Dear POLLEN Members and Friends,
Lots of updates to share this month: meet the POLLEN node at the University of KwaZulu-Natal who will host POLLEN 2022, new CFPs, publications and more!
Preliminary information is available at the conference website – read more about our hosts below.
Getting to know your fellow POLLEN members
Each monthly newsletter includes a brief introduction to one of the many POLLEN nodes to help build connections across our community. This month: The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College – our POLLEN 2022 host!
The University of Kwazulu-Natal’s POLLEN node
The discipline of Geography and the Centre for Civil society constitute the POLLEN node at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. UKZN was formed in January 2004, as a result of the merger between the formerly racially segregated University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal. UKZN has witnessed significant changes in terms of both staff and students’ activism against apartheid’s government-imposed racial segregation and more recently the ‘Fees Must Fall’ protests. Emerging from its past, the University aims to be a truly South African University of Choice that is academically excellent, innovative in research, and critically engaged with society.
UKZN was ranked fourth out of the universities in South Africa and in the 351–400th in the world by the Times Higher Education University Rankings 2021. This Discipline of Geography at UKZN is based within the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences. It is housed across three campuses and focuses on research and teaching in Southern Africa as a spatial context for students in both the sciences and humanities, across three main components in Human Geography, Physical Geography and GIS and Earth Observation.
The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) is based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College, and aims to advance socio-economic and environmental justice by developing critical knowledge about, for and in dialogue with civil society through research, publishing and teaching.
The UKZN POLLEN node will host the 4th biennial POLLEN conference in 2022. The contested notions of the Global North and South, comparative political ecology, and the production of political-ecological knowledge are proposed central themes for the conference. This is the first time the conference will be held in the Global South, and the node will aim to use the occasion to think with and through the geography of both political ecology research, as well the perennial focus of the network on political-ecological change in hegemonic and counter-hegemonic conditions and contexts. The conference offers an opportunity to expand the POLLEN networks and (re)visit Political Ecology’s own problematic but received persistent dichotomies and categories (spatial, social, political, economic, etc.) more generally, aiming to critically engage, and where necessary disrupt, our continued reliance on them.
Adrian Nel is a senior lecturer and academic coordinator in the Department of Geography, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Adrian is a Human Geographer with an interest in contemporary human-environment relations in Southern and Eastern Africa. Adrian’s research is inflected through the lens of political ecology, which explores the roots of social conflicts over access and use of the environment and natural resources. He has been a long term and enthusiastic member of the POLLEN collective and is a councillor for the Society of South African Geographers (SSAG). Adrian has a PhD in Geography from the University of Otago and completed a post-doc with a dual affiliation with the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex, and the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Shauna Mottiar is the director of the Centre for Civil Society at UKZN. Shauna completed both her MA and PhD in Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her broad area of interest is democratic consolidation / democratic deepening in South Africa. During her time at the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, she worked on electoral processes and outcomes in Southern Africa. While at the Centre for Policy Studies her research focus was the local government in South Africa and its mandate to provide water, electricity and health (HIV/AIDS-related) services. Her research at the Centre for Civil Society included an examination of the Treatment Action Campaign for the Globalization, Marginalization and New Social Movements project and the social protest study. She has also worked on research initiatives for the Centre for Conflict Resolution and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes examining the role of Human Rights Commissions in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Biniam Misgun is a lecturer in Development Studies and Economic History at the University of UKZN. He recently completed his PhD, supervised by a SANPAD project team of supervisors affiliated to the University of Cape Town, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Amsterdam. His thesis topic was Identities, Identifications and Strategies of Integration of African Migrants in South Africa: A Case Study of Ethiopian, Rwandan, and Senegalese Migrants. His broader research interests include the urban environment, city life and the Informal Economy, Migration and Development, state institutions in Africa.
Andries Motau is a PhD student with the African Climate and Development Institute and the Minerals to Metals group at the University of Cape Town. He is also a QES Scholar with York University and a scholar under the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Climate & Development (ARUA-CD). Andries works as a researcher and facilitator at the Centre for Civil Society at the University Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN); where he facilitates screening for DocLove on Activism and Human Rights. Andries is passionate about creating inclusive communities and this has shaped his line of study and work. His PhD study is primarily focused on analysing the conflicting perspectives in the global South Just Transition movement using the Mpumalanga coal region as a case study. Some of his research interests are on climate change, climate justice, circular economies, civil society and natural disasters.
Nonduduzo Mkhize is an MSc student at the University of KwaZulu-Nata, in the discipline of geography. Her research investigates land claim settlement models used by forestry companies in South Africa. Her interests are on social and environmental justice movements and how political and apolitical factors influence/shape policy and the implications it has on previously disadvantaged communities. She has aspirations of further developing her research and teaching into an academic career.
