Deadline for abstract submissions: November 30th, 2014. Further information in the colloquium website at http://colloquium.upeace.org.

Send your abstracts to colloquium@upeace.org.

Humanity has entered a new era—the Anthropocene—a geological epoch of global climate change and momentous human influence on ecological processes (Crutzen, 2002; Zalasiewicz et al., 2008). The heavy human burden on local and global ecosystems has largely been enabled by technological advancements, such as those in agriculture, mobility, and medicine (see Crutzen and Steffen, 2003). As a consequence, today’s societies are wealthier than ever, the trade between societies is more global than ever, and the people in societies live longer than ever.

While this development of humanity is commonly considered as desirable, it can also be critically scrutinized. For instance, the gained affluence is still extremely unequally distributed within and in between nation states; international trade in still largely dominated by the (neo)colonial states; and the rights of women, indigenous communities, people of colour, sexual minorities, and other marginal groups, are still in their infancy. And essentially, the current “development” has lead to a radical increase in the use of natural resources and climate emissions (IPCC, 2014) putting the existence of many species—including humans—in jeopardy (Barnosky et al., 2011; 2012).

This signifies that issues of justice and care between humans, as well as with the nonhuman world, have remained unsolved. Whilst the root causes for the persistent intra- and interspecies violence are contested, a recent set of explanations seeks to find answers from nondualistic approaches. For instance, it has been argued that the heavy human burden on local and global ecosystems—enabled by technological advancements—stems from the nature-culture dualism, as it sets culture above nature and imagines it as mere, pliable resource for the exploits of Man (Alaimo and Hekman, 2008). While the epistemology of such modern thought is grounded in an objective access to ‘the natural world’, many postmodernists argue that ‘the natural worlds’ are subjective and constituted by culture. To avoid these dualisms, a miscellaneous group of scholars have called for recognising the interconnectedness of the human and nonhuman, as well as material and nonmaterial (e.g. Naess, 1989; Latour, 1991; Harman, 2002; Morton, 2007).

We are interested in abstracts that explore any alternative pathways to the current state of affairs in the Anthropocene. While we are particularly keen on the understanding how the perceptions of gender, nature, and technology influence peaceful coexistence, we surely invite submissions on any substantive topic and discipline. Our strong intention is that this first UPEACE Research Colloquium serves as a place and space for creation where everyone attracted to this topic area can contribute to the inquiry. Hope to see you in Costa Rica!

Deadline for abstract submissions: November 30th, 2014.

Send your abstracts to colloquium@upeace.org. Further information in the colloquium website at http://colloquium.upeace.org.

References

Alaimo, S., & Hekman, S. J. (Eds.). (2008). Material feminisms. Indiana University Press.

Barnosky, A. D., Hadly, E. A., Bascompte, J., Berlow, E. L., Brown, J. H., Fortelius, M., ... & Smith, A. B. (2012). Approaching a state shift in Earth/'s biosphere. Nature, 486(7401), 52-58.

Barnosky, A. D., Matzke, N., Tomiya, S., Wogan, G. O., Swartz, B., Quental, T. B., ... & Ferrer, E. A. (2011). Has the Earth/'s sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature, 471(7336), 51-57.

Crutzen, P. J. (2002). Geology of mankind. Nature, 415(6867), 23-23.

Crutzen, P. J., & Steffen, W. (2003). How long have we been in the Anthropocene era? Climatic Change, 61(3), 251-257.

Harman, G. (2002). Tool-being: Heidegger and the metaphysics of objects. Open Court Publishing.

IPCC (2014). Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change: Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

Latour, B. (1992). We Have Never Been Modern,  (trans.) Cathrine Porter, Harvard University Press.

Morton, T. (2007). Ecology without nature: Rethinking environmental aesthetics. Harvard University Press.

Naess, A. (1989). Ecology Community and Lifestyle, (trans.) David Rothenberg, Cambridge University Press.

Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Smith, A., Barry, T. L., Coe, A. L., Bown, P. R., ... & Stone, P. (2008). Are we now living in the Anthropocene? Gsa Today, 18(2), 4.