Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias: Justice, Nature & the Liberation of Life

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
World-Ecology Research Network

San Francisco, May 30-31, June 1, 2019, California Institute of Integral Studies

EXTENDED DEADLINE, ABSTRACT SUMBISSIONS: MARCH 15

Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and Social Change, CIIS

Fifth Annual Conference of the World-Ecology Research Network

Submission form: https://goo.gl/forms/F8PplUr9KurGVcLD3

The most dystopian story brings out capitalism’s darkest and most oppressive features. And the most utopian stories bring out modernity’s most hopeful and emancipatory features of modernity. Utopias/dystopias are at once predictive retrodictive. These forms of story-telling and world-making are increasingly necessary in the twenty-first century. The unfolding climate crisis signals a tipping point not only for the biosphere, but also for established modes of power, thought, accumulation, and domination. Utopian imaginaries help us identify the intimate connections between power, in/justice, and the web of life in the modern world – and to unfold a politics of liberation that extends to all life. Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias explores the tension between the historical limits of the possible and the “impossible” projects of planetary justice.

The World-Ecology Research Network is a global community of scholars, artists, and activists. We welcome all forms of emancipatory interpretation, theory, and analysis committed to planetary justice for planetary life. Recognizing that no tradition or discipline holds all the answers, the Network cultivates a diversity of perspectives on humans in the web of life – past, present, and future. For us, the web of life is not a factor or variable, but a fundamental moment of all human activity, from birth to death, from the everyday to the rise and fall of civilizations. Common to these perspectives is a critique of Nature/Society dualism as a cosmology and world-historical practice of domination. A conversation and praxis rather than a perspective, world-ecology welcomes all who embrace the challenging of forging new modes of knowledge in an era of climate crisis.

with talks by Kim Stanley Robinson and Jason W. Moore

The World-Ecology Research Network invites proposals on the widest range of topics addressing utopias and dystopias – as well as those related to central themes in the world-ecology conversation. We also welcome proposals for thematic sessions. We are happy to work with artists and activists to develop creative ways to present their work in ways that may differ from conventional academic presentations.

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Possible Topics Include:

  • Ecologies of Hope
  • Democratic Modernity and Capitalist Modernity
  • Reparation Ecologies
  • Hydropolitics, Hydro-Crises, & the End of Cheap Water
  • World-Ecology and Social Ecology: Dialogues
  • From the “Urbanization of the Countryside” to Planetary Urbanization
  • Planetary Daydreaming: Utopian Spaces, Dystopian Spaces
  • Women and Work in the Making of Planetary Crisis
  • The New Global Arc of Fire: California to the Arctic
  • Social Reproduction, Unpaid Work
  • Racial Capitalocenes
  • Feminist Utopias
  • State-Making and State-Breaking in the Capitalist World-Ecology
  • Organizing Utopia after the “End of History”
  • Capitalist Dystopias: Ecocides and Genocides in the Necrocene
  • Social Reproduction after the Great Recession: Evictions and the Right to Stay
  • Anthropocene/Capitalocene/Cthulucene
  • Cultural Materialism and the Utopian Imaginary State Socialisms and Productivist Natures
  • Utopias: Social, Ecological, or World-Ecological

Important Dates:

February 20 Abstract Submissions Due March 15 Extended deadline for Abstract Submissions

Submission form: https://goo.gl/forms/F8PplUr9KurGVcLD3

March 20 Registration Opens

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