ENVIRONMENT: LAST CALL
September 27-28, 2019
Keynote by Joela Jacobs (University of Arizona)
Why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future? And what is the point of learning facts when the most important facts clearly means nothing to our society?
-Greta Thunberg, “School Strike for Climate”
News about the increasing deterioration of the natural environment populate our daily sources of information: newspapers, TV, radio, social media. Let’s face it: scientists keep repeating that OUR time is the time of the LAST CALL for cooperative initiatives aimed to save the environment from this crisis.
What can the Humanities do to answer this call? As Rosi Braidotti argues in The Posthuman, the recent development of trans-disciplinary fields of research like posthumanist theory, environmental humanities, ecocriticism, and animal studies demonstrates that the Humanities are changing their approach to the study of (non-)human life and culture. These emerging fields share a relational understanding of the human subject, not as an individual master of the material entities that surround her, but as a de-centered component of multiple environmental networks.
Yet, if our conceptualization of the human being must be re-framed into a post-anthropocentric dimension, what role should be assigned to culture? Can cultural products and natural phenomena be considered as equal manifestations of a material-discursive continuum? The question of what the Humanities can concretely do to answer the LAST CALL is more complicated than it seems and implies several interrogatives: what are the best research methods to answer this call? How do new technologies re-frame humanist methodologies? How do literature, visual arts and cultural products in general respond to the growing concerns about the state of our planet? How do the occurring changes - in climate, urbanization and the geography of populations - influence cultural production?
It is a pleasure to invite you to ENVIRONMENT: LAST CALL, a graduate conference organized by the Association of Graduate Students of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at McGill University (ALLCGS). The conference will take place in Montreal, at McGill, on September 27-28, 2019. For any inquiry about the organization of the conference, please visit https://llcgrad2019.wordpress.com/.
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS:
Please submit an abstract of 250-500 words by July 1st 2019 to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will take into consideration abstracts – in both English and French – from graduate students, but also high-quality contributions from undergraduate students, independent scholars, artists and environmental activists. The aim of the conference is to stimulate a lively, trans-disciplinary, and multi-approach debate about how the Humanities can and do answer to the environment’s LAST CALL. We therefore welcome scholars working in any field of the humanities, but we also accept contributions from different disciplines, like environmental or social sciences, architecture and geography, which focus on the issues addressed by the conference.
CALL FOR CREATIVE PROJECTS:
LAST CALL plans to have an evening exposé of visual creative works dealing with environmental topics addressed in the conference (see Call for Abstracts). Creative works include (but are not limited to): photography, digital visual works, short films, video art, videogames-as-art, etc.
For the submission proposal, please include a digital sample or link to your work/portfolio along with a detailed description of the project that does not exceed 500 words. Please be sure to include specific logistics to display/perform/screen this work in an exposé setting.
For further inquiries or specific requests, please contact the committee at: email@example.com.
We strongly encourage the submission of abstracts regarding, but not limited to, the following topics:
Climate change and its literary, cinematic, visual, aural, media representations
Mainstream vs. Counter-cultural accounts of nature and the environment
Human/Non-human interactions in the Anthropocene
Posthuman and Cyborg subjectivities
Animal studies and rights
Politics of the environment
Environmental (post)colonialism and equity
Nature and marginalized communities
Environmental activism and justice
Narratives of sustainability
Environmental policies and economics
Exploitation of resources and conservation efforts
Digital Environmental Humanities
Ecocriticism, environmental theories and otherness
As conference organizers, we are looking forward to receiving your contributions and welcoming you in Montreal. Unfortunately we cannot provide financial assistence for travelling to the conference.
Kate Bundy, David Gosselin, Kaylin Land, Zyanya López Meneses, Lidia Ponce de la Vega, Cay Rivard, Katrin Rohrbacher, Paolo Saporito, Lisa Teichmann, and Gleb Vinokurov