Second Annual International Conference on: "Understanding Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities" May 20-22, 2010

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Portland Center for Public Humanities
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The Portland Center for Public Humanities

Second Annual International Conference on:
"Understanding Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities"

May 20-22, 2010
Portland State University
Portland, Oregon

Keynote Speakers:

Stephen Gardiner (Philosophy, University of Washington) – a leading expert on the ethics of global environmental problems
Natalie Jeremijenko (Visual Arts, New York University) – a renowned artist at the forefront of synthesizing experimental design, engineering, and environmental engagement
Cary Wolfe (English, Rice University) – a path-breaking scholar of posthumanism, animal studies, and postmodern systems theory

Our agenda:

We hear talk of "sustainability" everywhere—sometimes as an ecological vision, an advertising strategy, a countercultural dream or even a business model. Given the diverse uses of "sustainability," how might those of us who invoke it most effectively address our ecological, economic, and social challenges? This conference is an invitation to construct bridges across the diverse terrains of sustainability theory and practice, engaging in productive dialogue and debate that might lead to innovative green frameworks for environmental scholarship, activism, research, and policy.

To these ends, the Second Annual International Conference on "Understanding Sustainability" seeks to encourage innovative dialogues between diverse groups that are not always in conversation.

--Humanities scholars working in fields such as ecocriticism, green cultural studies, environmental ethics, philosophy of science, and environmental history
--Social scientists working in the areas of social sustainability, environmental justice, environmental economics, sustainable business practices
--Local designers, city planners, and social service providers who are building Portland's reputation as a leader in sustainability
--Artists and activists shaping ideas of green ethics and aesthetics or new strategies of political participation

Proposal Guidelines:

We welcome proposals both for traditional academic paper presentations as well as other formats, including panel discussions, interviews, workshops, art installations, and media screenings. Presentations that speak broadly to an interdisciplinary audience and that seek to stimulate broad conversation about the future direction of green or environmental knowledge and practice are especially encouraged.

Please send proposals of 250 words or less by Monday, January 4, 2010 to:

Please write "Understanding Sustainability" in the subject line and attach your proposal in the form of a Microsoft Word compatible file. Both the e-mail text and document should include name, affiliation, proposal title, and full contact information (address, phone, e-mail) for all participants.