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Call for Papers
Humanities for the Anthropocene:
Values, Principles, and Practices
Online Research Incubator Workshop
July 7-9, 2021
University of Puget Sound & University of Victoria
The extent of human environmental impact is so great that it is measurable as a geologic imprint on our planet. We are now in an entirely human-made geologic epoch, the Anthropocene. This term is not a neutral descriptor, but it points to humans as the cause of our planet’s existential ecological crisis, and it urgently calls on us to grapple with this crisis and impending catastrophe.
The goal of this research incubator workshop is to initiate collaborative work on what it means to be a humanist and to practice the Humanities in the present moment and for the future. The incubator is a framework for presenting early-stage or ongoing research and for working collaboratively on shared ideas and lines of enquiry. Our plans include: the creation of a research group; an in-person conference in 2022; and an edited volume, Humanities for the Anthropocene Handbook, with values, principles, and tools for pedagogical praxis.
We have called our workshop “Humanities for the Anthropocene” (rather than “in” or “and”) in order to underscore the value, purpose, and politics of our work and collective actions. Ours is an ethical gesture that calls for both a repositioning and a response: We must recognize that the present deepening and irreversible environmental crisis has implications for all our fields of intellectual activity, indeed, we must proactively initiate the transformation of all our humanist disciplines in light of the environmental crisis that we face.
This workshop seeks to challenge us to reassess what it means for humanists to think ecologically today. It invites participants to work together to re-frame our ecocritical traditions, re-examine humanist fields that we might not immediately associate with ecocriticism, and develop concrete tools for pedagogical and scholarly practice that foster an ecocritical mindset.
What does it mean to respond to the Anthropocene as a humanist? What does it mean to be human today? What do artists, scholars, and critics within the fields of the Humanities have to say about how we as humans are altering the planet? How can the Humanities prepare us for the future, how can the Humanities help us face the grief over what is being lost? How can non-Western knowledge systems support an Anthropocene turn of the Humanities? How do reconciliation and decolonization interact with environmentalism? What does the COVID-19 pandemic teach us about the link between health, social justice, and environmental justice?
Humanities disciplines must be an integral part of these discussions toward new ways of thinking and interacting with each other and our natural world.
We seek wide-ranging participation from all fields in the Humanities such as but not limited to:
Art and Art History
Literature and Cultural Studies
Language and Pedagogy
Gender and Queer Studies
Postcolonialism and Environmental Justice
Media, Film, and Visual Culture
Theatre and Performance
Critical Race Theory
Music Performance and Musicology
To submit: Please send 250-word abstracts with contact information and a short bio to: Elena Pnevmonidou, University of Victoria (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kristopher Imbrigotta, University of Puget Sound (email@example.com). Deadline for submission is 31 March 2021. As stated above, we want to stress the workshop design of this gathering: we are looking for works in progress and avenues of research in their nascent stages.
Workshop format: three days of synchronous presentations and in-depth discussions via Zoom (3 hours per day). Presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes; this will leave time for ample discussion, which is the focal point of this workshop. This workshop is open to all and will have no fees.