CFP: 9th Annual Radical Democracy Conference: “Radical Ecologies,” New School of Social Research, Apr. 10-11, 2020 (deadline: Feb. 1, 2020)

The 9th annual Radical Democracy conference, sponsored by the Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research, will convene theorists and practitioners around the theme of Radical Ecologies. In the year that “climate strike” was named word of the year by Collins Dictionary, we seek to explore what opportunities for democratic resistance can be found in a multiplicity of ecologies. The conference will provide a platform for dialogue on the urgent question of our future in a post-climate change world. 

Against the backdrop of increasingly visible and devastating climate disasters, resurgent environmental movements are embracing divergent visions and methods of struggle to realize change. As such, it is timely to ask, What makes an ecology radical? A multitude of intersecting traditions have sought to answer this question. An eco-feminist might approach this through the lens of social reproduction. An eco-socialist might frame radical ecology in terms of a mode of production beyond capitalism that can sustain and replenish nature. Indigenous perspectives can draw on centuries of resistance to extractive colonial capitalism. The conference will consider how a radical ecological praxis can be pursued within this plurality of histories, cosmologies and schools of thought, and, crucially, examine what we can learn from the work of activists on the frontline. We therefore call on both scholars and activists to engage in a fruitful dialogue on the still unsettled relationship between politics and the environment.

We seek abstracts and panel proposals that grapple with this issue across a broad range of perspectives and disciplines, including, but by no means limited to:

  • environmental social movements past, present and future;
  • indigenous, subaltern, decolonial and posthuman perspectives and strategies of resistance; 
  • the urgency of converging ecological crises, and strategic possibilities and limitations of confronting it within existing political systems;
  • the theoretical and ontological underpinnings of environmentalism in the global North, and critiques thereof;
  • networks of alliance across geographical space, disciplinary boundaries, and patterns and institutions of oppression;
  • materialist analyses of winners and losers in the clean energy transition and ecological sustainability movement;
  • questions of future(s) and intergenerational ethics;
  • meditations on the relations between aesthetics, activism, and the nonhuman.

The conference will take place over two days, the structure of which will include graduate-student panels, an indigenous activist-scholar roundtable, and a keynote address.

For individual paper proposals, please submit a one-page abstract (max. 300 words) that includes institutional affiliation, academic level and contact information. Complete panel proposals with up to four papers are strongly encouraged.

Please submit your paper or panel abstracts by February 1st, 2020, to Selected participants will be notified March 1st, 2020. Full conference papers are due by April 5, 2020.

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