POLLEN20 – Extended deadline for Session Proposal submission – 22 November

The Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN20)
Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration
Brighton, United Kingdom
24-26 June 2020

Extended deadline – Friday, 22 November 2019

We wish to announce that, due to demand, the deadline for submission of proposals for organized sessions for The Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN20), Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration, has been extended to Friday, 22 November 2019.

The conference theme: Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration

Contestation is at the heart of much research and doing in political ecology. Even the very idea of ‘nature’ is contested, and this contestation is reflected in important struggles about human-nature relationships, how and by whom nature should be used, who should control it, how it should be valued and who should benefit from it. The 2020 conference uses this idea of ‘contested natures’ as a back-drop to ask questions about ‘power, possibility and prefiguration’ in relation to multiple and overlapping crises of our times.

In addition to exploring issues and questions around main themes of social and environmental change; the production of capitalist or neoliberal natures; feminist, queer and radical ecologies and ‘future natures’, this conference aims to delve deeply into questions of politics and of power in environmental conflicts and the distribution of resources. What are possibilities and hazards that emerge in times of ecological and social crises? How do we live the change we want to see in the world, and how does change happen? How do different visions and experiences of ‘nature’ shape claims to knowledge, struggles around resources and ultimately struggles for justice? What political ecologies and future natures are emerging, or might be just on the horizon?

About the POLLEN conference

The POLLEN conference is a space for provocation and critique, both across academic disciplines and orientations, but also from outside of academia. Collaboration between academics and activists, and academic-activists or activist-academics, will therefore play an important role at the conference. How can we build alliances and work together, challenging alleged monopolies of knowledge and flawed notions of ‘the objective expert’? How can we share skills and understandings? The conference thus aims to value different kinds of knowledges – embodied, decolonised and experiential, for instance – and explore diverse questions through novel concepts, lenses, meanings, values and practices; and find inspiration in emerging debates and new alliances.

This goes hand in hand with a commitment to engage with ideas and philosophies from feminist, queer, poststructuralist, Marxist, (eco)anarchist and other approaches, in a friendly and open atmosphere that allows for constructive debate, participation and collegiality. We invite researchers, working groups, movements, collectives, community organisers, journalists, artists, activists, campaigners and individuals to submit ideas, proposals or impulses for sessions and contributions in whatever formats you can imagine. Some suggested formats are discussed on the conference web site under the heading ‘Call for Session Proposals’. We particularly encourage sessions that bring together people working inside and outside academia to learn together, and sessions that promote north-south dialogue.

Questions and getting involved

Getting involved in the conference is easy. If you or a group you are part of has a question about an idea or proposal for an info session, workshop, skill-share or discussion, exhibition or other activity along these or related lines, or if you would like to circulate a call for participants in a session you would like to propose, simply get in touch with the organizing group by email at pollen@sussex.ac.uk. We are also happy to answer any questions about the conference, themes, the POLLEN network or political ecology in general. Some answers might already be available on the conference web site (https://pollen2020.wordpress.com/) or the web site of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) (https://politicalecologynetwork.org/).

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