Deadline: September 16, 2020
Contact: Martabel Wasserman, Stanford University
Email: [email protected]

Call for Papers: College Art Association Conference
February 10-13, 2021
New York

Transforming the Ecological Turn: Activism, Prefiguration and the Environmental Humanities

Chairs: Siobhan Angus, Yale University and Martabel Wasserman, Stanford University
Discussant: T.J. Demos, University of California, Santa Cruz

This panel centers questions of justice, praxis, and prefiguration in the context of ecological crisis. With the rise of the environmental humanities, environmental justice has emerged as an important theme in ecocriticism. However, more work needs to be done to integrate these perspectives that analyze racial, economic, gender, and class-based inequalities into art historical analysis. As TJ Demos has argued, artistic practice “divorced from any duty or responsibility for environmental considerations, is to advocate, intentionally or not, for the status quo of neoliberal exceptionalism and its destructive ecocide.” In recognition of the urgency of our current moment, it is crucial we infuse the environmental turn with theory generated from and for activist practices that are responding to on-going climate catastrophe.

We are interested in papers that consider: How have artistic practices, processes, theory, and interventions highlighted resilience and resistance in the face of climate crisis, and in turn, inspired or contributed to environmental thought and action? How have art and theory been generative for prefiguring bioflourishing worlds? In turn, how do these practices confront systems of power in our current political moment? In recognition of the long historical trajectory of climate change, we welcome papers that take a historical approach to questions of praxis and prefiguration, as well as contemporary studies of eco-activist practices. We welcome papers from interdisciplinary perspectives across artistic mediums, time periods, and geographic settings that investigate artistic activism and the aesthetics of prefiguration in the face of climate crisis.

To apply, please send a 250 word abstract and a short CV using the application form found here: to session chairs Siobhan Angus, Yale University ([email protected]) and Martabel Wasserman, Stanford University ([email protected])

Posted on September 2, 2020