Natura 2017: Knowledges in Contact - Deadline Extended

deadline for submissions: 
January 20, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Natura: THe Science and Epistemology Working Group at Rutgers

Hosted by Natura, A Rutgers University Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Working Group focused on critical perspectives of Science and Epistemology, the 2017 Natura Conference explores how systems of knowledge interact. Isabelle Stengers calls for a cosmopolitics that will allow an “ecology of practices” to flourish. We seek papers that explore the tensions and potentials that arise when ways of knowing collide. How do new and emergent ways of knowing interact with established systems of knowledge? How has this process occurred historically as well as in the present? How are emerging epistemologies created, consolidated, and defended? By whom and for what purposes? How do these nascent ways of knowing interact with more established epistemologies across gulfs of power and influence? How can effective and justice-oriented communication and action take place across these boundaries? How can competing sites and methods of knowledge formation—across cultures and across academic disciplines— become productively entangled with one another? Beyond epistemology, how are underlying ontologies expressed in structures of knowledge, power and methodology? How are knowledge systems naturalized and made self-evident? When does communication across epistemologies occur and what are the conditions of this exchange? How can engaging with multiple epistemologies estrange or cement our concepts of truth? How do animal knowledge formation and plant intelligence collide with and alter human epistemologies?

Potential topics may include (but are not limited to):

  •  Claims, proof, truth; research methodologies, technologies, tools, devices, processes of knowledge production, political effects, affect
  • Boundaries, boundary objects, contact zones, zones of exception, centres of calculation, networks
  • PowerKnowledge, The Academy, periodization, and academic disciplines/ “disciplining” knowledge
  • Contextualization. discourse, and framing: e.g. crisis, the Anthropocene, climate change, extinction
  • “More-than”/Posthumanism, animal studies, plant studies, environmental humanities & philosophy, ecocriticism, traditional ecological knowledge, ethno-(botany, ornithology, etc.), biopiracy
  • Feminist, decolonial, and postcolonial theories, philosophy and history of science
  • Conspiracy theories, memes, and anonymous knowledge transmission
  • Big data, citizen science, GIS, algorithms, prediction, sensors, computing and programming, modelling
  • Religious knowledge, Folk traditions, Indigenous epistemologies, Cosmopolitics, ontologies, making worlds, pluriverse

The conference will take place on March 31, 2017. Natura invites 250-word abstracts for 20-minute talks on any topic examining the role of knowledge naturalization in the sciences and humanities. This event is open to graduate students and scholars working in any area of the arts, humanities, or sciences. Interested faculty or post-doctoral researchers are welcome to contact us about potential roles as panel organizers, moderators, or discussants. Send proposals or requests for more information to; proposals should be sent by January 20th.


Natura: The Science and Epistemology Working Group is a graduate student working group within Rutgers University that serves as a forum to foster critical interdisciplinary conversations about the history, cultures, places, and theories of science, epistemology, and knowledge production. Natura 2016-2017 organizers are based within the Art History, English, Geography, and History Departments at Rutgers University. We are generously sponsored by the Rutgers British Studies Center, School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, and the Graduate Student Association. For more information, see