CFP POLLEN 2023: Rights, sovereignty, and emerging technologies in global environmental governance

Dear all,

We are excited that POLLEN 2023 will be held in person in Durban and are looking forward to seeing many people there. In the time between our original submission and now, interests and availabilities have evolved, so we are looking for a couple of panelists to round out our panel below. Please feel free to circulate widely, and interested individuals should send a expression of interest, including a title and 250 word abstract to the organizers via this google form by March 27th.

Panel for POLLEN 2023, June 27-29, 2023

Creating Change through Colonial institutions? Rights, Sovereignty, and Emerging Technologies in Global Environmental Governance

Co-organizers: Catherine Corson and Kevin Surprise, Department of Environmental Studies, Mount Holyoke College

United Nations (UN)  treaties, laws, regulations, and norms for environmental governance, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, are spaces where colonial-capitalist systems are reproduced but also spaces where these systems are increasingly challenged by Indigenous groups, environmental activists, agrarian social movements and advocates for radical, decolonial reforms to the global political economic system. Actors mobilizing human rights-based approaches seek to use the tools and legitimacy of the UN to protect environments, livelihoods, and ways of life, with varying degrees of success. Yet, these UN mechanisms are themselves rooted  in neo-liberal and -colonial forms of power that continue to perpetuate the harms these strategies aim to prevent. One central  area of concern is the development of emerging environmental technologies – from artificial intelligence, to blockchain, to geoengineering – that pose novel questions for rights, sovereignty, and social transformation. Particularly when connected with mega- and innovative-finance, such techno-fixes tend to foster the consolidation of environmental elites – from multinational investment banks, private companies, big technology firms, governments, and large nongovernmental environmental organizations – who see opportunities for new markets or new rationales for territorial expansion. This session aims to explore how mechanisms embedded in capitalist and colonial histories, namely rights, sovereignty, and technology, perpetuate socio-environmental harms and injustices in global environmental governance (GEG), and how these mechanisms have been mobilized to challenge those same systems, with topics including but not limited to:

  • Human rights-based approaches in GEG
  • International environmental agreements as colonial projects
  • Indigenous social movement theories and strategies in GEG
  • Politics and policies of emerging environmental technologies and finance
  • Theories of rights, law, and sovereignty in GEG
  • Corporate capture and elite consolidation in global environmental institutions
  • Alternative forms, epistemologies, and practices of environmental governance 

Catherine Corson and Kevin Surprise

POLLEN 2022/2023: Final Call for Papers, announcement of plenary indabas and registration

The 4th Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network Political Ecology: North, South, and Beyond.
27-29th June 2023

Organised by: The Discipline of Geography and the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Support is provided by the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), the South African National Research Foundation (NRF)
Conference organiser: African Agenda.

The POLLEN 22/3 Local Organising committee is pleased to announce a final supplementary CFP, the first two plenary ‘Indabas’ of the conference, and the continuation of the registration process.

As those who have been following the conference know, we have had a torrid time organising the event amidst COVID-19 enforced format changes, and have seen a significant degree of uncertainty over participant numbers. We did our best to accommodate participants who were unable to travel into six preconference asynchronous workshops in 2022, and we are now at a point where we are moving forward with the 2023 in-person conference.

What this has means is that we now have a better idea participant numbers, and still have some limited space to run a final, supplementary Call for Papers and Session Proposals. We thus invite prospective individual presenters and session organisers to get in touch about participation at the event. The conference theme and full details can be found at the following link and we request interested parties email with abstracts and session proposals by the 31st of March to initiate the process.  Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis and subject to available capacity. We do wish to note that we unfortunately cannot accommodate a full hybrid format, and that the Travel bursary applications closed during the initial CFP phases. We do look forward to seeing more of you at the in-person event.

