CFP: SUSTAINABILITIES panel// DGSKA conference in Konstanz 2019, Germany

Workshop of the RG Circumpolar Regions and Siberia:

Sustainabilities’, Or The Politics of a Many-Faced Concept

Undoubtedly, ‘sustainability’ has become a widely used buzzword not only in our daily lives, but also on both domestic and international political stages. With regard to the Circumpolar North, it has recently been suggested that “sustainability research in the Arctic has moved to the forefront of intellectual and policy realms” (Petrov et al. 2016: 166).

Historian Jeremy Caradonna remarked that the concept of ‘sustainability’ (‘Nachhaltigkeit’) emerged in the context of conflicts over resources, especially wood, induced by the proto-industrialist economies of Early Modern Europe at the beginning of the 18th century (Caradonna 2014). He did not pay, however, much attention to the political effects of this particular development. In contrast, historian Joachim Radkau argued that the articulation of ‘Nachhaltigkeit’ essentially relates to the emergence of the modern, bureaucratic state and that therefore the invocation of ‘sustainability’ has to be understood in clearly political terms (Radkau & Schäfer 1987; Radkau 2011).

In line with this rather critical stance towards ‘sustainability’, we propose to shift attention to the politics  of its invocation: What are the consequences of the introduction of the concept in specific ethnographic settings? What kinds of actors are mobilized and what types of alliances are formed (e.g. NGOs, governmental organizations etc.)? How do these actors deal with potentially different notions of ‘sustainability’? How does ‘sustainability’ relate to the emergence of intensive resource extraction and the (colonial) bureaucratic state? To what extent do invocations of ‘sustainability’ shape the discursive frames of political processes, limiting the field of potential articulations of ‘collectivity’?

The proposed workshop explicitly attempts at breaching narrow regional as well as disciplinary perspectives and therefore welcomes contributions not only from other parts of the globe, but also from related disciplines.

Please note that the “two-role” rule applies to presentations, the organisation of workshops or roundta­bles, and the role of discussant: each conference participant is allowed to take on roles in a maximum of two categories (presentation, discussant, the organisation and chairing of a workshop or roundtable); it is not possible to take on two roles in the same category.

Please send a text of max. 1.200 characters (incl. spaces) and also a short version of max. 300 characters (incl. spaces) directly to the workshop organizer(s). Deadline: 02/15/2019


Panel CfP for 2019 SANA/SUNTA Conference: Relocalizing Agriculture in a Transnational World

Below please find a call for papers for a student proposed panel at the joint Society for the Anthropology of North America and the Society for Urban, National, and Transnational Anthropology conference this May, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The conference theme is “Positive Futures.”  

Apologies if you’re seeing this a second time – had some technical issues when I tried to post it previously!


Relocalizing Agriculture in a Transnational World: Place, Markets, and Migration  

Panel Co-Organizers: Alex Korsunsky (Vanderbilt University) and Emily Ramsey (University of Georgia)

Panel Co-Chairs: Emily Ramsey and Alex Korsunsky  

Whether to address neo-Malthusian concerns of population increase, global food insecurity, or the effects of climate change, agriculture and food systems are critical sites at which to enact change that will vitally shape both human and environmental futures. Scholars, farmers, and consumers look to alternative food systems to provide promising paths forward from the problems many identify within current global agro-industrial food systems. This proposed panel at the 2019 Society for the Anthropology of North America/Society for Urban, National, and Transnational Anthropology Spring Conference asks what positive futures farmers imagine for themselves and others, the affective and cultural meanings they attach to their work, and how their projects interact with and illuminate agro-ecological and political-economic regimes at a variety of scales. How do alternative food systems and practices function as placemaking projects, and how do they gather and mobilize particular social and ecological relationships? How do interactions with particular places, movements, and markets inform the formation of identities and subjectivities? To what extent are practitioners and stakeholders active in relocalizing and perhaps even decommodifying agricultural economies in the face of capitalist agro-industry?   Despite a discursive opposition of local, alternative agriculture and globalized agribusiness, transnational connections have long been important within agriculture and food systems due to reliance on immigrant and migrant farm laborers. These connections continue to expand with the rapidly growing number of immigrant and minority farm operators in the U.S. How do these farmers and farm laborers engage with alternative food production or straddle an agro-industrial/alternative divide? In what ways might alternative food systems represent a sort of bottom-up globalization (sensu Escobar 2001), pushing the boundaries of how we define local food? And in what ways do immigrant farmers and laborers find and create cultural, affective, and strategic value in agriculture and construct their food and farming practices as spaces of hybridity and transnational practice? In examining these transnational agriculturalists, their identities, and practices, this panel also seeks to challenge and expand upon the traditional ways that the positive futures associated with alternative food systems are conceived.  

Organizers of this panel are doctoral students who work with immigrant farmers and farm laborers in the Northwest and Southeastern U.S., respectively. We invite a variety of perspectives on the ways in which identities are articulated through or remade by engagement with food systems and political and folk-ecologies across multiple scales.   Interested participants should send an abstract of no more than 250 words to both Emily Ramsey ( and Alex Korsunsky ( no later than February 21, 2019. In addition to the abstract, include the title of the paper, the author’s name, affiliation, and email.

Conference Logistics: The conference takes place at the Hilton Caribe in San Juan, Puerto Rico from May 2-5, 2019. Students and local residents can participate in the conference for free, while underemployed faculty members qualify for a reduced registration rate. Membership in SANA or SUNTA is not required to participate. Registration for the conference must be made by March 1st, 2019 at 3pm EST to submit an abstract and participate.  

Reference Escobar, Arturo. 2001. “Culture sits in places: Reflections on globalism and subaltern strategies of localization.” Political Geography 20: 139-174.

Call for papers extended – #EJ2019

The deadline for submissions of abstracts and sessions for the Environmental Justice Conference 2019 – Transformative Connections at University of East Anglia in July 2019 has been extended to 14 February 2019.

Find out more:

There are also a number of open panels looking for participants here:

Get in touch:



Call for Papers for fully funded work/writeshop – May 2020

Call for Papers for fully funded work/writeshop – May 2020 in the Abbazia di San Giusto, Italy
Crisis Conservation: Saving Nature in Times of Extinction, Exception and Enmity

Organized by: Prof. Bram Büscher (Wageningen University, the Netherlands).

Date: 10-16 May 2020

Place: Abbazia di San Giusto, Italy (an old abbey two hours from Rome, which now functions as an eco-friendly organic farm and a venue for a variety of gatherings). For more information, see

The topic:

Conservation and crisis are no strangers. Conservation science has long been seen as a ‘crisis discipline’ while conservationists often have to respond to or work in crisis situations. And while conservation has booked successes, the sense of crisis has not gone away. To the contrary, it has rapidly increased, especially over the last years. Three elements seem particularly pertinent. First, a cascading extinction crisis. Many scientists now believe we have entered the sixth extinction event in the history of the planet, the first one that is human-induced. Second, we are seeing an increasing number of high-pressure situations around the world where urgent action is required to safeguard important species or ecosystems from destruction. These disparate crises seem to be the outcome of a recent surge in large-scale resource extraction and wildlife crime. They have in turn elicited new types of conservation responses, leading to myriad ‘spaces of exception’ where violence, illegality and uncertainty drastically change environmental governance. Third, all this is taking place in a global political climate that increasingly revolves around deep-seated forms of antagonism. An increasing number of authoritarian leaders openly flirt with fascism, dismiss democratic institutions and base their politics on distinctions between friends and enemies.[1] This politics of enmity does not make it easier to focus our attention on conservation crises deemed so urgent that they threaten humanity’s very survival.

As part of this work/writeshop, we are interested to investigate and theorize crisis conservation in times of extinction, exception and enmity. We are interested in papers that make empirical and/or theoretical connections between all or some of these elements and seek to understand the changes they lead to and their (potential) impacts on people and nature. The workshop will be used to discuss advanced drafts of papers in order to produce a coherent special issue for a top political ecology, human geography or related journal.

The idea: through this CfP, I would like to invite scholars working on crisis conservation and interested in the links between extinction, exception and enmity to submit an abstract for a dedicated work/writeshop in May 2020 in the Abbazia di San Giusto in Italy. The idea is to come together with a small group of scholars (max. 10-12) to present and discuss draft papers on this topic and have them ready for submission to a journal by the end of the week or very soon thereafter. The workshop will be held in a beautiful agriturismo (Abbazia di San Giusto), with plenty of time and space for hikes, discussions, good dinners and creative leisure time.

If you feel that your research fits this description, or that you can quite easily extend your current research to fit the topic, do consider submitting an abstract. From the abstracts, we will choose 4-6 participants to join 6 others already involved in the crisis conservation project (see for this exciting workshop. If your abstract is selected, your participation will be fully funded. Scholars from the global south are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

Deadline for abstracts: We request paper abstracts by 4 March 2019. Please send a 250 word abstract, with title, contact information, and three keywords as an attachment to<>. If approved, full papers are due 1 March 2020.

More information: if you want more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch:<>.

For more content info, see also the following papers, which can be downloaded from<>:

*   Büscher, Bram and Robert Fletcher (2018). Under Pressure: conceptualising Political ecologies of “Green Wars”. Conservation and Society 16, 2: 105-113<;year=2018;volume=16;issue=2;spage=105;epage=113;aulast=Buscher>.
*   Büscher, Bram (2018). From Biopower to Ontopower? Violent Responses to Wildlife Crime and the New Geographies of Conservation. Conservation and Society 16, 2: 157-169.<;year=2018;volume=16;issue=2;spage=157;epage=169;aulast=Buscher;type=0>
*   Büscher, Bram and Maano Ramutsindela (2016). Green Violence: Rhino Poaching and the War to Save Southern Africa’s Peace Parks. African Affairs 115, 458: 1-22<>.
*   Duffy, R., F. St John, B. Büscher and D. Brockington (2015). The Militarization of Anti-Poaching: Undermining Long Term Goals. Environmental Conservation <> 42, 4: 345-348.


[1] See, accessed 11 November 2018.

CfP: Space in time: changing patterns of land use, land rights, and landscape narratives. ECAS, 11-14.06.2019, Edinburgh.

The 8th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS19)

Panel Env09: Space in time: changing patterns of land use, land rights, and landscape narratives

Short Abstract:
Rivers are in the centre of dynamic landscapes in Southern Africa marked by competing narratives of land use and land claims. The panel addresses continuities and ruptures of these changing uses and claims by exploring interdisciplinary archives of river landscapes in Southern Africa and beyond.

The panel explores the interlinkages of landscapes and archives along African rivers. Irrespective of how landscape is conceptualised, materially or discursively, landscape is always subject to change, and as such reflects continuities and disruptions: Natural processes (geological, fluvial, climatic) and human interactions (agriculture, settlements, mining, infrastructure) leave physical traces in the landscape. Whereas changing regimes of representations (paintings, maps, story-telling) generate new and often competing discursive landscapes. In other words, the panel asks how information stored in river landscapes allows for reconstructing narratives of the past. The panel hence welcomes papers that explore narratives lodged in river landscapes from diverse disciplines using and combining varieties of data, as well as theoretical contributions that seek to bring together competing narratives of river landscapes.
The panel convenors are involved in the interdisciplinary research project Space in Time that explores landscape narratives and land management changes along the Lower Orange River marking the border between Namibia and South Africa. This region’s patterns of water and land use have experienced profound changes over the last centuries. Today, large-scale nature conservation and agriculture projects both benefit from the river (and the border) and are at the same time the driving forces behind a further restructuring of the region, in which large parts of the population remain poor. The panel seeks to broaden the regional, conceptual and theoretical scope of this project and invites papers that contribute to interdisciplinary theoretical and empirical engagements with changing patterns of land use, land rights and landscape narratives along rivers.

All paper proposals must consist of: a title, name/s and email address/es of author/s, a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters, a long abstract of fewer than 250 word.


Please submit your paper directly on ECAS website:

Deadline: 21 January 2019

CfP Political Ecologies of Green Energy at RGS-IBG Annual Conference

Political Ecologies of Green Energy: troubling the realities of being green

Convenors: Dr Jessica Hope & Dr Ed Atkins, University of Bristol

Sponsored by DARG & ENGRG

The 2015 Paris Agreement binds world leaders to a commitment to keep global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius this century. If this is not achieved, climate scientists predict significant disruptions to earth systems that will radically alter life as we know it (IPCC 2018). In this context, green energy offers hope. Firstly, as moving away from fossil fuels is crucial for reducing carbon emissions. Secondly, as green energy offers opportunities for a revised politics of energy and an alternative material basis for social, environmental and political life. However, the transformative potential offered by green energies is troubled by continuing patterns of exploitation, extraction, and dispossession. Hydropower mega-dams, for example, require large-scale infrastructure in the Amazon that cuts into and through indigenous territories and conservation areas (Atkins 2018). The tech-minerals required for energy storage from wind and solar power, as another example, are driving new frontiers of mining in Latin America (see Andreucci & Radhuber forthcoming)..

Political ecology provides a productive lens for investigating these shifts and tensions. It reveals the contested and multi-scalar politics of nature(s), spanning debates about how nature(s) are conceptualized and governed.  Broadly, it enables us to foreground and analyse the interconnections between natures, cultures, knowledges, power, and history (see Escobar 2017) and politicize ecologies that are often rendered apolitical within popular and policy discourse (Robbins 2011: 7). In this panel, we invite papers that use a political ecology approach to interrogate and extend how we view so-called ‘green’ energies – from solar and wind to hydropower and new biofuels. At a time when the urgency of climate change is increasingly apparent (IPCC 2018), we seek to broaden our understandings of these emergent energy infrastructures to better understanding their relationship – be it positive or negative – with both social wellbeing and environmental health. With the complex realities of green energies often hidden by de-politicised CO2 metrics, we seek papers that open-up our understandings of what constitutes ‘green’ energy and the role of power and exclusion in such a definition.

We invite papers that take this as their starting point that energy is a particularly important site of study for political ecology, one that is not interchangeable with other ‘natural resources’ as energy provides the material basis of politics more broadly (Huber 2011). We invite authors to interrogate, examine and extend a political ecology of ‘green’ energy systems and technologies. Papers that look at the Global North or South are welcomed. Similarly, we are interested in hearing about a diversity of energy sources.

Papers might ask:

·      How do green energy technologies restructure the spatiality / materiality of incumbent energy systems?

·      To what extent do green energies differ from dynamics of extractivism and the uneven development produced by incumbent energy systems?

·                           How do new ‘resources’ come into being (to become commodities              and extractable resources)? For example, through which knowledges, practices and discourses?

·      How do green energies rework or confront colonial histories, neocolonial practices and decolonial agendas?

·      How are alternative ontologies of nature and place encountered and treated by green energy initiatives?

Please send a 300 word abstract and brief bio to Dr Jessica Hope ( and Dr Ed Atkins ( by Feb 12th 2019