Details: RGS-IBG AC2015 Postgraduate Snapshots Session – Provocations and Possibilities ‘in’ and ‘of’ the Anthropocene

Friday 4th September 2015 14:40 – 16:20.
Peter Chalk – Room 1.6, University of Exeter.
(Session Number 269 in Conference Programme).


Conveners:  SCGRG Postgraduate Reps 2014-2015.
(Katie Ledingham, University of Exeter; Suzanne Hocknell, University of Exeter; Emma Spence, Cardiff University).

Sponsors: Social and Cultural Geography Research Group & Postgraduate Forum

This session will explore the different ways in which postgraduate researchers in Social and Cultural Geography are both engaging with and attending to the manifold provocations posed by the concept of the Anthropocene. Postgraduates will present a brief ‘snapshot’ of their work (whether a photograph, a quotation, a field diary entry, an image of an object, or mini-video clip) as a focus for contributions that explore the ways in which their theoretical and/or methodological interventions are acting to work with and against the rise of the Anthropocene. We encourage participants to fully utilise their snapshots in ways which further deepen and enrich the developing trajectories, tensions, and textures associated with the mobilisation of this concept.

Chairs: Suzanne Hocknell (University of Exeter) & Emma Spence (Cardiff University)

Presenters:  Luc Tripet (Universite de Neuchatel); Yannick Rousselot (Universitie de Geneve); Amita Bhakta (Loughborough University); Anna Pigott (Swansea University); Leigh Martindale (Lancaster University); Natalia Stutter (Cardiff University); Jacob Barber (University of Edinburgh).

Discussant:  Emma Spence (Cardiff University)

ABSTRACTS:
Consistency vs Constancy: a Manifesto against Striating Ontologies in the Anthropocene
Luc Tripet (Universite de Neuchatel, Switzerland)
Yannick Rousselot (Universite de Geneve, Switzerland)
Striating ontologies overcode any socio-ecological becoming, reducing it to reified and alienating structures, hence producing a regulated, striated space. We argue that it is notably through these ontologies that the rhizomatic entanglements of human and nonhuman is deterritorialized and reterritorialized into a dual stratification: Nature as resources, society as a value-producing structure. This relative movement is based upon a totalizing principle – an absolute -, the capitalism in its process of capture of the earth. Therefore, striating ontologies raise an essential issue. One does not explain anything with constant ontologies but has to acknowledge the immanence and contingency of existence in order to grasp more than reifying abstractions. For the real is never constant, one has to encounter the becomings that give consistency to our world. In the case of the Anthropocene, a pretence of constancy such as the productivist and anthropocentrist stratification annihilates the becoming-entanglements of the human and the nonhuman. More precisely, this performed blindness to our rhizomatic relation to the earth sustains the strange ideal of constant progress and perpetual growth in a finite world, from which the environmental crisis proceeds. We conclude arguing that ontologies have to embrace consistency; be(com)ing nomad ontologies, to dispense with constancy.

Accommodating disability in sustainable living: embodied tensions of access in eco-communities
Amita Bhakta (Loughborough University, UK)
In an era in which adaptation and mitigation to anthropogenic climate change has become of increasing importance, grassroots eco-communities continue to emerge as a response to combating an array of environmental challenges we face. However, with a continually ageing population, meeting our changing and embodied needs mediated through dis/ability remains to be an issue which merits further attention, particularly in the context of sustainable living. Drawing on a snapshot of field reflections of embodied experiences from the perspective of Cerebral Palsy, this paper discusses the tensions between accessibility for dis/abled people and the practices tied into sustainable living within an eco-community context. Attempts to reduce environmental impact have, in practice, provoked both physical and social exclusion for dis/abled people. Greater attention to understanding bodily difference and the body itself in finding solutions to environmental challenges is needed, through going beyond policy and towards an increased dialogue with the less able.

Imagining Anthropocene futures: glimpses from Wales
Anna Pigott (Swansea University, UK)
This research explores how the future is being imagined, envisioned and hoped for in Wales in the context of the ‘Anthropocene’. Increasingly, imaginations of the future are seen as influential to social change because they are a vital part of how possible futures are pre-experienced and set in motion (Yusoff and Gabrys, 2011), and yet it is also suggested (e.g. Harvey, 2000) that contemporary societies have experienced a decline in the hope and utopianism that once motivated social change. Wales provides an important context for this research as its Government is pioneering a cutting-edge approach to sustainability and the well-being of future generations (One Wales: One Planet, 2009). The research draws on ethnographic engagements with a range of case studies that shed light on diverse imaginaries of the future, and explores their significance in relation to both national and global narratives about the Anthropocene.