Catherine Sutherland is a geographer who works at the interface between social and environmental systems with a focus on sustainable development. Catherine is interested in the relationship between society, space and environment and how this shapes environmental politics and policymaking. She has worked on topics such as the impact of mega-projects on social environments in Durban, social assessment theory and methodology, sustainability indicators, risk and vulnerability, and urban/social policy. Her research interests are closely aligned with her teaching which focuses on social policy and environment and development.
Promoting POLLEN collaboration
Do you write with other members of POLLEN? In attempts to promote collaboration across the POLLEN nodes, please consider putting the following statement in the acknowledgements of your paper: “This article represents work conducted as part of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN).”
When you do, please let us know about it so we can tweet it out on @PolEcoNet and get it in the next newsletter!
The POLLEN Advisory Collective
The POLLEN Assembly at POLLEN20 decided to establish a POLLEN Advisory Collective consisting of people who have engaged with the network in various respects. The purpose of the collective is to function as POLLEN’s institutional memory and as a go-to resource for the POLLEN secretariat and network nodes for advice, guidance, to share experience and other forms of support. Look here for more information about the collective and its current membership.
Working papers, blogs and media
Apostolopoulou, Elia. (2021) How China’s Belt and Road Initiative is changing cities and threatening communities. The Conversation UK: https://theconversation.com/how-chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-is-changing-cities-and-threatening-communities-153515?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=bylinetwitterbutton
Brad, A, Flemmer, R. und Hein, J. (2021) Raum und Ressourcen – Die politics of scale von Landrechtskonflikte. In: Bank, A. et al. (Hrsg.), Blogserie zum Themenschwerpunkt “Politics of Scale in der deutschen Politikwissenschaft“, DVPW Blog: https://www.dvpw.de/blog/raum-und-ressourcen-die-politics-of-scale-von-landrechtskonflikte-ein-beitrag-von-alina-brad-riccarda-flemmer-und-jonas-hein
Verweijen, Judith and Dunlap, Alexander. (2021) How extractive industries carry on harming
the planet. The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/how-extractive-industries-manage-to-carry-on-harming-the-planet-155323.
Al-Saidi, M. and Hussein, H. (2021) The Water-Energy-Food Nexus and COVID-19: Towards a Systematization of Impacts and Responses. Science of the Total Environment.
Besek, Jordan Fox. (2021). “On the Interactive Nature of Place-Making: Modifying Growth Machine Theory to Capture the Spatial and Temporal Connections that Spawned the Asian Carp Invasion.” The Sociological Quarterly 62(1): 121-142.
Castellanos-Navarrete, A., (2021) Oil palm dispersal into protected wetlands: Human-environment dichotomies and the limits to governance in southern Mexico. Land Use Policy 103: 105304.
Chakraborty, Ritodhi, Gergan, Mabel D, and Sherpa, Pasang, et al. (2021) A plural climate studies framework for the Himalayas. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 51: 42-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2021.02.005
Chandler David, Müller Franziska, and Rothe Delf (eds.) International Relations in the Anthropocene; a textbook featuring lots of dissident approaches (e.g. posthuman, decolonial and political-ecology). https://eisa-net.org/teaching-international-relations-in-the-anthropocene-roundtable-and-virtual-book-launch/
Di Quarto F., Zinzani A. (2021) European environmental governance and the post-ecology perspective: A critical analysis of the Water Framework Directive” Geo Journal 1-13. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10708-021-10402-9
Dunlap, Alexander and Correa-Arce, Martín. (2021) ‘Murderous Energy’ in Oaxaca, Mexico: Wind Factories, Territorial Struggle and Social Warfare. Journal of Peasant Studies: 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2020.1862090
Fladvad, B., Klepp, S. und F. Dünckmann (2020) Struggling against land loss: Environmental (in) justice and the geography of emerging rights. Geoforum 117, 80-89.
Fleischman, F., S Basant, H Fischer, et al (2021) How politics shapes the outcomes of forest carbon finance. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 51, 7-14.
García-López, GA (2020) Commons, power and (counter) hegemony. In Legun K., J. Keller, M. Bell, & M. Carolan (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Vol. 1, pp. 152-175. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gonzalez-Duarte, Columba. (2021) Butterflies, Organized Crime, and ‘Sad Trees’: A Critique of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve Program in a Context of Rural Violence. World Development 142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2021.105420.
