CALL FOR PAPERS – More-Than-Human Geographies: From Coexistence to Conflict & Killing

Royal Geographical Society-IBG Conference, Edinburgh 3rd – 5th July 2012
Sponsored by: Social and Cultural Geography Research Group

Organisers: Uli Beisel (LSHTM), Franklin Ginn (Edinburgh), Maan Barua (Oxford). Discussants: Gail Davies (UCL), Steve Pile (OU)

This session invites reflections on human-nonhuman relations that are marked by conflict, aggression, killing or death. Initially conceived as a response to antagonistic environmental politics, more-than-human geographies have mostly emphasised affirmative ways of ‘being with’ nonhuman creatures. The strength of these accounts has been to model the vitality, liveliness and complex interweavings of humans and nonhumans in shaping our world (e.g. Whatmore, 2002; Hinchliffe, 2010). With some notable exceptions (Yusoff, 2009, 2010; Harrison, 2008; Clark, 2010; Roe et
al., 2008) most accounts have, thus, concentrated on presence, accommodation, conviviality, or attended to disciplinary techno-human assemblages aimed at taming animals – be it for science or as a food. After a decade of writings in more-than-human geography this session aims to move beyond these conceptualisations by exploring more problematic relations that link human, animal and plant life on earth. Hypothesizing that the focus on conviviality reflects not only a choice of subject (of studying companion-able animals), but also of location (accounts based in Euro-American or ‘Western’ settings), the session aims to explore what might lie outside of these choices that have led us to shy away from more explicit engagements with conflict and killing? We invite papers that focus on failure, break-down, powerlessness, asymmetry, non-relation, conflict or killing in more-than-human geographies.

We welcome papers that engage with:

  • Non-humans as disease vectors
  • Dangerous or aggressive animals
  • Human practices of aggression and destruction of animal or plant habitats
  • More-than-human geographies beyond Euro-American settings
  • Dilemmas of killing and preservation in ecological conservation initiatives
  • Non-human death or finitude

We especially encourage conceptual or position papers. We also welcome
empirical papers with contemporary and/or historical foci and/or employing
experimental methods. The session will consist of a series of short paper
presentations followed by a lengthier discussion facilitated by two
discussants.

Abstracts (250 words) should be submitted by Monday 23/01/2012 to Uli
Beisel (uli.beisel@gmail.com), Franklin Ginn (franklin.ginn@ed.ac.u) or Maan
Barua (maan.barua@ouce.ox.ac.uk)