An indaba is a traditional South African meeting or gathering for listening to news or concerns that affect individuals or community and also to discuss matters of common interest. This format lends itself to roundtable, open discussion and networking activities rather than individual keynotes. As such the POLLEN23 conference plenaries will draw on the insights of facilitators and key participants, to open dialogue amongst conference participants on pertinent themes for the POLLEN network. We are happy to announce the first two of three plenaries that will be held during the conference:

1st Indaba: ‘Political Ecology From South Africa’
The host city for the conference, Durban, was developed as a colonial city in the nineteenth century where social contestation, marginalization, and discrimination continue to characterize elements of social life in the city. Its built form and environment was shaped by colonial and, later, apartheid era practices of racial separation, as well as a post-apartheid ‘vortex’ of transition and rapid urbanization amidst flows of capital, goods, people, diverse cultures, traditions and knowledge. There are diverse learnings from the experiences and challenges Durban, and South Africa more broadly, face as they grapple with their history, and contemporary socio-economic-political-environmental and global realities. This indaba session is hosted by the UKZN Centre for Civil Society, and its aim is to present diverse accounts of the political ecology of, and provoke debate and to raise questions what it means to do political ecology from, South Africa.

Facilitators: Danford Chibvongodze and Andries Motau (CCS)
Patrick Bond (University of Johannesburg)
Catherine Sutherland (UKZN)
Desmond D’sa (South Durban Community Environmental Justice Alliance)
Bobby Peek (Groundwork)
Nonhle Mbuthuma (Amadiba Crisis Committee)
Discussant: Sarah Bracking (Kings College London)

2nd Indaba: Political Ecology: North, South and Beyond
Following the conference theme, this Indaba plenary seeks to engage with the doing of Political ecology across the Global North and South. Drawing reflections from speakers representing diverse Political Ecology networks and groupings, the session seeks to (re)visit political ecology’s growth, and to engage with and where necessary disrupt received wisdoms and persistent dichotomies, not limited to North and South, but including the spatial, social, ecological, political, economic etc. categories with which we work. The Indaba is supported by the Journal of Political Ecology.

Tracey Osborne (CAPE, DOPE, PPEL)
Panagiota Kotsila (Undisciplined environments)
Felipe Milanez (Latin American Congress of Political Ecology)
Amber Huff (POLLEN)
Simon Batterbury (Journal of Political Ecology)

The registration period for accepted participants is well underway, and we would strongly urge participants to register before the end of the month. This will help us to move forward with our programming and logistics for the event. Please do note that the POLLEN23 conference format is predominantly for program participants, and those interested in attending should consult the CFP above.

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you in Durban

Adrian Nel obo the POLLEN 2022/3 Local Organising committee
POLLEN23 secretariat – African Agenda

Tel: +27 (0)21 683 2934

February 2023 Update

Dear POLLEN Members and Friends,

Thanks again for sharing and spreading the word and work of political ecologists.

Has your POLLEN node NOT been introduced by us? If your node is keen to share your work in upcoming newsletters, please write to us at  

We also welcome proposals for blog posts on the POLLEN blog – please contact us at the same email address with any ideas!  

We are pleased to post the latest publications, CfPs and more from our lively community.  

With best regards from your POLLEN Secretariat  

Torsten Krause, Kelly Dorkenoo, Mine Islar and Wim Carton  

IMPORTANT! To get the best view of this newsletter, please enable the media content at the top of the e-mail. 


Journal articles 

  1. Ochieng, A., Koh, N. and Koot, S. (2022). Compatible with conviviality? Exploring African ecotourism and sport hunting for transformative conservation. Conservation and Society.  
  1. Thakholi, L. and Koot, S. (2023). Black belonging, White belonging: Primitive accumulation in South Africa’s private nature reserves. Antipode. 
  1. Mabele, MB., Kasongi, N., Nnko, H., Mwanyoka, I., Kiwango, WA and Makupa, E. 2023. Inequalities in the production and dissemination of biodiversity conservation knowledge on Tanzania: A 50-year bibliometric analysis. Biological Conservation 279: 109910 
  1. Moseley, W., & Ouedraogo, M. (2022). When Agronomy Flirts with Markets, Gender, and Nutrition: A Political Ecology of the New Green Revolution for Africa and Women’s Food Security in Burkina Faso. African Studies Review, 65(1), 41-65. https://doi:10.1017/asr.2021.74  
  1. Trauger, A., (2022) “The vegan industrial complex: the political ecology of not eating animals”, Journal of Political Ecology 29(1), 639–655. doi: 

