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).
Organizers: Josh Fisher, Mary Mostafanezhad, and Sarah Marie Wiebe
The livable surface of earth is polluted in unprecedented ways. Images abound of plastic bags riding the currents of the Pacific ocean and collecting in the Mariana Trench; stockpiles of nuclear waste pumped deep into earth’s outer crust; smoke and smog (a fusion of particulate matter and ozone) settling in above sprawling urban colonies; spent oxygen containers pockmarking the snows of Everest; and billions of pieces of space debris endlessly falling in Low Earth Orbit, just beyond a thin and rapidly changing breathable atmosphere. So goes the narrative of the Anthropocene, a purportedly new geological epoch demarcated by the planetary effects of human activity.
The famed symbolic anthropologist Mary Douglas (1966) understood pollution as “matter out of place,” a kind of disorder that that necessarily prompts efforts to ”organize” the environment. Anthropology, geography, and allied fields have since pushed this conversation forward by inquiring into the materiality of pollution, the toxicity that manifests in situated encounters between bodies and environments, and the co-production of pollution/toxicity — two sides of the same coin, in our reading, one overflowing boundaries and the other seeping in — through those extended networks of physico-chemical, organic, and sociocultural life that constitute local and global political ecologies. Yet, questions about the source and form of pollution and the nature of its toxicity remain:
How is the materiality of pollution/toxicity smelled, tasted, felt, experienced, embodied, or symbolized, both in moments of crisis and in daily life?
How and by whom are its impacts — material, sociocultural, political, ethical, etc. — measured or otherwise accounted for in technoscientific or other socioculturally and historically particular terms?
How is it governed through policies, infrastructures, and everyday acts of care and containmentare (sweeping, cleaning, planting, repairing)?
How its accounts give rise to more overt political mobilizations?
How does it come to reshape socio-political life?
We seek papers that explore current thinking about pollution and toxicity at the intersection of symbolic anthropology, political ecology, and science and technology studies. We are interested in a broad range of scholarly perspectives, theoretical alliances, and methodological and epistemological approaches that contribute to historical and contemporary understandings of pollution and toxicity. Our aim is to understand the discursive and material co-production of pollution and toxicity, as well as the stakes of such an analysis for diverse communities of human and nonhuman beings.
Potential topics could include but are not limited to:
– The many biotic and abiotic forms that pollution/toxicity (or other pathogens) may take
– The material and symbolic “poles” of pollution/toxicity
– The affective, sensory, and “felt” dimensions of pollution, including feelings of uncertainty surrounding exposure
– The embodiment and experience of pollution/toxicity, and the narratives that are formed through social discourse
– The political ecologies of pollution/toxicity and the stakes of analysis for different communities of humans/nonhumans
– The implications of policy, infrastructure, and other design elements in the propagation and/or mitigation of pollution/toxicity
– The technoscience of pollution/toxicity, including the measurement and abatement of polluting matter, the medicalization of its embodied effects, or the formation of policy and/or sociopolitical mobilizations
– The geographic and spatial politics of pollution/toxicity and their implications in terms of the local, national, and global scales of analysis
– The new social, economic, and ecological milieus that are produced within the dynamic context of pollution/toxicity.
Abstracts should be sent to Josh Fisher (Josh.Fisher@wwu.edu), Mary Mostafanezhad (email@example.com), and Sarah Marie Wiebe (firstname.lastname@example.org) April 1st.
Lastly, if you can’t make it to the 2019 conference, be sure to look out for our CFP for the 2021 Special Issue of Environment & Society.
We currently have an open position for a PhD candidate within our new four-year research project, entitled ‘Negative Emissions and the Politics of a Projected Future’. This project critically investigates emerging discourses and practices on large-scale carbon dioxide removal/negative emissions, including but not limited to Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). We are looking for excellent candidates that are keen to pursue a broadly-defined research interest in the politics of climate change mitigation and integrated assessment modelling from a political economy, political ecology and/or STS perspective.
The successful candidate will be situated at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) and be part of an international research team including Wim Carton, Andreas Malm and Emily Boyd in Lund; Holly Jean Buck at UCLA; and Silke Beck at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research. This is a fully-funded, 4-year position with the possibility of up to 20% teaching (compensated by extension of the contract for up to one year). The application deadline is 9 April.
Every political project is also an environmental project, and every environmental project is deeply inserted in specific political projects. This is only one of the many strong ideas proposed by Erik Swyngedouw in his book Liquid Power, which can be seen as a generative and provocative intervention in the reconceptualisation of the multiple relationships between nature, society, and power.
Liquid Power: Contested Hydro-Modernities
in Twentieth-Century Spain.
Cambridge: MIT Press. 2015.
By Erik Swyngedouw
Through a detailed and careful historical argument, the books demonstrates how Society and Nature are always deeply entangled and should not be analysed through transcendental binaries that separate nature from society.
If you are interested in learning, discussing, and thinking about how socio-physical transformations unfold through myriad of interrelated social power relations and dynamics, please join us to discuss with the author about this and other political implications implied in this book.