Hickmann Thomas, Lederer Markus, and Schwindenhammer Sandra et al. (eds.), The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Transformative Change through Sustainable Development Goals? Politics & Governance, Special Issue. https://www.cogitatiopress.com/politicsandgovernance/issue/view/239
Hjort, M. (2021) Locating the subject of REDD+: between “improving” and safeguarding forest inhabitants’ conduct, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law.
Hope, J. (2021) Driving development in the Amazon: Extending infrastructural citizenship with political ecology in Bolivia. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.
Melo, Felipe P.L., Parry, Luke, Brancalion Pedro H.S., et al. (2021) Adding forests to the water-energy-food nexus. Nature Sustainability. 4: 85–92. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-00608-z
Müller Franziska, Neumann Manuel, Elsner Carsten, et al (2021) Assessing African Energy
Transitions: Renewable Energy Policies, Energy Justice, and SDG 7. Politics and Governance, 9 (1). https://www.cogitatiopress.com/politicsandgovernance/article/view/3615
Quimbayo Ruiz, G.A. 2021. Reterritorializing conflicting urban natures: socio-ecological inequalities and the politics of spatial planning in Bogotá. University of Eastern Finland: Dissertations in Social Sciences and Business Studies.
Rodríguez-de-Francisco, J.C., del Cairo, C., Ortiz-Gallego, D., et al. (2021) Post-conflict transition and REDD+ in Colombia: Challenges to reducing deforestation in the Amazon. Forest Policy and Economics 127, 102450.
Svarstad, Hanne. (2021) Critical climate education: Studying climate justice in time and space. International Studies in Sociology of Education. 30(1-2): 214-232.
Turhan, E. (2021). Envisioning climate justice for a post-pandemic world. Dialogues in Human Geography, 11(1), 4-7. https://doi.org/10.1177/2043820621995608
Villamayor-Thomas, S. & García-López, GA (2021) Decommonisation-commonisation dynamics and social movements: Insights from a meta-analysis of case studies. In P.K. Nayak, ed. Making commons dynamic: Understanding change through communication and decommonisation. London / New York: Routledge.
CfPs, Conferences, Talks
CfP: Ecology, Economy and Society – the INSEE journal
(https://ecoinsee.org/journal/ojs/index.php/ees/index) Call for papers: research paper, thematic essay/survey, commentary, notes from the field, book review, report. For more
information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
CfP: An International Virtual Workshop On Urban Climate Justice organized virtually by Climate Justice Network during 28-30 June 2021. Information is found here:
Due 1 April 2021.
CfP: Conviviality. The Political Ecology Research Centre at Massey University and the Centre for Space, Place & Society at Wageningen University & Research welcome submissions for virtual conference during 1-7 June 2021. Submission information is here: https://perc.ac.nz/wordpress/conviviality/ Due 5 April 2021.
CfA: The 9th International Conference on Sustainable Development is an academic conference that focuses on research for sustainable development. The Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice Programs (MDP), in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), will hold the Ninth Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) on 20-21 September, 2021 virtually. The call for abstracts can be found here: https://ic-sd.org/2021/03/01/2021-conference-call-for-abstracts/. Due 1 May 2021.
Call for application: Farming for Climate Justice is a workshop series and networking
opportunity for early career researchers (ECRs) in the UK and South Africa under a collaboration between the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University and the Bio-Economy Chair at the University of Cape Town. Applications for participation in Farming for Justice closes on 11 April 2021 – see criteria for ECR applicants here. And visit https://farming4justice.net/
Talk: UCD Environmental Humanities, a research group at University College Dublin, hosts regular online talks that all are welcome to attend. Forthcoming events include Charis Olszok on jinn and oil in Arabic fiction, Martín Arboleda on planning, popular power and critical social theory, and Nicole Seymour on ecologies of glitter. The sign-up links can be found on website: https://ucdenvhums.wixsite.com/my-site.
Please send any questions to Hannah Boast, email@example.com
Vacancies and courses
Assistant Professor in Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change at the College of Social & Applied Human Sciences in the University of Guelph.
PhD studentship/Graduate Teaching Assistant (PGTA) position in Human Geography : The School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol has a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant position in Human Geography to fill for 2021/22 entry, with an anticipated start date of 01 September 2021. More info is in the link herewith: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/program/graduate-teaching-assistant-gta-scholarship/?p5254
Deadline is on 29 April 2021.
Other News Items
Interdisciplinary Games was founded by Silja Klepp and Johanna Barnbeck in order to develop games that systematically support research between different fields and disciplines. COLLAB is the first in a series of games to improve methods and communication in these settings. It is a board game that creates a better understanding of and curiosity about other disciplines. It does this by encouraging a playful reflection on the scientific approaches, professional cultures, and structures of the other players’ disciplines. More info is here: www.interdisciplinarygames.net