Call for Papers for fully funded work/writeshop – May 2020 in the Abbazia di San Giusto, Italy
Crisis Conservation: Saving Nature in Times of Extinction, Exception and Enmity
Organized by: Prof. Bram Büscher (Wageningen University, the Netherlands).
Date: 10-16 May 2020
Place: Abbazia di San Giusto, Italy (an old abbey two hours from Rome, which now functions as an eco-friendly organic farm and a venue for a variety of gatherings). For more information, see http://abbaziadisangiusto.com/.
Conservation and crisis are no strangers. Conservation science has long been seen as a ‘crisis discipline’ while conservationists often have to respond to or work in crisis situations. And while conservation has booked successes, the sense of crisis has not gone away. To the contrary, it has rapidly increased, especially over the last years. Three elements seem particularly pertinent. First, a cascading extinction crisis. Many scientists now believe we have entered the sixth extinction event in the history of the planet, the first one that is human-induced. Second, we are seeing an increasing number of high-pressure situations around the world where urgent action is required to safeguard important species or ecosystems from destruction. These disparate crises seem to be the outcome of a recent surge in large-scale resource extraction and wildlife crime. They have in turn elicited new types of conservation responses, leading to myriad ‘spaces of exception’ where violence, illegality and uncertainty drastically change environmental governance. Third, all this is taking place in a global political climate that increasingly revolves around deep-seated forms of antagonism. An increasing number of authoritarian leaders openly flirt with fascism, dismiss democratic institutions and base their politics on distinctions between friends and enemies. This politics of enmity does not make it easier to focus our attention on conservation crises deemed so urgent that they threaten humanity’s very survival.
As part of this work/writeshop, we are interested to investigate and theorize crisis conservation in times of extinction, exception and enmity. We are interested in papers that make empirical and/or theoretical connections between all or some of these elements and seek to understand the changes they lead to and their (potential) impacts on people and nature. The workshop will be used to discuss advanced drafts of papers in order to produce a coherent special issue for a top political ecology, human geography or related journal.
The idea: through this CfP, I would like to invite scholars working on crisis conservation and interested in the links between extinction, exception and enmity to submit an abstract for a dedicated work/writeshop in May 2020 in the Abbazia di San Giusto in Italy. The idea is to come together with a small group of scholars (max. 10-12) to present and discuss draft papers on this topic and have them ready for submission to a journal by the end of the week or very soon thereafter. The workshop will be held in a beautiful agriturismo (Abbazia di San Giusto), with plenty of time and space for hikes, discussions, good dinners and creative leisure time.
If you feel that your research fits this description, or that you can quite easily extend your current research to fit the topic, do consider submitting an abstract. From the abstracts, we will choose 4-6 participants to join 6 others already involved in the crisis conservation project (see www.crisisconservation.org) for this exciting workshop. If your abstract is selected, your participation will be fully funded. Scholars from the global south are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.
Deadline for abstracts: We request paper abstracts by 4 March 2019. Please send a 250 word abstract, with title, contact information, and three keywords as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>. If approved, full papers are due 1 March 2020.
* Büscher, Bram and Robert Fletcher (2018). Under Pressure: conceptualising Political ecologies of “Green Wars”. Conservation and Society 16, 2: 105-113<http://www.conservationandsociety.org/article.asp?issn=0972-4923;year=2018;volume=16;issue=2;spage=105;epage=113;aulast=Buscher>.
* Büscher, Bram (2018). From Biopower to Ontopower? Violent Responses to Wildlife Crime and the New Geographies of Conservation. Conservation and Society 16, 2: 157-169.<http://www.conservationandsociety.org/article.asp?issn=0972-4923;year=2018;volume=16;issue=2;spage=157;epage=169;aulast=Buscher;type=0>
* Büscher, Bram and Maano Ramutsindela (2016). Green Violence: Rhino Poaching and the War to Save Southern Africa’s Peace Parks. African Affairs 115, 458: 1-22<https://brambuscher.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/bucc88scherramutsindela-green-violence-afaf2016.pdf>.
* Duffy, R., F. St John, B. Büscher and D. Brockington (2015). The Militarization of Anti-Poaching: Undermining Long Term Goals. Environmental Conservation <https://brambuscher.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/duffy-et-al-militarization-of-conservation-ec-2015.pdf> 42, 4: 345-348.
 See https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2018-07-27-from-the-politics-of-enmity-to-the-politics-of-respect/, accessed 11 November 2018.