Mapping the Next World: Session Proposal ASEH 2020

Deadline: July 2, 2019
Contact: Sara J. Grossman

CFP for American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) Annual Meeting

Ottawa, Ontario, March 25-29, 2020

What does it look like when environmental storytellers employ knowledges from environmental history to imagine transitioning to just environmental futures? What practices are involved in such imaginings? What would it take to bring those imaginings into material form? Though environmental history has oriented its gaze toward the long ago, the ongoing and long- standing crises of settler colonialism and biospheric domination require looking not only backward but also forward. This experimental session asks how environmental storytellers can participate in making, as poet Joy Harjo writes, “A Map to the Next World.” Specifically, the session will inquire into the environmental stories, practices, modes of feeling, repair, and care that might be brought from the past into a new future.

Following the energy of Harjo’s poem, this session is grounded in locating constellations of resistance, care, and making that happen across disability, queer, and BIPOC environmental history and knowledge-making. Participants might present research on past environmental resistance and care communities that articulate possible roadmaps for future life. Participants could also present sketches or designs toward devices or tools (such as DIY environmental measurement tools, food and water justice systems, energy generators, etc) for this next world. The experimental nature of this session might also be used to design the future of academic conferences, like the ASEH annual meeting, in a global economy unwilling to commit to fossil fuel alternatives.

This experimental session gathers around themes of sustenance and care, storytelling and labor. We are oriented toward utilizing rich environmental pasts to build just environmental futures from the ground of our scholarship and everyday practices up.

Interested participants should send a 3-5 sentence write-up of their proposed contribution to no later than July 2, 2019.

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Posted on July 19, 2019