CFP Conferences European Association for Studies on Australia

Call for Papers: Caring for Country. Reimagining Society, Environment and Possible Futures in Australia

Panel to be held at the EASA conference, University of Naples 13-16th October, 2020.

Since colonisation, Australia has been going through major ecological change and the recent catastropic events have certainly accelerated a veritable extinction crisis affecting all forms of life. At the same time, recognizing the ecological uniqueness and the fragility of Australian environments as well as its traumatic colonial history, Australian scholars have had “a competitive edge in the environmental humanities” responding with a “reflective engagement with the physical world” (Griffiths 2007) by crossing the divide between culture and nature, arts and science, western and indigenous knowledge systems, in order to explore alternatives, and start acting on what needs to be done to “work towards social and ecological justice” (Rose 2001, Rose and Robin 2004). These scholars reoriented environmental research in the 70s and consolidated their approach in the late 90s exploring the dynamics of an extended sociality that includes humans, animals and environments in terms of connectivity, mutual responsibility, reciprocity, interdependence, cooperation and care (Rose 1999, 2017). Drawing from the dense cultural meaning of the term “country” – Indigenous people’s source and focus of economic, social, cultural, legal and religious life – where all life forms have their own subjectivity in the form of agency, consciousness, affect and morality within a network of mutual care relations (Rose 1996, 2000), this panel invites authors to:

  • explore how the nature/culture divide has been maintained or challenged from the
    perspective of different knowledge traditions composing Australian society;
  • explore how the complex relationships between beings and their environments in
    Australia have been studied, celebrated or neglected within different disciplinary studies in the past and in the present;
  • present the major theoretical and methodological shifts and critiques brought about by
    sub-disciplines in ecological humanities, such as ecocriticism, environmental anthropology, environmental economics, environmental geography, environmental history, environmental philosophy, history and philosophy of science, sociology of scientific knowledge, deep ecology and ecofeminism, the arts, performances and poetry, to cite a few.

Suggested themes to be considered:

Environmental sustainability
Ecological crisis and management
Public policy and debate on ecology (responsibility, risk and complexity)
Climate politics
Ecological crisis of reason
Biodiversity justice and ethics
The construction of nature in literature and scientific texts
Settler Australians’ relationship to place
Writing, painting and performing Australian nature
Visual representations of nature and country in art and photography
Ecological literature
Singing and dancing country
Nature as historical agent
Big history
Engagement with Aboriginal history
Cultural sustainability
Indigenous ecological knowledge
Ecological connectivity
Relational ontology
The question of belonging
Ecological imperialism
Notion of wilderness
Extinction studies
Multispecies ethnography

Please send a 250-words abstract and a 100-word bio-note to Franca Tamisari by February 28, 2020.