FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS – Workshop on History and Values in Ecological Restoration

–June 7-9, 2012 at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

–Sponsored in part by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation

This workshop focuses on restoration in landscapes with complex histories, shaped by the ongoing interaction between humans and nature.  These “hybrid landscapes” challenge traditional frameworks for ecological restoration, which focus on restoration of ecosystems to conditions existing prior to a discrete anthropogenic disturbance. Hybrid landscapes, by contrast, are characterized by blended natural and cultural histories, which challenge the identification of pre-disturbance “reference conditions.”  The aim of this workshop is to explore history and values in hybrid landscapes, and how they interact in the identification of restoration goals.  The workshop will give particular attention to the restoration and re-naturalization of former military sites in the United States now managed as National Wildlife Refuges.

Key questions for the workshop include: To what extent, if any, are the concepts of “authenticity” and “historical fidelity” relevant to restoration in hybrid landscapes? Are there new ways of conceiving authenticity and historical fidelity that are more appropriate for landscapes with complex socio-ecological histories, or are these categories simply irrelevant?  If authenticity and historical fidelity are no longer relevant, then what values should guide restoration?  To what extent should restored landscapes and their interpretation take account of and make visible a site’s history?

We welcome papers from history, philosophy, geography, sociology, restoration ecology, and other relevant disciplines that address the above questions and themes.  This workshop has a unique format: we are inviting land managers from several military-to-wildlife conversion refuges to participate, and the workshop will include a field trip to Denver’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, a former chemical weapons manufacturing facility.  Presenters should tailor their papers for accessibility and relevance to both managers and academics. Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, we will cover lodging and food for all workshop presenters.  

Please submit 300-word abstracts to Marion Hourdequin by February 20, 2012.  Early submissions are welcome.  Questions about the workshop can be directed to the organizers, Marion Hourdequin (Colorado College) and David Havlick (University of Colorado-Colorado Springs).

CALL FOR PAPERS – Old Land-New Practices? The Changing Face of Land & Conservation in Postcolonial Africa

Panel and paper proposals are due on or before March 30,  2012 and should be e-mailed to with the words ‘panel’ (and/or) ‘proposal submission’ in the subject line.  Download Abstract submission form.

The conference will take place September 11th – 14th, 2012, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa and is being organised by Georgina Barrett (Rhodes University), Nqobile Zulu (University of Witwatersrand), Jenny Josefsson and Shirley Brooks (University of the Free State).

The ‘land issue’ is omnipresent across post-colonial Africa. It is a highly contentious and contested topic, which at times has proven explosive (Zimbabwe, Kenya), or else a persistent focus of identity politics (Tanzania, Sudan), or central to historically rooted struggles for equality and restitution (South Africa, Botswana). Yet, the legacy of colonial land use management from which these struggles are borne, continues to inform contemporary conservation policy practices. They are also conceptualised and legitimated by a fusion of international environmental and neoliberal market agendas and regional and national policy exigencies, framed by diverse socio-economic development challenges. One of many ‘solutions’ borne of this conjuncture has been the spread of conservation and environmental protection strategies which promise to ‘deliver’ on the requisite national economic and environmental priorities in adherence to broader international and regional prerogatives. Such promises are bound to the success of market orientated strategies for the preservation of Africa’s biodiversity. Furthermore, they are tied to the commoditization of wildlife and wild spaces, and the ‘mass production’ thereof in a range of state-owned, private or joint partnership ventures, including parks, farms and conservancies. The results are not yet fully comprehensible, but it is evident that the post-colonial echoes the colonial, and in this continuity conservation and environmental protection strategies may perpetuate historical insecurities through the alienation of local communities from land ownership and management practices.

This conference was inspired by conversations amongst attendees of the
Nature Inc. conference held at the Institute for Social Sciences (ISS) at The Hague in June 2011 interested in the complex issues surrounding land, conservation, and ‘security’ within an African context. It therefore aims to contribute to the development and sharing of knowledge and expertise with an explicitly pan-African focus. Specifically, it seeks to critically engage with the nexus between post-colonial land use changes and the development of conservation initiatives across the continent at both the theoretical and practical level with cognisance of their historical precedence.

The conference will be organised around the following themes:
• Conservation as a post-colonial land use option
• Historical and contemporary ecological imperialism
• Land use and identity politics
• Gender dynamics and conservation land use strategies
• Alienation, (in)security and conflict
• State and private environmental/conservation agendas
• Community-based natural resource management
• Market driven environmentalism and conservation in Africa
• Continuities and divergences in colonial (and apartheid) and post-colonial
• Theoretical debates and practical realities- never the twain shall meet?

For more information about registration, paper and panel submissions, guest speakers, field trips and the opportunity to publish papers in a special edition of
Journal of Contemporary African Studies, amongst others, go to the conference
website HERE.


