The best stories about climate change are not about climate change. Rather, they are about small, particular, mundane events. They are personal and intimate. And they are grounded in specific locales. These ‘small’ stories show different ways of imagining, creating, and sustaining meaning in the face of climate change. As the climate changes, it is important to pay attention, to listen, and to tell small stories so that they can tell more small stories.
Solid waste is often seen as an environmental problem to be solved through change of behaviour and recycling. Political ecology can sharpen our analysis of the politics involved in the way materials move through the economy. Prospects for reducing the amount of solid waste generated and ambitions for a “circular economy” will entail qualitative transformations in patterns of material flows and organisation of labour. Deciphering the shape of these changes necessarily begins in the present conditions and struggles of waste workers.
When looking at a picture, asking “What does it NOT show?” is as important as observing what it shows. Complex realities, such as those of Samburu people, their livestock and wildlife in Kenya, appear by posing the key question ‘Why?’
The Political Ecology Society (PESO) announces the 2019 Eric Wolf Prize for the best article-length paper. We seek papers based in substantive field research that make an innovative contribution to political ecology. Clear links to some specific set of political ecology ideas and literature is important. To be eligible for the competition, scholars must be no more than two years past the Ph.D.. A cash prize of $500 accompanies the award, which will be presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (the committee is open to discussing arrangements for the award at an alternative meeting as suited to the winning candidate). The paper will be published in the Journal of Political Ecology; the prize reviewers may suggest revisions before the item is published.
The preferred format for papers is electronic. (But, please contact us, if you need to send in some other format.) Please use the style guidelines provided on the Journal of Political Ecology webpage: http://jpe.library.arizona.edu
A pdf version of this newsletter can be found here
Dear POLLEN members and friends (with apologies for X-posting),
Greetings and welcome to our monthly POLLEN update. We would like to start with exciting news!
We are happy to announce that the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) Third Biennial Conference will be held in Brighton, United Kingdom, June 24-26, 2020 on the theme of Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration. POLLEN20 will be organized by the ESRC STEPS Centre (IDS/SPRU, University of Sussex) and co-hosted by Radical Futures at the University of Brighton and the Institute of Development Studies, with support from the BIOSEC project at the University of Sheffield. More information can be found here.
Many thanks to everyone who sent in their valuable contributions again this month. We hope everyone enjoys reading all about it in this newsletter.
Introduction to the special Issue: Cortes-Vazquez, J.A., Apostolopoulou, E., 2019. Against Neoliberal Natures: Environmental Movements, Radical Practice and “the Right to Nature”. Geoforum 98, 202-205.
Zafra Calvo, N.; E. Garmendia; U. Pascual; I. Palomo; N. Gross-Camp; D. Brockington; J.A. Cortes-Vazquez; B. Coolsaet; N. Burgess. 2019. Progress towards Equitably Managed Protected Areas in Aichi Target 11: A global survey. BioScience (available online). doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy143
González-Hidalgo, M. and Zografos, C., 2019. Emotions, power, and environmental conflict: Expanding the ‘emotional turn’ in political ecology. Progress in Human Geography, p.0309132518824644.
Koot, S. and Hitchcock, R. (2019). In the way: Perpetuating land dispossession of the indigenous Hai//om and the collective action law suit for Etosha National Park and Mangetti West, Namibia. Nomadic Peoples 23 (1): 55-77: 2019 – Koot and Hitchcock – In the way
Mallin, M.A.F., Stolz, D.C., Thompson, B.S. and Barbesgaard, M., 2019. In oceans we trust: Conservation, philanthropy, and the political economy of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Marine Policy.
Brown Journal of World Affairs 23 (2) 2017. Political Ecology Of Development
Lily Zeng, Deepti Chatti, Chris Hebdon, and Michael R. Dove 2017 The Political Ecology Of Knowledge And Ignorance. BJWA 23(2) 159-176
As part of the annual IGS seminar on political ecology, we are organizing a research seminar on “political agronomy”, entitled “Political Agronomy: Knowledge production and policy framing in the era of Super- and Miracle Food”, which will take place on June 5 and 6 at the University of Lausanne. The program is currently being finalized. It will include a half-day plenary conference, a half-day workshop and a visit to a quinoa farm in French-speaking Switzerland.
