Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right

Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right – **Deadline extended for applications: Friday 31st May** https://www.pefr.event.lu.se/ Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/665553393879568/

Lund University, 15-17 November 2019
An interdisciplinary academic-activist conference organized by the Human Ecology Division at Lund University in collaboration with The Zetkin Collective and CEFORCED at Chalmers University
Confirmed speakers: Cara Daggett (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Leon Sealey-Huggins (University of Warwick), Bernard Forchtner (University of Leicester), Kari Norgaard (University of Oregon), Jens Rydgren (Stockholm University).
Far-right political parties, ideologies and social movements are increasingly exercising influence across the world. At the same time, ecological issues, such as climate change, deforestation, land use change, biodiversity loss, and toxic waste are intensifying in their urgency. What happens when the two phenomena meet? How, when and why do they intersect? How are party and non-party sectors of the far right mobilizing ecological issues and discourses to their advantage, whether through championing or rejecting environmentalist claims? What are the ecological underpinnings of far-right politics today? This understudied topic forms the basis of this interdisciplinary conference on the political ecologies of the far right.

From Trump and Bolsonaro to the Sweden Democrats and AfD, a radical anti-environmentalism is most often championed by the contemporary far right. This stance resonates with a conspiratorial suspicion of the state, science, elites, globalism, and supposed processes of moral, cultural and social decay. This is most clearly pronounced in climate change denialism and defense of fossil fuels, which have undergone a global resurgence in recent years. But the same position is also articulated in, for example, anti-vegetarianism or opposition to renewables. How can we understand the causes of far right rejection of environmentalism and environmental concerns where it occurs? What broader ideologies, interests, psychologies, histories, narratives and perceptions does it reflect? What might the implications be for ecological futures if far-right parties continue to amass power? How can the climate justice and other environmental movements and anti-racist, anti-fascist activism converge and collaborate?

On the other hand, it is an inconvenient truth that there is a long-standing shadowy legacy of genealogical connections between environmental concern and far-right thought, from links between conservation and eugenics in the early national parks movement in the US, to dark green currents within Nazism. Hostility to immigration informed by Malthusian thinking and regressive forms of patriotic localism have often surfaced in Western environmentalism. Today, the mainstream environmental movement is more usually aligned with leftist, progressive policies, yet the conservative streak that always lies dormant in overly romanticized conceptions of landscape and nature, or fears about over-population, lie ripe for mobilization in new unholy alliances between green and xenophobic, nativist ideologies. In what forms does this nexus appear around the world today and with what possible consequences? What frames, linkages and concerns are central to eco-right narratives? How can environmental thinking ward off the specter of green nationalism?

How to apply:

The conference aims to bring together not only scholars working at the interface of political ecology and far right studies but also activists from environmental, anti-fascist and anti-racist organizations and movements. We believe there is still much work to do to bring together these often separate strands of scholar and activist work together, and much opportunity for collaboration, mutual learning, and networking. This conference aims to hold a space for such engagement.

Scholars: We welcome contributions from all disciplines (geography, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, political science, cultural studies, sustainability studies, STS, philosophy, art history, media studies, communication studies, et cetera). Apart from individual papers, we also welcome suggestions for panels and workshops.

Activists: At least one day of the conference (Sunday – TBC) will focus on activist practices, with an emphasis on sharing and developing ideas and synergies between green and anti-fascist thinking and working, and on ways to collectively prevent a scenario of ‘ecological crisis meets fascist populism’. We invite activist groups and individuals to submit proposals for workshops, discussions, and presentations.

In line with recent calls for radical emissions reductions at Swedish universities, we encourage prospective participants to consider other travel options than aviation if possible. We are also open to presentations via video link.

Submission of abstracts: Please send abstracts (max. 350 words) to pefr@hek.lu.se by Friday 31st May (**extended deadline**). There are a limited number of travel bursaries available (we will prefer non-aviation means where possible) for those who are most in need of support. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

• climate denialism/climate change, fossil fuels and the far right
• anti-environmentalism of far right
• linking environmental, anti-fascist, anti-racist activism and social movements
• ‘cultural marxism’, conspiracy theories and the environment
• gender, sexuality, the far right and environment (eco, hegemonic or industrial masculinities, anti-feminism, normative heterosexuality, patriarchy)
• renewable energy, vegan/vegetarianism, animal rights, agriculture, toxic waste, land use change, biodiversity extinction, pollution etc and the far right
• environmental science, epistemology and the far right
• racism, xenophobia, nature, conservation, ecology, wilderness and far right
• whiteness as/and ‘endangered’ species
• scenarios of a far-right ecological future
• religion, ecology and the far right
• populism, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, alt-right, far right
• greenwashing, industry links, capital and funding for the far right and links with environmental issues
• far right narratives on development, progress, and futures and their ecological conceptualization
• environmental history of green ideas in far right politics
• dark green histories and genealogies of environmentalism
• infiltrations of and unhappy alliances between the contemporary far right and environmentalists
• ecofascism, bio-nazism, green nationalism

