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[ecrea] CfC - Infrastructures for Troubled Times
Fri Mar 16 07:56:21 GMT 2018
Call for Contributions and Save the Date!
Infrastructures for troubled times
Early Career and Doctoral Researcher Symposium
6 June 2018
Keynote: Derek McCormack, School of Geography and the Environment,
University of Oxford
Hosted by the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics
University of Brighton
DEADLINE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: 30TH April 2018
“Infrastructure is not identical to system or structure, as we currently
see them, because infrastructure is defined by the movement or
patterning of social form. It is the living mediation of what organizes
life: the lifeworld of structure […] all the systems that link ongoing
proximity to being in a world-sustaining relation.”(Berlant 2016: 393)
Infused with power relations, infrastructures shape our worlds in all
sorts of ways. From transport networks that get us to-and-from places,
pipes that carry our sewage, flood mitigation structures, or ‘green
infrastructures’ in cities, to less tangible structures that shape
economies, governance and representation, mediate social-environmental
interactions and establish knowledge structures.
How can we understand and research infrastructures in ways that
question perceptions of them as neutral or passive underlying material
structures? A question that is crucial in today’s ‘troubled times’, when
such structures are not only increasingly complex, multi-scalar and
interconnected; but are affecting and affected by climate change, and
patterns of global economic debt, financial management and resource
We are interested in the possibilities that thinking through and with
infrastructures provides in terms of starting from material contexts
rather than knowledge claims, and its potential for connections across
How do and can we research these multiple, material, underlying,
sometimes intangible or imagined structures? And how might they be
re-imagined, re-understood and re-built in ways that are more socially,
politically and environmentally just?
We would like to invite you to explore these issues with us through a
one-day symposium, bringing together experience from across disciplinary
contexts. We are particularly interested in different ways of
understanding infrastructures, as well as methodological and technical
approaches that allow us to interrogate the material, social,
ideological and onto-epistemological formations that support their
existence and effects.
We will kick off with a keynote from Derek McCormack, followed by world
café style sessions for exploring questions together in more depth and a
final whole group plenary.
What is world café?
The world café format is designed to enable a better flow of
conversation between participants and more sustained discussion. Each
session involves multiple stations (usually 4) with a question,
provocation or theme posed by a facilitator for discussion.
Each session will be 2 hours long with short breaks every 30 minutes
when participants are encouraged to move around the room to engage with
conversations and activities at different tables. Participants are not
obliged to move tables every 30 minutes and participants can move before
the 30-minute time-period is up if they like.
The call for contributions is for leadingone of these sessions –
collective and creative contributions welcome!
You can deliver a short 5-minute talk, share some creative work, run an
activity, pose questions – anything that you think will provoke
conversation among the group on the symposium theme of ‘Infrastructures
for troubled times’.
We welcome contributions from diverse disciplinary background,
addressing topics such as, but not limited to:
● Climate change
● Human-nature relations
● ‘Green infrastructures’
● Sustainable consumption
● Spatial politics
● Mediating/communicating infrastructures or communication
● Infrastructures and commoning
● Everyday/mundane politics of infrastructure
● Physical infrastructures
● Tourism and hospitality
● Impacts on class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality…?
● Political Ecology
● Ontological politics of infrastructures
Please submit your proposal of maximum 300 words to
J.Romhild-Raviart[at]brighton.ac.uk and E.Hoover1[at]uni.brighton.ac.uk
by 30thApril 2018. Please include your institutional affiliation and a
sentence or two about your research interests.
Sessions confirmed by 14thMay 2018.
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