International Conference

Beyond Modernity: Alternative Incursions into the Anthropocene

June 15 and 16, 2021

Online > call for papers until May 10

Call for papers

The “Anthropocene”, a term coined by Crutzen and Stroemer (2000) to designate our current geological epoch, highlights the inseparability between human activities and climate systems. As humans become agents of geohistory (Latour, 2014), the very foundations of our civilizational model and socioeconomic system are being questioned. The modern political project was founded on a divide between Nature and Culture and, as a consequence, the current socioeconomic system is based on a particularly violent relationship towards the webs of life. Capitalism, as a “world-ecology”, depends on the endless exploitation of Nature, women, the proletariat, indigenous people and of other minorities. This pursuit of limitless growth in a limited world is fundamentally anti-ecological and deeply unequal.

In this sense, the “Anthropocene event” is not purely a physical phenomenon: rather, it is inextricably linked to the power relations that govern our social, economic and political systems. This is why critical authors have been problematizing and rethinking the concept of the “Anthropocene”, refusing to accept its homogenized and universal conception of “Humanity”. Not all humans — nor countries — are equally responsible for environmental degradation. Universalizing the capitalist mode of production ignores the global asymmetries of power that have generated unprecedented levels of environmental degradation. Consequently, authors have been proposing the use of terms like “Capitalocene” (Moore, 2016), “Plutocene” (Solón, 2019) or “Manthropocene” (Raworth, 2014), which emphasize, respectively, the destructive logic of global capitalism, of concentration of power in the hands of a global economic and financial elite, and of the gendered structure of power.

However, these conceptualisations have also been criticized for reproducing the modern dualisms that separate human and non-human agency. In this sense, Donna Haraway (2016) proposes the term “Chthulucene”, arguing, as Danowski and Viveiros de Castro (2015) and Krenak (2019), that humans are not the only relevant actors on this Planet. These authors argue that there is an urge not only to move away from the capitalist paradigm of infinite growth, but also to go beyond the precepts of our civilizational model. As Escobar (2016) puts it, “we are facing modern problems for which there are no longer modern solutions.” Indeed, ontologically speaking, the environmental crisis — as well as the social, political, institutional, geopolitical, and, more recently, global health crisis — is a crisis of a particular way-of-doing-world: the Western Modernity paradigm. To overcome the multidimensional global systemic crises we face, it has become increasingly evident that we need counter-hegemonic theoretical proposals that go beyond modern ontologies and epistemologies.

In times of global shared vulnerabilities and of rapid social, political and environmental destruction, moving beyond the modern “abyssal thinking” (Santos, 2007) seems urgently necessary. Following these ideas and other similar conceptualisations, the Project TROPO: Ontologies of the Anthropocene in Portugal of the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra will be organizing the Online Conference Beyond Modernity: Alternative Incursions into the Anthropocene (15th and 16th June 2021).

We invite authors and/or activists to provide critical and counter-hegemonic support to discussions around the “Anthropocene”. Authors will have the chance to present their papers at the Conference and will later on be invited to publish their full article at the Review CES Contexto. We welcome conceptual proposals as well as empirical examples that discuss, analyse or deepen some (but not limited to) of these topics:
 

 - Capitalocene versus Anthropocene; Extractivism, Capitalism, (Neo)Imperialism, (Neo)Colonialism and the Anthropocene;

 - South Epistemologies and the Anthropocene; Pluriverse and Pluriversal Politics; Counter-Hegemonic Ontologies and the Anthropocene;

 - Radical Political Ecologies; Decolonial Political Ecologies; Black Ecologies; Post-Capitalist Ecologies; Ecofeminist Political Ecologies; Post-Development Ecologies;

 - Green Politics; Radical and Green Political Economy; Degrowth; Commons and Commoning;

 - Rights of Nature; Human-Animal Studies; Human-Nature Relations; Posthumanism;

 - Systemic Alternatives; Grassroots Innovations; Prefigurative Politics; Alternatives to the Capitalist World-Ecology;

 - Environmental and Climate Justice Movements; Socioecological Conflicts and Resistances; Land and Territorial Struggles;

 - Indigenous Worldviews on Ecology; American Indian Cosmologies; Buen Vivir; Sumak Kawsay;

 - The Anthropocene, more-than-human agency and the arts

 - The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Anthropocene.
 

If you are interested in this venture, please take note of the following:

Abstract submission deadline -10th May Please submit an abstract (no longer than 350 words) along with 5 keywords to marianariquito@ces.uc.pt and/or amcarvalho@ces.uc.pt. Abstracts should include the working title of the proposed contribution, the author(s), affiliation(s), and email (in case there is more than one author please indicate the name of the presenting author)

1st June: Prospective authors will be informed of the editorial decision. The committee will choose amongst the most promising abstracts, and elected authors will be able to present their proposal at the Conference.

15th & 16th June: Online Conference.

15th September: Submission of full articles. Articles should follow the submission guidelines of Cescontexto online publication.


This conference will be free of charge

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This activity will be provided through Zoom platform and doesn’t require registration. It’s limited to the number of places available.
June 15th: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87926944288?pwd=UU9nb3p6REMrQkNlZFdobnhlRWE1Zz09
ID: 879 2694 4288 | Password: 334578
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June 16th: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87642608951?pwd=T0w0cmJvc2RPa2FhcWREOVJjVTdPQT09
ID: 876 4260 8951 | Password: 973566

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