CFP: Sedimentations. An Art Culture Nature Conference (11/1/06; 5/18/07-5/19/07)

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Sedimentations: An Art Culture Nature Conference
18th - 20th of May 2007
Conference Site: Kettle Pond Visitor Center in Charlestown, Rhode Island
Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Conference Directors: Ana Flores and Petra Kuppers

This Art Culture Nature conference addresses connections between time,
ecology, human history and the histories of the land.

ACN is an interdisciplinary organization which brings together artists,
environmentalists and educators in the humanities, arts, sciences and
social sciences who are interested in the study of the connections
between the arts and environmental studies.

Together, we will ask questions, engage in exchange, and present practices:
1. How can we make meaningful connections between contemporary
audiences and the sedimentations of time in our local, regional,
national or international environments?
2. What are the violences, connections, opportunities and
transformations of history in particular landscapes, and how can we or
should we address these in art making and environmental practice?
3. What are the roles of art practices, community performances, museum
display, pedagogies, refuge creation and environmentalist policy today?
4. What are exemplary models of full engagement between the arts and
the environment from the past and present that can help us promote
engagements between artists, environmentalists and educators in the

Our conference site addresses multiple issues of time and space, and we
want to keep our local connections in mind while we are thinking
regionally, nationally and internationally. Here are a few of the local
themes that can inspire proposals for the 2007 CAN conference.

We want to know: How do these local specificities echo for you? What
other stories about locales can be told or shown?

- The Fish and Wildlife center, where the conference takes place,
models the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources. - The
Center is sited on the remains of a glacial moraine. In the woods are
erratics--huge boulders moved by the glaciers, evidence of the ancient
planetary sculptural forces that shaped the land. The many kettle ponds
in the area were created by isolated chunks of melting ice.
- Charlestown is part of territory of the Narragansett people - the
'people of the sea'. The tribe has maintained its strong presence in
the town despite four centuries of colonial history. In the 1970s, they
were one of the first tribes in the nation to reclaim portions of their
lands and win in Federal court.
- Europeans arrived soon after 1660. The flat, fertile coastal plain of
the town was developed into large plantations by the 18th century, as a
consequence the town had an extensive slave population. Rhode Island
was a core site in the circumatlantic triangle trade, and much historic
wealth is based on slavery practices.
- Post 1860, the water energy of the Pawcatuck River in the area served
as a focal point for the textile mill industries, transforming the area
with its specific histories of land use, water pollution, industrial
transformation, effecting local and national economies, and becoming a
magnet for migration
- A World War II Naval Air Base, closed in 1973, became the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife refuge, an example of positive transformation of land use.
The refuge restores more than 30 acres per year into grasslands and
other early successional habitat, thus helping stem the tide of
migratory songbird decline within this habitat type.
- The area encompasses the Rhode Island's only undeveloped salt pond,
hosts the largest black duck population, and is the state's only
habitat of the Fowler's toad. - Now instead of military planes training
in the surrounding airspace, the Charlestown environment is part of a
complex bird migration pattern with many endangered species visiting
and living in the area.
- Closer to the ground, Charlestown is today a popular tourist site,
struggling to maintain open space, and balance attendant development

Proposal Submission
Proposals submissions deadline: 1st of November 2006.
Please send all proposals to Petra Kuppers at petra (at) and
to Ana Flores at ana (at) with the following information
attached to the email:
Institutional Affiliation (if appropriate)
Contact Info
Media Needs
Proposal (.doc)* Note - proposal must be in Word document form. *
Notification of proposal acceptances will be via email in December 2006.
If you have additional questions, please contact Petra Kuppers at petra
(at) or Ana Flores at ana (at)


Please note: There will be limited technical assistance and media
availability. Please plan accordingly, and note all requirements you
have - we will contact you to find ways of accommodating the media
requirements. This is a working refuge and information site, and we
will fit the conference around the requirements of the Center.
Individual Presentations: 20-minute time slots (we encourage the
creative use of this time: we want to share research, but please DO NOT
just read a paper to us). Please submit a 300 to 500-word proposal and

Roundtable: Discussions comprising four participants focusing on a
specific topic related to theory, organizational models or practice.
Please submit a 500-word proposal with qualifications and/or experience
of all participants.

Performance: Presentation of short theatre, dance, spoken word, or
other pieces.
Submit 300-word proposal, biography and additional information. Please
include length, required technical support if appropriate (there will
be no theatre lighting: the performances will take place in an
all-purpose meeting hall), number of participants, etc. If possible, a
clip of your previous work will be helpful in making decisions about
the proposed piece.

Workshops: Hands-on discussion. Please submit 300-word proposal,
biography and additional information. Please include time (up to 1
hour), technical or other requirements, min/max number of participants,

Media room: Display materials including videos, internet sites, CD
ROMs, DVDs, fine art, poster presentations. Please submit a 100 to
300-word proposal or sample, and biography.

Outdoor Exhibition/Performance: Temporary site exhibits. Please submit
100 to 300-word proposal or visual/performance sample, and biography.
The final word about any outdoor exhibits rests with the Center, and
their main focus is on the non-human habitants of the area. There is a
large grassy area outside the conference center, and there are many
trails leading into the refuge.

Any other formats we haven't thought of: just propose!

Financial Note:
This conference is self-funding, and we regret that we cannot pay
artists or presenters. As conventional for many academic gatherings in
the US, everybody will have to pay for registration, accommodation and
food. Since we wish to make this conference as accessible as possible,
the registration fee will be well below 100$. We will also offer some
fee waivers for local artists and environmentalists who cannot afford
the registration fee.

Accommodation Note:
There are two old and characterful hotels within walking distance of
the Refuge, with rooms starting at 70$ a night. There is also camping
available nearby (early registration encouraged). In addition, we will
help people with limited means to connect with local people who can
offer a bed or tent space. Within short driving distances are many
hotels and motels of different price-ranges.

The conference site is fully accessible. If you have specific access
needs and want to check that they are met, contact the conference

For more info on ACN, see

Petra Kuppers
Associate Professor, English, Theatre, Women's Studies
petra (at)

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Received on Sun Jul 09 2006 - 09:30:25 EDT