CFP SI: The species turn in South Asian identity politics

The species turn in South Asian identity politics

Special Issue Proposal for Environment and Planning E

Guest editors: Yamini Narayanan (Deakin) and Krithika Srinivasan (Edinburgh)

In the last few years in India, cows have been mobilised prominently in efforts to ‘restore’ the geophysical Indian state as a Hindurashtra, or a racially ‘pure’ Hindu nation. The ‘protection’ of the cow, an animal paired with upper-caste Brahmins in certain interpretations of Hindu scriptures, has been deployed by Hindutva sympathisers as a way of othering ‘non-belonging’ communities in this reconstituted Hindu state, and for acts of exceptional violence against Muslims and Dalits who are framed as slaughterers of cows. Caste has also been deployed in making of a ‘hyperbolic vegetarian’ Hindutva state (Ghassen-Fachandi 2009) based on ideas of social pollution and marginalisation, rather than principled animal ethics. In Sri Lanka too, the cow is politicised as a symbol of Buddhist culture, and to marginalise non-venerating Muslims (Stewart 2013).

The mobilisation of particular nonhuman animal identities as a way of reinforcing intra-human social hierarchies, and excluding religious and ethnic ‘others’ has been noted for some time. In the case of caste in India, Wendy Doniger (2009: 200) notes that certain animal species, and certain human castes are politically interlinked in the Atharva Vedas, based on the purported shared social qualities of animal-caste twinning. In his Buffalo Nationalism, Dalit scholar Kancha Iliah has called out the ‘spiritual fascism’ that simultaneously elevates the fair-skinned cows/Brahmins, and devalues darker-skinned buffaloes/Dalits. The twinning of caste and species hierarchies can also be seen in the derogatory term ‘pariah’ which was used to refer to ‘outcaste’ human communities and then transferred to street dogs and kites seen as out-of-place scavengers by British colonialists (Srinivasan and Nagaraj 2007; Waghmore and Contractor 2015).

Identity politics manifests in spatial ideologies through exclusions and inclusions based on purity and pollution of animal/human bodies, and hierarchisation of these labouring bodies, and their labour. Noting that animals in political geographies are often expressed in terms of the ‘“material”’… rather than as vulnerable beings whose vulnerability is often tied to their places(s) in human society’, Srinivasan (2016: 76) invites reflection locating the ‘animal’ in political geographies, and the ‘political’ in animal geographies. What can a focus on nonhuman animal as a sentient moral subject, and nonhuman animal subjectivities reveal about the uneven landscape of power and powerlessness in intricate identity politics?

Postcolonial scholars of animal, gender, and race studies have already done considerable work in unravelling how the politicisation of animals offers new provocations and ways of understanding contemporary racial and gender politics (Boisseron 2018). These analyses frame anthropocentrism, patriarchy, and racism as ‘intertwined logics of subordination and exclusion’ that in fact, can only fully be addressed together (Gillespie 2018: 1; Kim 2015).

In this special issue, we aim to advance these important conversations by exploring what provocations – and opportunities – arise by seeing nonhuman animals not only as instruments of sectarian violence in South Asia, but indeed, also as subjects of such violence. Cows, for instance, might ostensibly be subjects of protection from slaughter. A caste logic nonetheless operates wherein Jersey cows might be more likely (than indigenous breeds) to being sold into the meat trade (Govindrajan 2018, Narayanan 2018). What’s more, the socio-economic realities of dairying intersect with the holy status of the cow with far reaching negative impacts on the lived experiences of these animals which are subject to illegal transport (for slaughter) precisely because of protections bestowed by their holy status (Srinivasan and Rao 2015). Most crucially, the entire dairy industry rests on what has been theorized as the sexualised and gendered extraction of the reproductive labour of cows and bulls (Gillespie 2014).

As such, we aim to unravel how species, caste, religion, gender,  sexuality, and other elements of identity might intersect to reveal deeper ways of understanding identity-based violence and speciesism as real, interconnected, and indeed, even compatible logics of oppressions. We aim to broaden the politicisation of ‘animals’ in human geography and cognate fields by engaging with geographies of caste, gender, nationalism and religious fundamentalism, and in turn, making caste, extremism and ultranationalism the concern of animal social scientists in/of South Asia.