Books & book chapters 

  1. Minthorn, R. & Craig, A. (2023). Embodying an Indigenous-Centered Approach to Mentorship in Doctoral Programs. In A. Wilkerson & S. Samuels (Eds.), Best Practices and Programmatic Approaches for Mentoring Educational Leaders (pp. 1-15). IGI Global.  
  1. Miller, D. C., Scales, I. R., & Mascia, M. B. (Eds.). (2023). Conservation Social Science: Understanding People, Conserving Biodiversity. John Wiley & Sons. 

Events & Announcements 

  1. PhD Course – Extraction Ethnographies 
    When: 17 to 21 April, 2023 
    Where: Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norway 
    his course invites applications from PhD candidates interested in combining conceptual approaches with field-based research on extractive activities. This can encompass research on the mining of minerals or biological resources as well as on data mining: the extraction of materials, substances, information, and digital data from the geo- and biospheres. More information:
    Deadline: February 28, 2023 
  1. PhD Course – Political Ecology of Land and Food Systems 
    When: 30 May-02 June 2023 
    Where: Bergen, Norway 
    Organizers: Department of Geography, University of Bergen + several Norwegian POLLEN nodes 
    Keynotes: Michael Watts and Nancy Peluso (UC Berkeley) 
    Course website: 
    Registration form: 
    Deadline: March 1, 2023 
  1. Conference on Environmental justice and violence: Resistances, articulations, and intersections 
    When: 4-6 October 2023 
    Where: San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico 
    More info:  
  1. For those in Netherlands or close by, this amazing event is happening 23-25 February, in Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum and OT301): Towards a Post-Extractive Culture, an encounter of mutual learning, deep listening, and solidarity-weaving across cultural workers, artists, activists, designers, indigenous knowledge keepers, radical researchers, community organisers and storytellers, for a world of many worlds.
    More information: Full program here. 
    Dates: February 23-25.
  1. A message from the newly formed Enviornmental Justice Studies mailinglist: 
    “Dear colleagues, 
    Following recurring discussions with several of you over the years, I am excited to announce the launch of EJList, a mailing list specifically devoted to the field of environmental justice studies. EJList is meant to become the go-to international email discussion group promoting the development and dissemination of environmental and climate justice research and scholarship – something which was long overdue in the field! The list may be used for the discussion of any topic related to environmental justice and climate justice activism, regulation, and research, including (but not limited to) reports on research and publications; calls for papers and proposals; notices of meetings, conferences, reading groups; job announcements; etc.  
    If, like me, you are interested in staying up to date with the latest developments in the field and/or in easily reaching out to the environmental justice research community, join the list by clicking on the Subscribe link from the list webpage. The list is open to everyone, even though the target audience is environmental/climate justice scholars. It is hosted by UCLouvain in Belgium and uses the mailing list service Sympa, a free and open-source software.Please also do forward this announcement to your own environmental justice colleagues, students, and networks; the more the merrier.  
    All the best,  
    Brendan C.  


