CALL FOR PAPERS – Under Western Skies 2 – Keynote Speakers Added

Mount Royal University
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
October 10-13, 2012

Closing Date: Monday, January 23, 2012

Building on the success of Under Western Skies: Climate, Culture, and Change in Western North America in October 2010, Under Western Skies 2 welcomes academics from across the disciplines as well as members of artistic and activist communities, non- and for-profit organizations, government, labour, and NGOs to address the environmental challenges faced by human and nonhuman actors across North

UWS 2 will take place on Mount Royal University campus in the LEED Goldcertified Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning.

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Just Added: Environmental journalist Alanna Mitchell (Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis)
  • Just Added: Ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan (University of Arizona).
  • environmental historian Donald Worster (University of Kansas; author of Under Western Skies [OUP, 1982]);
  • 2011 Gemini Award-winning filmmaker and Arctic anthropologist Niobe
  • Thompson (Clearwater Media, Edmonton, AB; co-director Tipping Point: The Age of the Oilsands award-winning Canadian poet Skydancer Louise Halfe (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan);
  • climatologist Scott Denning (Colorado State University).

With its mandate for both interdisciplinarity and community outreach, UWS 2 broadens the geographical scope of the inaugural conference but retains its wide call for contributions from all environmental fields of inquiry and endeavor, including the humanities, natural and social sciences, North American studies, public policy, business, and law. Artistic, creative, and non-academic proposals are also welcome.

Possible directions may include, but are not limited to

  • agriculture, food, and food security
  • alpine and glacial change
  • animal rights and commodification
  • automobility/transportation/infrastructure
  • borders and transnational issues
  • climate shock
  • collaboration between scientific and non-scientific communities
  • continental “perimeter security”
  • direct action and activism
  • ecology or nature?
  • “ecoterrorism”
  • environmental catastrophe and community
  • environmental devastation as neo-colonialism
  • environmental economies
  • environmental humanities
  • environmental racism and justice
  • environmental technologies
  • feedlots and runoff
  • forests and forestry
  • fracking
  • the Great Lakes
  • historical perspectives
  • human and nonhuman migration
  • indigenous environmental kinship
  • indigenous land, air, and water rights
  • indigenous worldviews and sovereignties
  • interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity
  • invasive species
  • the Keystone Pipeline andcontinental integration
  • law and public policy in North America
  • literary, filmic, and new media representations
  • marine ecosystems
  • national and regional parks
  • new continental weather patterns
  • North American bioregions
  • North American nuclear culture and power after Fukushima
  • North American studies
  • oil culture
  • the politics of meat
  • resilient communities and solidarity
  • restoration, reclamation, reparation
  • the rights of nature
  • seeds and seed patents
  • senses of place
  • technology as social construction
  • tourism and amenity migration
  • urban biodiversity
  • water rights, watersheds, and river systems
  • the “wilding” of North American cities like Detroit
  • wildlife and animality
  • women’s, gender and/or sexuality studies
  • youth, education, and activism

A selection of papers will go forward for an edited book publication or special journal issue following UWS 2. (The collection of edited papers stemming from UWS 2010 is forthcoming from Wilfrid Laurier University Press as a part of its Environmental Humanities Series.)

Proposals should run no more than 250 words in length and be attached to an email as a .doc or .docx file. Proposals for readings, panels, screenings, displays, and workshops are also welcome.

Direct all proposals, together with brief bio and contact information, to: Dr. Robert Boschman at <> and to Dr. Mario Trono at <>.

 Check for regular updates regarding UWS 2  at the conference website: <>.


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