The special issue has two mandates. One, we ask how discourses of species, gender, caste, religious, sexual, and ethnic identity intertwine and overlap to sustain narratives and practices of purity, exploitation, exclusion, and violence directed at people and nonhuman animals in South Asia.

Two, we explore how alliances between animal advocacy as a social justice movement, can be mediated with other movements such as the feminist, Dalit rights, and other social justice  movements in South Asia. How can a politics of ‘avowal’ (Kim 2015) between these diverse groups be imagined and negotiated?

Against this landscape, we ask questions including but not restricted to:

  1. How are animal bodies enmeshed as productive, reproductive, and symbolic labour in contemporary political economies to advance and sustain identity-based politics?
  2. How have specific twinnings of human and the animal been reinforced to produce particular configurations of nationalism, casteism communalism, sexism and tribalism, even while sustaining exploitative interspecies relations?
  3. How has legislative and civil society action been mobilised in sustaining these twinned logics and practices of exclusion?
  4. What might an intersectional multispecies politics of avowal look like?

We seek abstracts of 150-200 words from scholars of geography, anthropology, sociology, politics, animal studies, and law, among others. Please send to K.Srinivasan@ed.ac.uk and y.narayanan@deakin.edu.au by the 30th May 2019.

References:

Boisseron, B. (2018). Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question. New York: Columbia University Press.

Dave, N., Naisargi. (2017). Something, Everything, Nothing; or, Cows, Dogs, and Maggots. Social Text, 35(1), 37-57.

Doniger, W. (2009). The Hindus: An Alternative History. New York: Penguin.

Ghassem-Fachandi, P. 2009. The hyberbolic vegetarian: Notes on a fragile subject in Gujarat. In Being there: The fieldwork encounter and the making of truth, ed. John Borneman and Abdellah Hammoudi, 77–112. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Gillespie, K. (2014). Sexualized violence and the gendered commodification of the animal body in Pacific Northwest US dairy production. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 21(10), 1321-1337.

Gillespie, K. (2018). Placing Angola: Racialisation, Anthropocentrism, and Settler Colonialism at the Louisiana State Penitentiary’s Angola Rodeo. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography.

Govindrajan, R. (2018). Animal Intimacies: Interspecies Relatedness in India’s Central Himalayas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Iliah, K. (2004). Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism. New Delhi: Sage.

Kim, C., Jean. (2015). Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species, and Nature in a Multicultural Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Narayanan, Y. (2018). Cow protection’ as ‘casteised speciesism’: sacralisation, commercialisation and politicisation. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 41(2), 331-351.

Srinivasan, K. (2016). Towards a political animal geography? Political Geography, 50, 76-78.

Srinivasan, K., & Rao, S. (2015). Meat cultures in globalizing India. Economic and Political Weekly, (39), 13-15.

Stewart, J. (2013). Cow Protection in Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka. The Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia, 45, 19.

Waghmore, S, and Q Contractor. 2015. “On the Madness of Caste: Dalits, Muslims, and Normalized Incivlities in Neoliberal India.” In Global Frontiers of Social Development in Theory and Practice, edited by B Mohan, 223–40. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Announcement for the 2019 Eric Wolf Prize

Feel free to share; apologies for cross-posting.

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

Electronic copies should be sent to Dr. Thomas K. Park ( tpark@email.arizona.edu ).

The deadline for submission is July 15, 2019.

Joe Heyman
on behalf of the Political Ecology Society

CFP: 2019 AAA/CASCA “Pollution/Toxicity: Political Ecologies of Matter Out of Place”

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 (mostafan@hawaii.edu), and Sarah Marie Wiebe (swiebe@hawaii.edu) 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.

Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right, 15-17 Nov 2019

Call for Contributions: Political Ecologies of the Far Right

Lund University, 15-17 November 2019
www.pefr.hek.lu.se

An interdisciplinary academic-activist conference organized by the Human Ecology Division at Lund University in collaboration with The Zetkin Collective and CEFORCED at Chalmers University

Far-right political parties, ideologies and social movements are increasingly exercising influence across the world. At the same time, ecological issues, such as climate change, deforestation, land use change, biodiversity loss, and toxic waste are intensifying in their urgency. What happens when the two phenomena meet? How, when and why do they intersect? How are party and non-party sectors of the far right mobilizing ecological issues and discourses to their advantage, whether through championing or rejecting environmentalist claims? What are the ecological underpinnings of far-right politics today? This understudied topic forms the basis of this interdisciplinary conference on the political ecologies of the far right.

