International workshop on Environmental Justice
“Bridging research, policy and activism for environmental justice in times of crises” Freiburg, Germany, 27 – 29 May 2020
Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University of Freiburg EnJust Network for Environmental Justice
Call for contributions
In the face of the global multi-dimensional sustainability crises, questions of environmental justice have gained new momentum. During most of the 20th century issues of environmental justice revolved primarily around local impacts of air pollution, contamination of soils and water bodies with toxic substances and exposure of socially or economically marginalized groups to environmental hazards. More recent environmental justice concerns have expanded in space and time. There is increasing acknowledgement of the complexity of environmental justice in the Anthropocene, spanning different spatial scales and pertaining to justice-related questions about the present as well as the near and far future. This includes, but is not limited to, processes of the degradation of our global commons and their local effects; dispersed, yet structurally comparable struggles for survival of indigenous groups; and injustices as a result of local-to-global-scale policies and regulations designed as a response to environmental crises.
In light of this situation of fragmented but systemic exploitation and degradation, we would like to use the forum of the EnJust workshop to discuss the role of the environmental justice movement which we understand to be an inclusive and diverse community. In particular, we hope to generate debate on how new alliances, connected and inclusive approaches, and innovative methods may be used to contribute towards greater concern for justice issues in the context of environmental crises. Complexity, uncertainty and plurality create amalgamations between once distinct domains of knowledge and action as well as formerly unrelated fields of environmental justice work: activists become researchers with access to critical inside information, policy-makers co-produce knowledge jointly with scientists, and academics have a desire to – or are forced to – leave the ivory tower to engage in, as well as study, the politics of environmental degradation in order to contribute to more just futures.
This workshop, collaboratively organized by the Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography at the University of Freiburg and the EnJust Network for Environmental Justice, aims at fostering debate and learning processes about the roles, responsibilities and approaches of the emerging inter- and transdisciplinary environmental justice movement composed of scholars, activists and decision-makers.
The workshop will bring together individuals from these groups, who self-identify with the environmental justice movement, in order to critically engage with current research, concrete ideas, practices, and methods for bridging the divides between environmental justice research and practice, between activism and scientific study, and between collective and individual decision-making. It will provide a space to collectively explore and deepen transdisciplinary work and activist-research for a more just and fairer future.
We invite researchers, activists, planners and policy-makers from academic, governmental and non-governmental organizations to submit their ideas for contributions at the workshop, in line with the abovementioned themes. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
– Potential and challenges of transdisciplinary work – Participatory and activist research – Artistic research and the role of art-based approaches – Environmental justice and policy-making – New municipalism and urban politics – (Local) coalitions for environmental justice – Struggles of indigenous communities – …
Contributions should be submitted as an abstract for a ‘traditional’ conference paper, a poster or an intervention of up to 400 words by 31 October 2019 to firstname.lastname@example.org- freiburg.de. Please mark clearly at the top of your abstract which of the following three contributions your abstract refers to:
• Papers should highlight a current or recent research or practice project and include a discussion of both methods/approaches and (preliminary or final) results.
• Posters, in addition to presenting current or recent initiatives, may also focus on research or practice ideas and projects still at the planning stage.
• Interventions should contain an interactive element, such as presenting and discussing audiovisual or artistic material.
We look forward to hearing from you!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at: email@example.com- freiburg.de
Notification of selected papers will be sent by December 2019. lf your paper abstract is accepted, we will ask you to send a short paper for pre-circulation to session organizers by 15 April 2020. We envisage publishing some of the contributions as a special issue and/or another type of publication .
The workshop fee will be €80. A reduced fee of €40 is available for students, including PhD students. Participants with limited travel budget are strongly encouraged to submit their abstracts. We will be able to reimburse travel costs and accommodation for a limited number of participants.