Created by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus who gained wide exposure with their widely discussed article The Death of Environmentalism, the Breakthrough Institute (est. 2003) aims to modernize liberal-progressive-green politics by focusing on overarching conceptual paradigms and not just specific environmental policies.  The Institute has started a journal, Breakthrough Journal, which released its first and second issues last year.  The second issue includes pieces by Peter Kareiva, Mark Sagoff, and Vaclav Smil.  Finally, Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus have edited Love Your Monsters, an anthology about postenvironmentalism and the anthropocene.

CALL FOR PAPERS – Responsible Living: Reflecting on the Ethical Issues of Everyday Life‏

2nd Global Conference
Wednesday 16th May – Friday 18th May 2012
Prague, Czech Republic

Taking their professional responsibilities seriously, practitioners of a wide variety of professions, including medicine, psychology and social work; journalism, tourism and the arts; architecture, civil engineering and the law, engage in reflection about ethical issues as part of their daily practice. Most professions have an ethical code with which its members are expected to comply. But ethical issues are not to be found only in the workplace. Whether we are aware of it or not, we all face ethical decisions every day. Or at any rate, each day we make decisions that have ethical significance – about, for example, what we eat; how we
behave towards others, including strangers as well as family and friends; about the extent to which we are willing to share what we have with others who have less; about the energy we use in traveling and in heating our homes, and about where we should shop for food, clothes and the other essentials of modern life.

Probably the most talked about problems about the intention to live responsibly arise in relation to human induced climate change, which has provoked heated debate at every level, and global summits aimed at forging agreements about how to tackle the problems of global warming. As well as local and international regulation, reflection about the problems of climate change have led also to mountains of advice about what we can to do to limit our impact on the planet – from changes in the ways we produce and package goods, to how we build, heat and insulate our homes; and from the advantages of using locally produced food and other necessities, to those of recycling almost everything. Of course, global warming is not the only area of life in which ethical living has become a major focus for many people. For example, they are concerned also, about a wide range of other issues including:

  • The ethical realities that surround food production, such as the use of chemicals in farming and the introduction of genetically modified crops.
  • Corruption in public life.
  • The power of multi-national companies and of the media in changing the ways we think and live.
  •  Ways of keeping children safe and allowing them to grow to their full potential, wherever they live.
  • Poverty in both developing and developed countries.
  • Whether to buy their clothes from cut price shops that source them from manufacturers that pay their workers such low wages that they are barely better off than slaves, or from swankier shops that they hope are more ethical.
  • The destruction of the rainforests and the depletion of the earth’s resources.

Living Responsibly: reflecting on the ethical issues of everyday life will facilitate dialogue about living more responsibly. It will be of interest to everyone who cares about living in ways that are respectful of others and respectful of the planet, whether they are lay people or, for example, ethicists, sociologists, theologians, anthropologists or psychologists who are interested in what it means to behave ethically, and in what motivates ethical behaviour.

Abstracts are invited about any aspect of ethical issues in everyday life, of which the following suggested topics and questions are merely exemplars:


  • What should we eat and where should we buy our food?
  • Should concerns about animal welfare turn us into vegetarians, or persuade us only to eat meat from animals that have been reared humanely?
  • Is it really morally better to eat organic, locally produced food?
  • What’s more important – the air miles it takes to bring my mange tout here from Kenya, or the fact that the Kenyan farmer who grows them gets at least some money?
  • Do organically fed, free range chickens really enjoy their lives more than factory made ones?
  • Is eating organically grown beef really more ethical?


  • What should we do about the problem of global warming?
  • Will it really make any difference if we recycle; consume less energy and take fewer foreign holidays?
  • Should I pay the optional carbon offsetting charge every time I fly?
  • What will we do when the oil runs out?
  • Wind farms, nuclear power and the overuse of energy.


  • What ethical demands do personal relationships with family or friends place on us?
  • Does the role of ‘parent’ or ‘spouse’ create particular ethical
  • How responsible are we for those who are less well off than we are?
  • Should we give money to beggars in the street, even if we suspect they will
    use it for drugs and alcohol?
  • Do we also have ethical obligations to strangers, whether they are from our society or more distant ones, that conflict with our obligations to friends and lovers?
  • Must we donate to every global disaster fund, even if we believe that our money may not reach those who need our help?
  • Should I feel guilty about the plight of folk in developing countries that are squandering their GDP on warfare?
  • What special ethical considerations do sexual relationships involve?


  • What does it take for a business to be ethically sound?
  • Should multinationals rule the world?
  • What’s fair about ‘fairtrade’?
  • Isn’t ‘Responsible and sustainable tourism’ just another way of capturing a share of the market from cyncial business people?
  • Should we buy newspapers published by companies that have a track record of unethical behaviour?

Papers will be considered on any related theme. The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme.
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 23rd December 2011. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 23rd March 2012. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords

E-mails should be entitled: RL2 Abstract Submission.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. All accepted abstracts will be included in this publication. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs
Gavin J Fairbairn
Professor of Ethics and Language
Leeds Metropolitan University
United Kingdom

Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR

For further details of the conference, please visit:

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: <>.