Phillip Drake, University of Chicago, Program on the Global Environment
Environmental disasters have become a normal feature of the contemporary world. As changing political, economic, cultural, and technological conditions alter the ways people experience and respond to disasters, stakeholders face a host of new challenges. One challenge is to understand the dynamics and stakes of representing a disaster. At every phase of disaster management (e.g., risk, response, recovery, reconstruction), a host of individuals and institutions (e.g., government...
Autumn Thoyre (Department of Geography, UNC-Chapel Hill)
Kathleen R. Smythe (Xavier University)
Emma Gaalaas Mullaney (Penn State)
Lily Brislen (University of Kentucky)
Resistance has long been a central concern of critical geographers of many stripes, and yet certain forms of overt, often urban-centric, opposition tend to dominate our understanding of who (or what) is rebellious, and how. Eclipsed in the process are less immediately recognizable forms of rebellion: those that fall outside the cosmopolitan gaze, that trouble given social categories of dissent, that are a product of collective performance...
Devon Sampson, University of California, Santa Cruz Environmental Studies
Zoe VanGelder, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
The “green revolution” in agriculture was catalyzed by researchers, philanthropists, and governments that sought to end world hunger by increasing yields of commodity food crops around the world. This productivist logic-- that by modernizing agricultural techniques and making high-yield crops pervasive, food prices would drop into the reach of even the world’s poorest people-- dominates while a billion people...
Kate Bishop (Departments of Geography and Anthropology, Indiana University)
Harry Fischer (Department of Geography, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
Some of the foundational works in political ecology emerged from critiques of international development policy and practice. Scholars in the field have challenged development both by interrogating the assumptions that frame interventions and by studying the impacts of particular policies. In this session, we will consider the links between development and political ecology as they have evolved over time. We wish to...
Sophia Strosberg, University of Kentucky
Adam Mandelman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paul Gellert (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
A number of studies of coal mining in Appalachia in recent years have focused on the local community and gender dynamics in areas affected by mountain top removal techniques (e.g., Bell and Braun 2010; Bell and York 2010; Scott 2010); others have investigated the socio-ecological contradictions (Austin and Clark 2012). Fewer have examined class, state (the US and local states), and private capital or viewed the political economy of coal through a...
Once-surprising stories of profound socioecological renewal are becoming increasingly commonplace. From Detroit’s regreening, to the thriving wildlife in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, to Cuba’s emergent biodiversity, these stories capture our attention because they are profoundly redemptive, and offer welcome antidotes to pervasive tales of socioecological crisis.
But as inspiring as these instances of socioecological rehabilitation and recovery may be, it often remains unclear just who and what benefits from these processes. We...
“How would we feel if it is by way of the inhuman that we come to feel, to care, to respond?” - Karen Barad (2012:216)
In an era of increasingly integrated natural-social systems; advanced bio/technological innovation; and intense commodification of ecologicalprocesses, there is growing consensus that political ecology scholarship cannot unproblematically assert a distinctive or coherent category of “the human” as a useful unit of analysis or investigation.
Jane Bennett's (2010) “vital materialism;” Rosi Braidotti's (2011, 2013)...
Eric Nost, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This session will explore the relationship between software and environmental change and conflict within two overlapping thematic areas: 1) the roles played by computer code in generating ecological knowledge; 2) the use of social media in conservation and environmental activism. From Silicon Valley startups writing programs that turn satellite imagery of Amazon deforestation into data for activists and hedge fund managers alike, to scripts that coordinate “smart” meters of everything from home...
Jairus Rossi, University of Louisville
Eric Nost, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Restoration ecology, synthetic biology, assisted migration, and geoengineering are part of an emerging toolkit for radically re-making nature. This session explores the uses and abuses of these and other approaches in conservation planning, design, and management. We will explore how different actors including state regulators, financiers, conservationists, and scientists conceptualize environmental change in order to propose and deploy adaptive interventions into ecosystems.
The spectrum of environmental...