Political Ecologies of/at the Edge: Climate Futures, Marginal Landscapes, and Infrastructural Imaginaries

Call for Papers: POLLEN 2020

Brighton, United Kingdom

24-26 June 2020


Political Ecologies of/at the Edge: Climate Futures, Marginal Landscapes, and Infrastructural Imaginaries

Aurora Fredriksen (University of Manchester)

Nate Millington (University of Manchester)

The promise of climate change mitigation through large-scale infrastructural development looms large in imaginaries of the Anthropocene. Narratives of resilience, new technologies associated with geoengineering, and experiments with planetary repair suggest the possibility of climate proof futures in a moment of deep planetary uncertainty. While infrastructural responses to climate change often carry divergent relationships to the increasingly blurry binary of adaptation/mitigation, many draw together dreams of safety from the vagaries of climate change with forecasts of continued economic growth.  

In this session, we interrogate the blind-spots in visions of adaptation to the climate crisis through infrastructural ‘fixes.’ We ask: 

We are particularly interested in the idea of the ‘edge’ within the ecological and political imaginaries of adaptation and mitigation. We understand the edge literally (ie. to refer to coastal and offshore infrastructures) but also conceptually. Attention to the margin can offer insight into broader global processes as they unfold in specific sites. The edge in this sense can be a mechanism for highlighting that which exists at the margin of the contemporary economy. It can be a temporal marker, one inseparable from broader forecasts about the time scales of a warming world and the various precipices that mark contemporary social and ecological thinking. Finally, the edge can signal the theoretical borderlands of political ecology, opening up spaces for speculations and entanglements with other disciplines and approaches to knowledge.    

Paper titles and abstracts of 250 words should be sent to nate.millington@manchester.ac.uk & aurora.fredriksen@manchester.ac.uk by 20 October 2019.    

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