  1. Postdoc position and PhD position at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies.  We are looking for candidates to work with us on an exciting project on glaciers and human-nature relations. We have a  fully-funded PhD position and a postdoc position in Sustainability Science at LUCSUS/Lund University for the research project entitled NATURICE- Exploring plural values of human-nature relationships in glacierized environments.  Project’s main objective is to assess and examine how values and human-nature relationships are affected by climate related challenges through a trans-regional study of glaciers in Scandinavia and the Himalayas.  Positions are funded by Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS) and will be supervised by Principal Investigator Dr. Mine Islar, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) in collaboration with Dr. Anna Sinisalo (GRID-Arendal), Prof. Erik Gomez-Baggethun (The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research-NINA) and Dr. Emma Li Johansson (LUCSUS).
    More information: PhD position – ; Postdoc –
    Deadline: March 1st, 2023
  1. Research Fellow at Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences and Centre for Global Development at Northumbria University.  The department is seeking to recruit a Postdoctoral Researcher for 24 months as part of the UKRI/GCRF Living Deltas Hub ( and related to global development research. Working with Professor Matt Baillie Smith, Professor Louise Bracken and Dr Oliver Hensengerth, the person will collaborate with partners to undertake research on young people, climate and development through work on young people’s experiences of changing delta living, and civic action in relation to changing delta environments, focusing particularly on India and Bangladesh. They will also work with partners and stakeholders to evaluate learning, disseminate findings and develop impact from Living Deltas research.
    More information:
    Deadline: March 6th, 2023.  
  1. Tenure track professorship on Conservation and Development at Humboldt University Berlin.  We are looking for candidates rooted in conservation science who have worked interdisciplinary (e.g., using methods/concepts from natural and social sciences) on issues related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, and who have experience in working in developing countries. This should be an exciting opportunity for a young conservation scientist! Candidates should not have completed their PhD more than 6 years ago (for candidates with kids this period is longer). As many departments, we are trying to internationalize and close our gender gap at the level of professors – so we would be particularly excited about female applicants.
    More information:  |
    Deadline: March 8th, 2023 
  1. Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate Crisis, Risks, and Responses at the Brandeis University Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies and Environmental Studies.  This is a two-year position, beginning Fall term 2023 and is subject to budgetary approval. We seek a scholar whose work focuses on the effects of climate change and/or responses to them, in Latin America, the Caribbean or for Latinx groups in the United States. Topics could include climate science, broadly construed, in Latin America and the Caribbean; environmental and climate justice in the region and in the diaspora; green/climate-extractivism; effects of climate risks, such as migration, political conflict, health, and poverty; risks and burdens of maladaptation; responses of indigenous and Afrodescendant groups to climate change and their active engagement in the processes of policymaking and development of climate action; and Latinax climate movements. We are open to multiple disciplines and quantitative, qualitative or mixed methodologies. 
    More information:
    Deadline: March 8th, 2023.
  1. PhD positions (x2) at the Anthropology Department, Stockholm University.   The two positions are linked to the BIOrdinary program, which is centered on biodiversity in ordinary places. The first position is open with regard to the aims of the project while the second deals more specifically with the afterlives of marine species migration through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea. We are looking for PhD candidates with interest in environmental/more-than-human anthropology (or similar disciplines) who enjoy collaboration, have exciting research ambitions and can enrich our team. The positions are fully funded and start in September.
    More information: and  
    Deadline: March 24th, 2023.
  1. PhD position at the department of Geography, University of Bergen, Norway.   Fixed-term position of 4 years, of which 25% will be dedicated to teaching, supervision, and administrative tasks in the Department. The position is linked to the Department of Geography´s Human Geography research group. Applications are particularly encouraged from candidates who can contribute to the human geography group’s activities in the fields of planning, local and regional development, and green transformation. More Information: . Deadline: April 10th, 2023.


