Political Ecologies of Mind and Mood

There is growing interest in the entanglement of mind/mood-environment relations both inside and outside the academy. This phenomenon is emerging both in the name of peril  – whether as despair, fear, anxiety, grief, or trauma - and in the name of hope – whether as resistance, solidarity, intimacy, or attachment. These burgeoning mind-environment articulations take heterogenous forms: from activists in climate justice movements who mobilize hopelessness to resist cascading environmental crises to scientists who study bidirectional relationships between biodiversity loss in the gut microbiome and a growing crisis of mental health. Yet we assert these diverse phenomena share an interest in how a changing environment is changing minds. They do so by conceiving the relation between minds and the environment as always open to begin with and as becoming increasingly entangled. Dovetailing with growing uncertainties around the stakes of life itself, including loss of/in life, emergent mind-environment articulations build on how the “Anthropocene” challenges human/nature and body/environment dualisms in both historical and ontological terms (Mansfield 2018, Mansfield and Doyle 2016).


However, scholars have also argued that ideas about plastic mind-environment relations are deeply racialized and not new (Schuller 2018, Meloni 2018). At the same time, scholars like DuBois (1903), Fanon (1967) and Wynter (2001), have long developed notions of plastic mind-environment relations that both explain how racism gets into the psyche and provide the means for decolonizing the mind. We seek papers that investigate not the truth of these new non-dualist articulations of mind-environment relations, but the politics of these situated and embodied knowledges (Haraway 1988, Rose 1997) as emergent phenomenon, including the work they do in the world and what that means for ideas about the self. Moreover, we are interested in how these emergent mind-environment entanglements refigure notions of difference and justice? Specifically, we ask how ideas of mind-environment entanglements are shaped by ideas of difference (race, gender, sexuality, disability, species, disease, population)? How does difference become figured in these new articulations? And in so doing, how do these mind-environment relations figure in/justice?


We seek investigations of mind-environment relations in broad terms, possible topics include:

- Affect theory in environmental humanities

- Multispecies relations

- Extinction and loss

- Mental Health and Climate Change

- Environmental or postgenomic turn (epigenetics, microbiomics, etc) in neuroscience or psychology

- the role of emotions and embodied experiences in environmental/climate activism

- Indigenous cosmologies/ontologies

- Alien ethos / unruly natures

- De/coloniality of mind

- Environmental politics of emotions

- Gaia Theory, earth or ecosystems as intelligent/mind

- Mind as ecosystems

- Plasticity of life

- Environmental

- Subjectivity

- Embodiment

- Ideology

- Governmentality

If you are interested please send an abstract and title by November 20th to either rawson.29@buckeyemail.osu.edu or hall-reinhard.1@buckeyemail.osu.edu 

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