Under Western Skies: Climate, Culture and Change in Western North America

full name / name of organization: 
Mount Royal University

Under Western Skies:
Climate, Culture and Change
in Western North America
Mount Royal University
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
October 13 – 16, 2010

This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural gathering welcomes presentations on the environmental challenges now faced by diverse populations, human and nonhuman, in the Western lands of Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Academics and other stakeholders from the wider community are invited to participate in this urgent and compelling dialogue. The conference invites academics from the humanities, social and natural sciences, as well as activists, businesses, artists, and others to speak across the boundaries that conventionally divide them.

Since both the geographical and critical terrains at issue are considerable, a wide array of topics and time periods is welcome. The shared concern will be the interaction between humans and the natural environment in the context of Western history, geography, climate change, and commercial/sustainable development of lands and resources.

Possible directions may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

--sustainable economic development
--indigenous ways of knowing
--urbanization/suburban sprawl in the "New West"
--literary or filmic representations of natural, urban, or industrial environments
--popular culture and the mass media 

--government action/inaction on the environment
--environmental racism and justice
--ecological or ecocritical examinations of particular Western environs and climes
--specific issues such as the Kyoto Protocol or oil sands development
--the borderlands of Canada / United States / Mexico
--environmental education in K-12, postsecondary, and community contexts
--historical perspectives
--environmental activism
--environmental law and policy

A selection of papers will be put forward for a book publication or special journal issue. Proposals should run no more than 250 words in length and be attached to an email as a .doc or .docx file. Direct these to Dr. Robert Boschman at rboschman@mtroyal.ca or to Dr. Mario Trono at mtrono@mtroyal.ca.

The conference website is www.skies.mtroyal.ca.

Closing Date: January 15, 2010