We would be delighted to welcome you to this event, so please save the date!
For the organizing committee, Florence Bétrisey
Registration open for #EJ2019 Conference. We are excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2019 Environmental Justice Conference ‘Transformative Connections’, being held at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, on 2 July – 4 July 2019.
Early bird registration is available until 31 March 2019, with reduced rates available for students and delegates from low and middle income countries.
Call for abstracts: WaterPower Symposium 2019
Under the theme of “Transformative Development Pathways – Critical Perspectives on Urbanisation, Land and Water”, the WaterPower project invites you to participate in the project’s final symposium. Hosted by the Governance and Sustainability Lab at Trier University, the event aims to connect participants for discussions and exchanges on what efforts in knowing and governing the urban may be needed for transformative change. We invite researchers and early career professionals working across diverse sub-fields in Geography, Urban Studies, Development Studies, Environmental Sociology, Ecology, and related fields. The symposium will be held in English. The deadline for applications is 07 April 2019. More information can be found here.
On behalf of the POLLEN secretariat, we would like to lend out support to the courageous students who have been taking to the streets in protest of climate inaction and other environmental injustices. These global strikes should be an inspiration to us all!
We are happy to announce that the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) Third Biennial Conference will be held in Brighton, United Kingdom, June 24-26, 2020 on the theme of Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration. POLLEN20 will be organized by the ESRC STEPS Centre (IDS/SPRU, University of Sussex) and co-hosted by Radical Futures at the University of Brighton and the Institute of Development Studies, with support from the BIOSEC project at the University of Sheffield.
Whether framed as object, commodity, construction, actant, resource or relation, the contested notion of ‘nature’ is one of the most central themes in political ecology. The conference aims to explore plural natures and plural futures as sites of struggle and possibility, while critically engaging with the multiple and overlapping crises of our time. What does it mean to decolonise knowledge in political ecology? Questioning established notions of who is ‘the expert’, and associated epistemological hierarchies, we ask: What can we learn across sites of experimentation and through transdisciplinary engagements about ways of ‘doing’ transformation? At the current juncture, how do we make sense of evolving society-nature relationships? How are natures being (re)made through and against crises? How are technological, systemic and value transformations entangled in the process? What novel political ecologies are – or might be – emerging?
Our aim is for the conference to be a space for taking stock and looking forward, exploring classic questions through novel lenses, imaginaries and embodied practices, and finding inspiration in emerging debates and forms of practice that are only beginning to engage with political ecology scholarship and practice. The conference will be structured to encourage critical reflection around the entanglements and encounters of political ecology with a variety of approaches and philosophies from post-structuralism and Marxist to anarchist, feminist and queer perspectives – the ways of knowing, seeing, representing, challenging that often define our work.
To these ends, POLLEN20 will combine the objectives of a traditional meeting with the collegiality and dynamism of a less structured, more participatory gathering. As will be outlined in the call for proposals to be circulated in May 2019, we will be encouraging proposals for themed sessions in a variety of conventional and novel formats, aspiring to bring together perspectives and ways of sharing from across disciplines and geographic traditions, welcoming dialog with our allies within and outside the academy.
We are committed to diverse and equitable participation, so we aim to keep registration costs low. POLLEN members and session organizers who are able are urged to seek funding for participants who have difficulty accessing travel funds (e.g. un/underemployed or under-supported participants, participants from the Global South, self-funded PhDs, non-academic participants, early career scholars, etc.). We will establish a general ‘solidarity fund’ to which POLLEN nodes and groups may contribute to support travel bursaries, and we will offer the option of ‘solidarity registration’ for participants who wish to contribute individually to registration and travel costs of others who do not have access to organizational funds.
A detailed call for session proposals with submission instructions will be circulated in May of 2019. All proposals will be reviewed by a panel and registration will open in late Autumn of 2019. Updates and news will be announced on the POLLEN web site and on a dedicated conference web page. Inquiries about the conference or questions about contributions to the Solidarity Fund for travel bursaries can be sent by email to POLLEN@sussex.ac.uk (please note that this is not the email address for the POLLEN secretariat).