POLLEN22/3 pre-conference asynchronous workshop: Radical Epistemologies and Future Natures

This week we launch the first of the pre-conference asynchronous workshops, entitled Radical Epistemologies and Future Natures, co-hosted by the Centre for Future Natures at the Institute for Development Studies, Sussex. The new centre is led by Amber Huff, and a number of sessions in the workshop are drawn from a soft launch of the centre held in Brighton earlier this month. We hope you enjoy the content, and get an understanding of the centre, and its work, in case of future collaborations.

More information, please visit the Future Natures website at www.futurenatures.org

The workshop itself is hosted on the following website: https://pollen2022.com/asynchronous-workshops/radical-epistemologies-and-future-natures/

Content from the workshop will ‘go live’ for engagement, comment and discussion, in the following order:

  1. Tomorrow, Tuesday the 26th onwards – Commoning, Enclosure and Future Natures.

The content for this session include a Keynote on Commoning and Enclosure, delivery by Massimo De Angelis, as well as an introduction of the Future Natures Centre, delivery by Amber Huff. The session is completed with a series of lightning talks on the commons by presenters.

  1. Wednesday onwards – Natures out of Place I – Ecologies and materialities of ‘the weird’

Session organizers: Dr Amber Huff, The Institute of Development Studies UK,  and Dr Adrian Nel, University of Kwazulu-Natal

Session abstract: Bringing political ecology’s long-standing concerns with the politics of human-nature relations into dialogue with insights from cultural and critical geography, cultural anthropology, the environmental humanities, geocriticism and genre fiction, this session responds to calls for a departure from primarily reactive analysis and critique, to develop new, experimental, proactive, playful and speculative approaches and analyses in political ecology (Harris, 2021; Braun, 2015). We ask: what is the potential of ‘the Weird’ and adjacent notions like the eerie, the uncanny, and the haunted (VanderMeer and VanderMeer, 2011; Fisher, 2016; Fisher, 2012) for developing grounded and radically ‘alternative epistemic entryways’ that can help us assess, historicize, recast and subvert dominant, flattening framings and ‘anthropocene’ politics of ecology, crisis, control and enclosure (Hosbey and Roane, 2021), whilst at the same time working for more convivial relations and abundant futures (Büscher and Fletcher, 2019; DeVore et al., 2019; Collard et al., 2015)? Contributions to this session explore and develop these themes as they intersect with ecologies of place and with long-standing and emerging concerns in political and other ecologies that are sensitive to history, relationality and power.

Presentations and presenters:

  • Keeping the spectre of waste alive – Lisa Doeland, Radboud University Nijmegen and University of Amsterdam
  • Mosquito time: Human-insect porosity within english urban wetlands – Mary Geary, University of Brighton
  • Taming and living of ‘weird ecologies’: notes from the floodplains of Assam, India – Sampurna Das, the University of Delhi
  • Towards Weird Geographies And Ecologies: Vandermeer, Miéville, And Chernobyl – Jonathon Turnbull, University Of Cambridge; Ben Platt, University Of Cambridge; Adam Searle, Université De Liège
  1. Thursday onwards – Natures out of Place II – Beyond-Human Ecologies

The content in this workshop session bring together presentations that encapsulate more-than-human ecologies.

  • Situating The Monkey In The Urban Socio-spatial Fabric Of Delhi’s Neighbourhood -ms Aditi Dhillon, School Of Human Ecology, Ambedkar University Delhi, Dr Suresh Babu, School Of Human Ecology, Ambedkar University Delhi
  • The More-than-human Histories Of A Dying Lake. The Uru-qotzuñi And Lake Poopó, Bolivia – Dr Hanne Cottyn, University Of York, Uk
  • Going Beyond The Rational, Or: How Visceral Methods Can Enhance Research Outcomes – Dr Robert Hafner, University Of Innsbruck, Austria; Dr Felix Dorn, University Of Innsbruck, Austria; Anna-maria Brunner, University Of Innsbruck, Austria; Dr Christina Plank, University Of Natural Resources And Life Sciences, Austria
  • Un-naming and Wild Dogs – Rosa Deen, University of Kent
  • Art and Ecology – Heather Sanchez

Format of engagement – The content from the workshop and its sessions will be up in perpetuity, however, we wish to encourage focused engagement with the content this week, the 25th to the 31st. Viewers and those in the POLLEN network are encouraged to view the content, engage in discussion via the webpage’s comment thread and embedded twitter feed. On twitter please use the hashtag #POLLEN22, as well as #futurenatures, tagging @future_natures and @IDS_UK. Session organisers and presenters will be available to reply to comments intensively during this time.

Please note that while viewing is open access, users will need to login to comment on the pages. This allows us to track participation in the conference activities. In addition there is a voluntary donation option available in the login screen. We would encourage tenured academics with the means to contribute; for while most of the labour for the workshops is voluntary, we have some administration costs we would appreciate assistance in covering.

We hope you enjoy the content, and look forward to engaging in debates on the platform.


Adrian and the LOC

Dr Adrian Nel

Senior Lecturer and Academic co-ordinator

Discipline of Geography, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Science

University of Kwazulu-Natal

Most Recent Publication: Nel, A., (2021) “Biodiversity Economy and conservation territorialization: a pyrrhic strategy in Kwazulu-Natal”, Journal of Political Ecology 28(1), p.741-759. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.4744

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