Natura 2019: Resistance and Disruption

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Natura: The Science and Epistemology Working Group
contact email: 

Resistance and Disruption
Natura’s 8th Annual Graduate Conference in Science and Epistemology
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
February 15, 2019

Keynote Address:
Michelle Murphy (History and Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto)

Call for Papers
Hosted by Natura, A Rutgers University Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Working Group focused on critical perspectives of Science and Epistemology, the 2019 Natura Conference seeks papers on the topic of resistance, and the role disruption, disagreement, disturbance, opposition, and recalcitrance play in knowledge formation.

This conference seeks to query how resistance, whether peaceful or violent, participates in the formation and maintenance of knowledge. What sociological, political, economic, scientific, and historical conditions precipitate resistance and rejection? Further, how do science and technology studies and histories of science and epistemology coexist with and reinforce activism and political resistance? By contrast, when and where do they reinforce, maintain, and create systems of domination and exploitation, in the academy and elsewhere?

Who and what are figured as resisters and what do they resist against? What are the assumptions inherent in supposing that something can resist something else? What are the power relations that turn resistance into transformative change or stymie and block disruption? What is the relationship between resistance and consensus-building? How do different epistemologies negotiate relationships of resistance, disturbance, or opposition? How is it useful to consider postcolonial and decolonial epistemologies and practices in relations of resistance with Western epistemologies? How is it harmful? What happens if we consider epistemologies of the past as obstinate or disruptive of the present? When is resistance an appropriate and productive strategy and when does it reinforce the status quo? What methods and strategies can grapple with the complexities of resistance and community, while remaining attentive to disparities in power and influence, in the pursuit of just and expansive scholarship?

Potential topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Political and historical moments of resistance
  • Disturbing periodization and field boundaries
  • Knowledge built by consensus vs knowledge as revolutionary
  • Nonhumans and resisting anthropocentrism
  • Resistance and the academy
  • Feminist, decolonial, and postcolonial theories
  • Resistance and disruption of form
  • Indigenous epistemologies, folk traditions, and cosmopolitics
  • Past, present, and future epistemologies
  • Climate change, ecological disruption and the Anthropocene
  • Activism and academia

The conference will take place on Friday, February 15, 2019. Natura invites 250-word abstracts for 20-minute talks on any topic examining the role of disruption in the sciences and humanities. This event is open to graduate students working in any area of the arts, humanities, or sciences. Interested faculty or post-doctoral researchers are welcome to contact us about potential roles as panel organizers, moderators, or discussants. Send proposals or requests for more information to rutgersnatura@gmail.com; proposals should be sent by December 1.


Natura: The Science and Epistemology Working Group is a graduate student working group within Rutgers University that serves as a forum to foster critical interdisciplinary conversations about the history, cultures, places, and theories of science, epistemology, and knowledge production. Natura is generously sponsored by the Rutgers British Studies Center, School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, and the Graduate Student Association.