  1. Call for Papers
    Groundwater Geographies: (In)visible flows, (un)traceable past, (un)certain future. We hope for your contributions to our lightning session at Deutsche Kongress für Geographie in Frankfurt a.M./Germany (19–23 Sep 2023). Organized by: Fanny Frick-Trzebitzky, Robert Luetkemeier, Dženeta Hodžić, David Kuhn (ISOE, Frankfurt a.M.), Anne Jäger (Uni Koblenz Landau), Linda Söller (Goethe Uni, Frankfurt a.M.). All fields and perspectives within geography are invited to contribute. This includes critical and radical perspectives that address e.g. groundwater conflicts, knowledge politics, inequalities or non-/more-than-human agency from political-ecology, postcolonial, feminist, new and “old” materialist, intersectional or other power-sensitive positions within and at the frontiers of geography. Contact: 
    More information:
    Deadline: March 13th, 2023  
  1. Call for Papers
    On Relationalities: Politics, Narrative, Sociality 
    The theme of relationality is now centre stage in contemporary political and social thought. From relational ontology to post-foundational ethics and black feminisms, relationality has far-reaching implications for debates in politics, ethics, and aesthetics. For this symposium we invite engagements with, revisions of, and challenges to relationality as well as interventions about its role in the humanities and arts today. Relationality is a transdisciplinary topic that questions the academy, and compels us to rethink the conventions of an event like this. Our institutional and disciplinary practices normalise a certain politics of relationality while foreclosing others. For that reason, we are particularly open to interdisciplinary contributions from across the humanities, social sciences, and beyond. Colleagues working in (but not limited to) sociology, gender studies, history, black studies, queer theory, literary studies, politics, decolonial studies, cultural geography, disability studies, visual cultures, anthropology, neurodiversity studies, indigenous thought, environmental studies, and philosophy are invited to participate. 
    More information:
    Deadline: February 24th 2023 
  1. Call for Proposals
    Special Issue on Political Ecology by the Ecology, Economy and Society
    The INSEE Journal – One of the relatively new academic traditions to emerge in the 1980s, political ecology has emerged in recent decades as a powerful analytical tool to explain how capitalist development processes affect the environment, how international conservation organizations influence national governments, and how environmental changes threaten local livelihoods. Political ecology, as an interdisciplinary field, often brings together political economy and cultural ecology, with an emphasis on multi-scalar analysis that elucidates linkages between local/everyday events and regional/national/global/planetary processes.  It illuminates ‘the political’ in ecological questions through the examination of power relationships and elucidation of forms of power, cross-scale links in political processes in view of which environmental decisions are made by communities, and the dynamics of the market and priorities of the nations.  
    EES is proposing a special issue on Political Ecology for Volume 6(2), to be published in July 2023.
    We are inviting: Original research papers – not exceeding 8000 words; and Insights from the field – not exceeding 2000 words Detailed submission guidelines are available on the journal website. 
  1. Call for Papers  The Great Convergence? Agricultural Modernization and its Others in Global Perspective 
    With this panel, we want to discuss focal points for convergence as well as divergence among discourses on agricultural modernization (and its others) and how they shape local realities. In how far do the politically dominating narratives of agricultural modernity in different parts of the world converge despite their apparent differences? How do these narratives manifest in agrarian policies, practices, and imaginaries? Where do these ideas originate from, and how do they shape realities on the ground? And finally, what other visions of agriculture exist, where do they originate from, and in what might they converge globally, too? 
    More information:
    Deadline: March 13, 2023
  1. Call for Proposals
    Antipode’s “Right to the Discipline” grants.
    More information: 

Other news items 

  1. Report on Confronting Gender-Based Violence in Fieldwork: Potential Sites of Intervention, produced by the Network of Women Doing Fieldwork (NWDF) in collaboration with the Bartlett Development Planning Unit. The report will be be presented on the 8th of March in Room 403 – Senate House, Malet Street (WC1E 7HU) for those in London. Link to the report: 
  1. EXALT dialogue on “Insurrection in Energy Research: Pluriversal Encounters with Energy Transition & Renewability”. EXALT dialogue is a quadrennial online event series that fosters critical thinking and discussion on extractivisms and transformative alternatives and which also aim to deconstruct and disrupt thinking that perpetuates dominant power structures, colonialities and growthism. Link to recording of first event: