Call for Papers: Nature and Environment in Australia – Conference 28 September-1 October 2016, University of Cologne

Name of organization: German Association for Australian Studies (GASt)


Founded in 1989, the Association for Australian Studies (GASt) is a politically independent, interdisciplinary organisation devoted to furthering scholarship concerned in the broadest way with Australia and to promoting Australian studies, both in teaching and research, in German-speaking countries.

In line with this interdisciplinary approach to Australian Studies, GASt invites panels and papers that address nature and environment in Australia.

Debates around Australia often explore the attachment to place as well as the intrinsic qualities of landscape. Australia’s famously unique nature on the one hand and heated discussions around environmental justice and activism on the other provide a forum for fostering scholarly and creative work that explores the relationship between human culture, natural history and global ecologies. This conference is concerned both with notions of indigenous environmental knowledge, and ideas about how a diverse Australia is responding to global climate change, resource exploitation, land degradation, urban sprawl and loss of biodiversity.

Jointly organised by Prof. Dr. Beate Neumeier (Department of English) and Prof. Dr. Boris Braun (Institute of Geography), this interdisciplinary conference will feature renowned Australian speakers. GASt seeks to address these issues by means of a transdisciplinary dialogue, inviting papers from the humanities, social sciences, history, law, geography, urban and regional planning, and environmental sciences. Possible contributions may cover the following issues, among others:

  • The changing natural environment of the continent
  • The distribution of natural, economic and social resources
  • Different cultural understandings of “nature”, “environment” and “wilderness”
  • Challenges and opportunities for sustainable development, and social opportunities in present-day Australia
  • Literary and artistic articulations and negotiations of environmental issues
  • Indigenous environmental knowledge and a new assessment of rituals and practices
  • The role of the media in ecological debates
  • Debates over Australia’s cultural and scientific heritage
  • Environment and gender studies
  • Environmental ethics
  • Environmental history
  • Environmental justice and the law, including land right claims and mining disputes
  • Policy and planning approaches to tackle environmental challenges

Visit our website:

The conference will take place 28 September – 1 October 2016 at the University of Cologne, Germany.

Please send proposals for papers in English or German (250-300 words) to Prof. Beate Neumeier (Department of English, or Prof. Boris Braun (Institute of Geography, by 29 February 2016.

Poster Proposals are also welcome.