, and co-coordinator of the Vikalp Sangam, Radical Ecological 
Democracy and Global Tapestry of Alternatives processes.  He has 
authored and co-edited over thirty books, including the recent 
Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary.
Marina Sitrin – an activist and Associate Professor of Sociology at SUNY 
Binghamton, USA.  Her work looks at new forms of affective social 
organisation such as autogestion, horizontalidad, and various types of 
prefigurative politics.  Her books include Everyday Revolutions, 
Horizontalism and Pandemic Solidarity.
Richard J. White – an activist and Reader in Human Geography at 
Sheffield Hallam University, UK.  Greatly influenced by anarchist 
praxis, his work is rooted in the intersectional contexts of social 
justice and Total Liberation movements.  His books include Vegan 
Geographies and The Practice of Freedom.
The scientific evidence could not be clearer – we are in a state of 
planetary emergency posing an existential threat to civilisation.  The 
ferocity with which human beings are consuming and fighting over 
resources is literally destroying our web of life, constructed over 
billions of years, upon which all of us, human and non-human, depend for 
survival.  And to make matters worse, our collective ability to 
co-produce rational and timely responses to such threats is being 
undermined as contemporary market-states shape and limit the spheres of 
thought, activity, and (perhaps most importantly) imagination – 
realigned to facilitate yet further production and consumption, and 
propagating the belief that the imperative of the market and the 
imperative of life are one in the same thing.
In the face of these overlapping ecological, social and political 
crises, our initial (and entirely understandable) response might be to 
withdraw, or to escape.  But this conference invites us to attempt the 
very opposite – to pause and take time to re-orient ourselves in 
relation to the multitude of other beings with whom we find ourselves 
entangled, and to start our political projects from this basis.  The 
central problem this enquiry therefore takes as its starting point is 
the nature of our current dominant political utopias – that they are 
transcendent rather than grounded, or put another way – rather than 
here-and-now they are nowhere – in an ever-receding future/past, or 
otherwise in an alternate reality altogether. They are impossible.  And 
so, if we are to move beyond our current states of bewilderment, 
disorientation and denial, we will need to establish new (and learn from 
existing) grounded utopias which rather than being not-now and nowhere, 
are co-imagined and lived right here and right now.
Consequently, building on the growing body of work that repositions 
love, care and solidarity relations as central to social reproduction 
and fundamentally constitutive of society, the conference will explore 
and cultivate political communities of solidarity and care, which might 
then affect our wider commons and ecosystems.  Critically, this event 
will aim to extend the concept of 'commons' far beyond the mere 
management of resources with which humans have a relationship of 
stewardship, and thus radically reimagine human-nature relations within 
our more-than-human conditions.  As a result, the process will take an 
expansive view of the interdependent and entangled nature of 
contemporary struggles, linking ecological, anti-capitalist, feminist 
and indigenous politics intersectionally, and extending our 
understanding of what constitutes revolutionary transformation towards a 
far more comprehensive redefinition of our social ecologies across all 
spheres of life.
The conference will therefore bring together activists and scholars from 
across the world to focus on one key question:  How do we do it?  How do 
we cultivate ecologies of solidarity and care beyond capitalism, 
patriarchy, racism and the state?
In order to develop answers to this question, the organisers invite 
proposals for individual presentations by activists and researchers, and 
thematic panels organised by activist groups/research groups.  We 
particularly welcome participants outside academia to talk about their 
organisations, work and ideas, and encourage non-traditional formats for 
presenting work such as exhibitions, artwork, film screenings, workshops 
etc.  Please feel free to get in touch to discuss any ideas you might 
Potential perspectives from which individuals or panels might tackle 
this question include (but are not limited to):
•       Ecofeminist ecologies of solidarity and care
•       Indigenous ecologies of solidarity and care
•        Anarchist ecologies of solidarity and care
•       More-than-human ecologies of solidarity and care
•       New materialist ecologies of solidarity and care
•       Utopian ecologies of solidarity and care
•       Activist/movement ecologies of solidarity and care
•       Left-libertarian/autonomist ecologies of solidarity and care
•       Social ecologies of solidarity and care
•       Political ecologies of solidarity and care

Abstracts should be sent by Monday 1st August 2022 to in the following formats:
Individual abstract:  Maximum of 250 words, with title of presentation 
and short bio of presenter.
Panel proposal:  Please submit one proposal with title and outline of 
the panel theme, name of the chair, and an abstract of each presentation 
as above with names and bios of presenters.
Alternative formats:  Let your imagination know no bounds!
This conference is being held entirely online in order to facilitate as 
global a gathering as possible, and to encourage the participation of 
activists and scholars otherwise unable to attend an in-person event – 
particularly colleagues in the Global South.  As we expect participants 
from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, we will be using the UTC 
time zone as a starting point and designing the programme to accommodate 
participation from a diversity of time zones.
The event will place a strong emphasis on participatory process and the 
co-production of a collective vision, with the aim of building 
connections and establishing an ongoing network moving forward.  The 
organising team includes an experienced facilitator of participative 
large-group methodologies such as Open Space Technology and the 
U-Process, which will inform the design & format of the conference. 
These are approaches which skilfully, gently and pro-actively hold the 
space for a group to go through a collective sensing & development 
process, online spaces included.
If you have any questions around how a non-traditional format you are 
considering might work online, or require any information or advice that 
would support your online participation, please let us know and we can 
arrange a conversation to explore this further.

Categories: CFP
Keywords: deep commons, Cork