Planetary Cancer: Growth Economy and Culture in an Era of Climate Crisis

full name / name of organization: 
Chris Maughan / University of Warwick

The struggle to understand, manage, and represent the problems concerning human activity on this planet is a struggle for the survival of our species. This conference will establish a space for dialogue between three disciplines: Marxist ecology; food security; and environmental literature.

These disciplines have been chosen because they each, respectively, promise a means for understanding the mechanisms of late capitalist global economics (Marxist ecology); a means for managing a stable, resilient, and sustainable food source as part of a wider appreciation of the global ecology (food security); and a means for representing the experiences of this global system as a vast cross-hatching of competing - though occasionally harmonious – human and non-human interests. Unfortunately, a synthesis of these three ideas remains beyond the horizon of the current ecological and political imagination. It is hoped that effective communication at this conference between representatives of our chosen disciplines will open up new and vital opportunities to address this discrepancy.

Jason W. Moore is our confirmed keynote speaker, with contributions expected from Warwick's interdisciplinary Global Priorities Programme on Food Security.

The conference will be organised around three panels, each focusing on one of the three chosen disciplines. Ample time will be set aside for discussion at the end of the presentations to facilitate further understanding at an interdisciplinary level. Suggested topics for papers include, but are not limited to, any environmentally-related topics in the fields of Marxist theory, food security, ecocriticism, and cross-disciplinary research which include two or more of these three primary areas.

Presenters may wish to engage with:

· literature as a problem solving tool

· biodiversity off-setting

· environmental activism

· structural violence

· the health of late-capitalism

· competing understandings of environmentalism

· the threat of a global ecological catastrophe

· challenges to interdisciplinary studies relating to environmentalism

· alternative cultures/ways of inhabiting landscape and producing food

· problems of, and opportunities for, imagining beyond capitalism

· literature of new world orders

· dating the Anthropocene

· eco-utopias/-dystopias

· structural ecopoetics

· jurisdictive analyses of types of oikos

as well as papers offering interrogations of concepts such as habitus, milieu, the metabolic rift, science and ethics, custodianship, object oriented ontology, and ecosystems service provision.

Individual paper proposals should include a title, a 250-word abstract and a 50-word biography.

Please send abstracts and queries to:

The deadline for proposals is Friday 14th December 2012.

For further information:

This conference is supported by Warwick's HRC Doctoral Fellowship awards