Call for abstracts

When: May 2nd and 3rd, 2014 at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus in Kelowna, B.C.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sarah de Leeuw, University of Northern British Columbia

Sustainability Panel: Dr. Jeannette Armstrong (Indigenous Studies; Canada Research Chair), Dr. Greg Garrard (English, Critical Studies), Dr. John Wagner (Anthropology), Dr. Susan Murch (Chemistry; Canada Research Chair)

When thinking about ‘sustainability’, it is common to assume a connection to environmental discourse and practice, rather than consideration of sustainability itself as a framework of maintenance, legacy, and change. But what exactly is ‘sustainability’? And what does it mean to practice sustainability? Is this a framework exclusively applicable to environmental practices and thought? Or can the concept of sustainability, or the question of what it means to sustain, be applied more broadly to the study of literature, anthropology or mathematics? How do epistemologies of sustainability vary across fields? In short, what do we sustain? What becomes normatively understood as deserving sustaining?

This conference seeks to expand what it means to think about sustainability, and indeed, to think sustainably. As such, we seek work that approaches sustainability in the affirmative, that is, work that highlights positive efforts to approach sustainability, but also conversely, work that interrogates the very idea of sustainability, the mechanisms by which ‘sustainability,’ both as an idea and a practice, can reflect conservative approaches to reinscribing hegemonic forms of oppression, or the deployment of sustainability as a greenwashing strategy.

We invite works from across disciplines, including but not limited to the Humanities, the Social Sciences, Fine Arts, Engineering, and Sciences.  Contributions across form and genre, including scholarly writing, scientific writing and posters, theatre, poetry, fiction, and film are most welcomed. Non-traditional proposals should include space and equipment needs (such as the need for theatre or gallery space, or AV equipment).

Abstracts should be max. 250 words and include: Title, authors, contact information and be formatted in either pdf or word processor (LibreOffice, or Microsoft Office). Please include 100-word bio of the presenting author with abstract

The closing day for submissions has been reported to March 14th.

Send abstracts to:

Possible topics include:

  • sustainable epistemologies; (de)sustaining normative knowledges
  • the sustainability of academic knowledge and practice; the sustainability of(inter)disciplinarity
  • sustaining the (digital) archive
  • sustainable ontologies and ontologies of sustainability
  • the environment; visualizing the future and the past of our environments
  • ecofeminism; ecopoetics; ecocritici
  • the non-human or more-than-human
  • the Anthropocene
  • the sustainability of the human and humanism
  • cultural (un)sustainability; social sustainability; sustaining borders
  • (de)sustaining neo-Liberalism
  • anarchy and sustainability; Marxist sustainability; radical sustainability
  • Indigenous knowledge and ecology
  • sustainability and race
  • sustenance, scarcity, excess, and enough
  • the sustaining power of normativity and hegemony
  • feminist materialism as an approach to sustainability
  • queering sustainability
  • sustainable bodies and embodiment; sustainability and ableism
  • technologies of sustainability and sustainable technologies
  • sustainable development; population sustainability
  • sustainable resource management; food and water sustainability
  • geography and ecology
  • language and logics of sustainability
  • cultural sustainability
  • histories of sustainability
  • the affective power of environmental thinking

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