CFP for Symposium - Ecologies of Justice: Wastelands, Wastewaters, and Human Disposability

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Ecologies of Justice: Wasteland, Wastewater and Human Disposability Symposium

March 23-24, 2023

Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)

Organized by Drs. Lisa Han, Celina Osuna and Mako Fitts Ward

Sponsored by the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University

Link to CFP and submission form

The Ecologies of Justice Symposium seeks to demonstrate the co-constitutive nature of environmental crises and social inequalities to address the problems of waste and disposability as traced in circuits of production and consumption that impact interlocking values of health, social, and environmental relationships. We name this approach ecologies of justice to signal how governmental and economic perspectives on waste are connected to cultural imaginaries of human and more than human environments. This approach is anchored in the understanding that human social transformations are imperative to the creation of a future that is both sustainable and just. Acknowledging centuries of decolonial scholarship and Indigenous cosmologies that foreground human responsibility in addition to environmental animacies, ecologies of justice articulates a global sense of shared vulnerability—a humanism that is capable of enfolding planetary awareness and operating beyond existing regimes of growth, sovereign power, and extractivism.

By convening an interdisciplinary group of experts—scholars, practitioners and artists—together for a two-day series of public-facing workshops, we aim to develop a humanities-oriented approach to environmental knowledge that includes visual, infrastructural, ecological, and sociological methods of analysis. Additionally, we seek to engage social science imperatives toward understanding how conceptual, aesthetic and agentic forces impact the lives of communities that have historically experienced the most structural precarity. As a further desired outcome of this project, we hope to disseminate the proceedings via open-access, multimedia sources.

The symposium will feature a keynote presentation by Max Liboiron, Associate Professor of Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Confirmed workshop leaders include Kyoko Matsunaga (Associate Professor of American and British Literature, Hiroshima University), Sage Gerson (Assistant Professor of Literary Arts and Studies, Rhode Island School of Design), Jeremy Chow (Assistant Professor of English, Bucknell University), Celina Osuna (Postdoctoral Scholar, Social Transformation Lab at ASU), Aidan Tynan (Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Cardiff University), and artists and practitioners working at ASU. 

Participants will engage in a series of interactive workshops, creative activities, and collaborative thinking to advance interdisciplinary research that:

  • Recognizes what justice within the scope of environmental humanities research looks like.

  • Understands how ecologies of justice and ecologies of injustice are interrelated.

  • Deepens understandings of ecologies discourses across disciplines.

  • Applies ecologies of justice as a possible methodology or influence for their work.

We are soliciting proposals for up to 30 symposium participants. This submission form requests your contact information and description of your research interests as they relate to the symposium themes. The selection process is not meant to be competitive, however we are seeking participants who are interested in exploring possible research and other participatory collaborations. Participation is open to researchers (university affiliated or independent scholars), graduate students, policy advocates, activists, artists and other practitioners across fields related to environmental justice research and activism.

The deadline for applications is Friday March 3, 2023.

For questions about the symposium, please email Dr. Lisa Han (