CFP: Animal Studies and Multispecies Precarity: The Politics of Living and Dying Together

Eighth Annual Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference (DOPE)
February 22 – 24, 2017
University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky, USA)

Deadline: November 17, 2017

In The Mushroom at the End of the World, Anna Tsing observes that precarity represents a condition of being vulnerable not only to various forms of harm, but also to transformation and new modes of becoming. “Unpredictable encounters” perpetually cast us “into shifting assemblages, which remake us as well as our others. We can’t rely on the status quo; everything is influx, including our ability to survive.” Given that our world overflows with such unpredictable encounters, being precarious becomes almost elemental to being itself.

This session aims to explore expressions of precarity that disclose potential harm and/or transformation at various sites and scales, from the individual bodies of living organisms to vast networks of multi-species relations. Of particular interest are projects that focus on dynamic multispecies relations and the politics of encounter: from encounters with living organisms (parasites, plants, people, etc.) to encounters with things and processes (capitalism, colonialism, coevolution, etc.). The panel will encourage abstract submissions that draw on diverse analytical tools and perspectives from an array of disciplines.

Potential themes and analytical perspectives might include (but not limited to):
–    precarious bodies and/or ecological systems
–    exploitation within and/or across species barriers
–    exploitation within and/or across bodily barriers
–    environmental justice
–    animal actors and agencies
–    zoonoses
–    epigenetics
–    parasitism
–    climate change
–    dehumanization and marginal populations
–    multispecies relations
–    nonhuman ethics
–    affects of social and/or ecological formations
–    nonhuman labor
–    political economy and the nonhuman
–    technology and precarity
–    precarity and the anthropocene

If you are interested in presenting on this topic, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to Phillip Drake (pdrake@ku.edu) by November 17, 2017. All participants must also register for the conference and submit their abstract by December 1, 2017 at the conference website, www.politicalecology.org.

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