Understanding humans in the Anthropocene: Finding answers in Geoengineering and Transition Towns
Leigh Martindale (Lancaster University, UK)
Despite ‘knowing’ about and understanding that human society is the major reason for global environmental change, the evidence to date suggests we haven’t acted in accordance to this knowledge. Indeed, ‘business-as-usual’ is arguably the predominant reaction to issues of climate change and the idea of the Anthropocene. This presentation will therefore suggest how environmental discourse can be transformed – in order to become emancipatory – during the era of the Anthropocene. Using the idea of material or ‘geological politics’ (Clark, 2013; 2014) in the context of local geoengineering strategies and Transition Towns, I hope to show that the question is not ‘what is to be done’ but rather: ‘what is being done and how can we help move this forward’ (Gibson-Graham, 2009).

An Unusual Sight in Hanoi
Natalia Stutter (Cardiff University, UK)
A group of itinerant bicycle vendors in Hanoi gather at the side of the street – resting, chatting and laughing with one another. They stand at ease with their bikes parked; they are comfortable and pay little attention to passers-by. The conical hats symbolise that these women are from the countryside. Economic reformation in Vietnam and rapid urbanisation – key contributors to the development of the Anthropocene – have had adverse effects on the amount of land available for traditional agricultural practices. As a result rural families, whose members often have little formal education or skills, are forced to find alternative forms of income. Selling food in the city is one of the few options available, however the presence of mobile vendors in Hanoi is fraught with challenges. As the city continues to develop and modernise the vendors are becoming increasingly marginalised as we move further into the Anthropocene.

Psychohistory and “the Anthropocene”
Jacob Barber (The University of Edinburgh, UK)
I want to suggest that at one end of a spectrum ‘the Anthropocene’ narrative is one of hyper modernization by numbers. A project that imagines the entirety of human behaviour in the singular Anthropos, and, like the fictional psychohistory of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation universe, casts an impersonal eye into the future to make decisions about and for all of us. This is a world of hazily imagined planetary sovereignty that I fear only exacerbates the problems that prompted Crutzen and Stoermer to coin the term Anthropocene’ in the first place. At the other end of this spectrum, however, the Anthropocene appears as doing too much, trying to explain too many things under an umbrella-term that disguises a vast heterogeneity below. If this is the case, if ‘the Anthropocene’ really is doing too much and trying to explain everything, then I question the applicability of that term to anything.

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Extended Call for Abstracts: Postgraduate Snapshots RGS-IG AC2015, ‘Provocations and Possibilities ‘in’ and ‘of’ the Anthropocene’

We have space for 1 or 2 more papers – deadline extended until Friday April 3rd

Provocations and Possibilities ‘in’ and ‘of’ the Anthropocene: Postgraduate Snapshots

Session convenors: Katie Ledingham, Suzanne Hocknell, & Emma Spence.
Sponsored by the Postgraduate Forum & the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group.

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, University of Exeter 1-4 September 2015

The aim of this session is to explore the different ways in which postgraduate researchers in Social and Cultural Geography are both engaging with and attending to the manifold provocations posed by the concept of the Anthropocene. We are encouraging postgraduates to present a brief ‘snapshot’ of their work (whether a photograph, a quotation, a field diary entry, an image of an object, or mini-video clip) as a focus for 5-10 minute contributions that explore the ways in which their theoretical and/or methodological interventions are acting to work with and against the rise of the Anthropocene. It is envisaged that the snapshot will be the main artefact around which each contribution is orientated. We encourage participants to fully utilise their snapshots in ways which further deepen and enrich the developing trajectories, tensions, and textures associated with the mobilisation of this concept.

The extended deadline for submissions is Friday 3rd April 2015.

Please include:
•A title for your ‘Snapshot’
•An abstract (max 150 words)
•A short description of how your presentation will use your snapshot (max 100 words)
•Your name, affiliation and contact details (email address)
•Year of research (Masters, MPhil/PhD – 1, 2, 3, 3+)

For more information or to submit prospective contributions please email:
Katie <kal210@exeter.ac.uk>, Suzanne <sh422@exeter.ac.uk> and Emma <SpenceEE@cardiff.ac.uk>

Call for Abstracts: Postgraduate Snapshots RGS-IBG AC 2015 1-4 September

Provocations and Possibilities ‘in’ and ‘of’ the Anthropocene: Postgraduate Snapshots

Session convenors: Katie Ledingham, Suzanne Hocknell, & Emma Spence.
Sponsored by the Postgraduate Forum
& the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group.

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, University of Exeter 1-4 September 2015

The aim of this session is to explore the different ways in which postgraduate researchers in Social and Cultural Geography are both engaging with and attending to the manifold provocations posed by the concept of the Anthropocene. We are encouraging postgraduates to present a brief ‘snapshot’ of their work (whether a photograph, a quotation, a field diary entry, an image of an object, or mini-video clip) as a focus for 5-10 minute contributions that explore the ways in which their theoretical and/or methodological interventions are acting to work with and against the rise of the Anthropocene. It is envisaged that the snapshot will be the main artefact around which each contribution is orientated. We encourage participants to fully utilise their snapshots in ways which further deepen and enrich the developing trajectories, tensions, and textures associated with the mobilisation of this concept.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 13th February 2015.

Please include:
•A title for your ‘Snapshot’
•An abstract (max 150 words)
•A short description of how your presentation will use your snapshot (max 100 words)
•Your name, affiliation and contact details (email address)
•Year of research (Masters, MPhil/PhD – 1, 2, 3, 3+)

For more information or to submit prospective contributions please email:
Katie <kal210@exeter.ac.uk>, Suzanne <sh422@exeter.ac.uk> and Emma <SpenceEE@cardiff.ac.uk>

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum: call for sessions

pgfThe Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Postgraduate Forum (RGSPGF) invites proposals for sponsored/joint sponsored sessions for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2015. The 2015 conference will be held at the University of Exeter from the 2nd to 4th September 2015 and will be chaired by Professor Sarah Whatmore (University of Oxford) with the focus being on “Geographies of the Anthropocene”.

More information can be found here.

Please note the extended deadline of Friday 19th December.

In keeping with the ethos of the Postgraduate Forum we would particularly welcome different or non standard, highly interactive sessions that are of equal benefit to the audience and the presenter. If you are interested in co-sponsoring a session please send a proposal to Greg Thomas (ggt9@aber.ac.uk) and Will Andrews (wwa9@aber.ac.uk).

Proposals should include:

  • Title of session;
  • Name of co-sponsoring groups (if applicable);
  • Name, affiliation and contact details for session convenors;
  • Abstract outlining scope of session (200 words);
  • Indication of preferred organisation of session (the more creative the better);
  • Indication of any non-standard arrangements.

The Postgraduate Forum encourages postgraduates to propose sessions. This is a great opportunity to organise a session and the Postgraduate Forum is happy to provide assistance with the organisation of the sessions should it be required.

The deadline for proposal is Friday 19th December and we will be aiming to inform session organisers of sponsorship before the New Year. Any questions should be directed to Greg Thomas (ggt9@aber.ac.uk)

Best wishes,

Greg Thomas and Will Andrews

Conference Session Organisers

RGS Postgraduate Forum Committee

Social and Cultural Geography Research Group » Call for Session Abstracts RGS-IBG Conference 2015

scglogoThe Social and Cultural Geography Research Group (SCGRG) invites proposals for sponsored sessions for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2015 to be held at the University of Exeter from 2nd to 4th September 2015. The conference will focus on “Geographies of the Anthropocene” and will be chaired by Professor Sarah Whatmore (University of Oxford).

‘The Anthropocene has been claimed to herald a new geological epoch in which human society is acknowledged as having become the greatest force shaping planet earth…This annual conference theme aims to bring all areas of the discipline to the table…to explore the rich array of geographical work engaging this powerful idea and its consequences.’

In addition to hosting a postgraduate ‘snapshot’ session, the SCGRG has 11 sessions available for sponsorship. In keeping with Social and Cultural Themes we would particularly welcome sessions exploring:

Cultural approaches to investigating environmental issues; ‘knowing/understanding’ nature etc; the anthropocene and social difference; human-more-than-human relations; adaptive technologies; imagining the environment; performing the anthropocene in arts/science collaborations; the material-imagination; elemental geographies; anthropocene methodologies, and more. However, we are also open to sessions that engage with social and cultural geography more broadly.

Proposals should include-
•Title of session;
•Name of Co-sponsoring groups, if applicable
•Name, Affiliation and Contact Details for Session Convenors
•Abstract, outlining scope of session – 200 words max.
•Number of session timeslots that are sought – this year sessions may not normally occupy more than 2 time slots.
•Indication of preferred organisation of session, e.g. 4 x 20min presentation, plus 20min discussion or 5 x 15min presentation, with 5min question for each. We also welcome creative formats. Sessions last 1 hour 40 mins.
•Indication of any non-standard arrangements, please note there will not be support for Skype or other forms of distance participation at AC2015. However, individual session organisers are welcome to incorporate presentations in this format into their sessions if they feel confident they can do so within the IT setup provided (all rooms will have laptop, projector, screen, speakers and internet connection)

The deadline for proposals is Friday 12th December, we will be aiming to inform session organisers of sponsorship before the Christmas break.

Proposals for, or questions about, SCGRG sponsored sessions should be sent to Dr. Rebecca Sandover –R.J.Sandover@exeter.ac.uk