From Trump and Bolsonaro to the Sweden Democrats and AfD, a radical anti-environmentalism is most often championed by the contemporary far right. This stance resonates with a conspiratorial suspicion of the state, science, elites, globalism, and supposed processes of moral, cultural and social decay. This is most clearly pronounced in climate change denialism and defense of fossil fuels, which have undergone a global resurgence in recent years. But the same position is also articulated in, for example, anti-vegetarianism or opposition to renewables. How can we understand the causes of far right rejection of environmentalism and environmental concerns where it occurs? What broader ideologies, interests, psychologies, histories, narratives and perceptions does it reflect? What might the implications be for ecological futures if far-right parties continue to amass power? How can the climate justice and other environmental movements and anti-racist, anti-fascist activism converge and collaborate?

On the other hand, it is an inconvenient truth that there is a long-standing shadowy legacy of genealogical connections between environmental concern and far-right thought, from links between conservation and eugenics in the early national parks movement in the US, to dark green currents within Nazism. Hostility to immigration informed by Malthusian thinking and regressive forms of patriotic localism have often surfaced in Western environmentalism. Today, the mainstream environmental movement is more usually aligned with leftist, progressive policies, yet the conservative streak that always lies dormant in overly romanticized conceptions of landscape and nature, or fears about over-population, lie ripe for mobilization in new unholy alliances between green and xenophobic, nativist ideologies. In what forms does this nexus appear around the world today and with what possible consequences? What frames, linkages and concerns are central to eco-right narratives? How can environmental thinking ward off the specter of green nationalism?

How to apply:

The conference aims to bring together not only scholars working at the interface of political ecology and far right studies but also activists from environmental, anti-fascist and anti-racist organizations and movements. We believe there is still much work to do to bring together these often separate strands of scholar and activist work together, and much opportunity for collaboration, mutual learning, and networking. This conference aims to hold a space for such engagement.

Scholars: We welcome contributions from all disciplines (geography, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, political science, cultural studies, sustainability studies, STS, philosophy, art history, media studies, communication studies, et cetera). Apart from individual papers, we also welcome suggestions for panels and workshops.

Activists: At least one day of the conference (Sunday – TBC) will focus on activist practices, with an emphasis on sharing and developing ideas and synergies between green and anti-fascist thinking and working, and on ways to collectively prevent a scenario of ‘ecological crisis meets fascist populism’. We invite activist groups and individuals to submit proposals for workshops, discussions, and presentations.

In line with recent calls for radical emissions reductions at Swedish universities, we encourage prospective participants to consider other travel options than aviation if possible. We are also open to presentations via video link.

Submission of abstracts: Please send abstracts (max. 350 words) to pefr@hek.lu.se by Thursday 16th May. There are a limited number of travel bursaries available (we will prefer non-aviation means where possible) for those who are most in need of support. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

• climate denialism/climate change, fossil fuels and the far right
• anti-environmentalism of far right
• linking environmental, anti-fascist, anti-racist activism and social movements
• ‘cultural marxism’, conspiracy theories and the environment
• gender, sexuality, the far right and environment (eco, hegemonic or industrial masculinities, anti-feminism, normative heterosexuality, patriarchy)
• renewable energy, vegan/vegetarianism, animal rights, agriculture, toxic waste, land use change, biodiversity extinction, pollution etc and the far right
• environmental science, epistemology and the far right
• racism, xenophobia, nature, conservation, ecology, wilderness and far right
• whiteness as/and ‘endangered’ species
• scenarios of a far-right ecological future
• religion, ecology and the far right
• populism, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, alt-right, far right
• greenwashing, industry links, capital and funding for the far right and links with environmental issues
• far right narratives on development, progress, and futures and their ecological conceptualization
• environmental history of green ideas in far right politics
• dark green histories and genealogies of environmentalism
• infiltrations of and unhappy alliances between the contemporary far right and environmentalists
• ecofascism, bio-nazism, green nationalism
• psychologies, affects, emotions, private lives of the ecologies of the far right
• historical legacies of ecologically unequal exchange and racial capitalism

Irma Kinga Allen
Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellow, ENHANCE ITN
Environmental Humanities Laboratory
Division of History of Science, Technology and EnvironmentKTH – Royal Institute of TechnologyTeknikringen 74D, 5th Floor, Office 1545, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden