[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]
[Commlist] CFP Conviviality
Mon Apr 05 08:55:28 GMT 2021
The Political Ecology Research Centre at Massey University and the
Centre for Space, Place & Society at Wageningen University & Research
welcome submissions for the 2021 virtual conference, */Conviviality
/*from June 1-7, 2021.
*/Can we live together in multitudes? /*
In this year’s conference, we invite virtual presentations on the
tangled global predicaments of climate change, agriculture,
biodiversity, and conservation with a focus on /conviviality – /that is,
the cultivation of vitality, regeneration, and restoration in shifting
terrains of belonging and exclusion in multispecies communities. We
encourage presentations from anthropologists, geographers, sociologists,
artists, practitioners, and environmental humanities that contemplate a
plurality of agri/cultures and stewardship possibilities, from
indigenous food forests and agroecology, to rewilding the industrial
Even as efforts to promote biodiversity continue apace, extant forests,
grasslands, and inhabited wildernesses remain protracted battlegrounds
over socio-economic inequalities and ethico-political programmes. We
welcome presentations that extend the reach of /conviviality /to
landscapes where co-evolved plant, animal and human lives are intimately
woven, yet often in collision amid fragmenting habitats and conservation
efforts. What new promises and enduring failures await in pursuits to
live companionably and thrive together?
*/Where do we find and encourage conviviality in agriculture and
Every day we make critical decisions about living together, cultivating
harmony – however fragile and precarious – across kin and species, while
drawing lines of who and what belongs in our collective flourishing.
Conviviality is the art of coexisting and cohabitating, living alongside
and often in tension. Across the world, multispecies communities are
formed and transformed each day in arenas shaped by imperialism and
parasitic invasions, new routes of mobility, chance encounters and
historical accidents. A focus on conviviality follows changing networks
of attachments and connections, interplays of tolerance and anxiety, and
tangled global inequalities.
As a conceptual lens, ‘conviviality’ has been energetically refashioned
in scholarship over past decades, from its popular definition as a term
for friendly atmosphere and festive merry-making, and toward a utopian
project of post-capitalism and post-imperialism. Rooted most notably in
the work of Austrian-American philosopher, Ivan Illich, ‘conviviality’
became a lens to think outside industrial production and the toxicities
and violence unfolding on extractive frontiers (Illich 1973:11). Achille
Mbembe famously revived ‘conviviality’ quite differently as a lens to
explore the participation of ordinary people in authoritarian African
regimes of colonialism and post-independence (2001:110). For Francis
Nyamnojoh, the collapse of ‘conviviality’ is closely linked with the
preservation of individualism and hubris, exploitation, and epistemic
injustice in contemporary Africa that endangers collective living
(2017). More recently, /The Second Convivialist Manifesto /(2020) was
signed by 300 academics from 33 countries, applying Marcel Mauss’s
insights on solidarity and the gift toward a paradigm of global wealth
redistribution and transforming human relations with nature. Emerging
post-humanist critique reorients ‘conviviality’ toward deep
interdependencies with landscapes and sensory experiences of soil (Given
Using ‘conviviality’ as a point of entry into farming and biodiversity
highlights the farm, the pasture, the garden, the forest as abundant
sites of overlapping systems of cultivation, and of multiple ontologies
held in the same frame. Farms incorporate not only people and living
things, but also spirits and artifacts in a web of interdependence.
Farmers exert control over nature but also relinquish control to a world
of relations. Agriculture involves dwelling in and belonging to place.
*/Can we live, not at the expense of others? Can we farm without harm? /*
We look forward to presentations that engage analytically across scales,
including intimate practices of cultivators from foraging and forest
extractivism to industrial plantations, across diverse possibilities for
affect and care toward plants and animals, soil relations, and nonhuman
allies in human struggles. The looming question is how to thrive and
reclaim collective prosperity, shaping our cultivation of food and
broader economies around these goals (Raworth 2017). Where and by whom
are we flourishing rather than extracting, nourishing rather than
exhausting? Utopian visions of symbiosis, solidarity, and cooperation
may look very different across grassroots activism and mobilizations,
whether by recent farmers protests in India, the work of Buen Vivir and
Via Campesina, and in everyday grounded practices bringing people
together to do the work of social and ecological transformation.
*/Guiding questions: /*
* How is agriculture a site for reimagining the ways we behave as
communal beings, practice reciprocity and responsibility, and cope
with asymmetries of power?
* How is conviviality historically constituted in different farming
systems and models of conservation? How is conviviality variously
* Where, when, and how is the enduring myth of individual autonomy and
control in agriculture and conservation challenged?
* How do symbiotic relations in nature translate to conviviality in
domesticated settings of farming?
* What are the limits of conviviality?
* What tensions might exist between ecological conviviality (such as
cycles of matter, nutrients and life) and moral human projects of
conviviality (such as veganism and animal rights)? What roles do
animals play as dwellers, consumers, predators, and those who
recuperate soil in regenerative farming systems?
* What can scholars, community leaders, advocacy, practitioners, and
artists do in efforts to understand and further multispecies
connections? Do actions of convivial solidarity connect agrarian
* How can conviviality help illuminate a plurality of agri/cultures
rather than a quest for universal values and beliefs?
* How else does the nexus of environment, agriculture, climate, and
biodiversity encourage cross-cutting conversations and
collaborations among political ecology, anthropology, ecology, art,
policy, and more, on mutual dependencies among humans, plants,
animals, and the planet?
*/A nearly carbon-neutral conference format /*
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic made international travel difficult,
academic conferences were responsible for a considerable amount of
carbon emissions as presenters flew from around the world to present in
a single location. The Environmental Humanities Initiative at UC Santa
Barbara estimated that running an online conference reduces the carbon
footprint of a conference by 99%, as well as broadening their reach and
accessibility. The significant financial costs associated with travel
often prevented researchers from developing countries and postgraduate
students from attending. PERC (Massey University) and the Centre for
Space, Place and Society (Wageningen University) have co-hosted two
joint online conferences, “Feral” and “Extraction”.
This conference will take place entirely online in June 2021, over a
week. Contributors will not have to travel anywhere and there is no
registration fee. Conference presentations will consist of material that
can be submitted online as a video file. This could take the form of a
webcam recording, an edited video, a PowerPoint or Prezi with recorded
audio or another form of video. Each presentation should be no more than
20 minutes long. Instructions on creating and submitting presentations
for the conference are online here
An important part of the online conference is active engagement with
questions and ideas in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. All
conference presentations and discussions remain online as an open-access
resource. Following the conference, papers will be selected toward a
major publication project in political ecology.
*/Abstract and panel submission instructions /*
If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please send a 250
word abstract with your name, e-mail address, and affiliation to
*(masseyPERC /at/ gmail.com) *by *Monday, April 12th 2021. *We also welcome
proposals for panels and (digital) roundtable discussions, and we
encourage innovative formats. If you would like to propose a panel,
please send us a short panel rationale and details of panel participants.
*Works Cited *
Convivialist International, “The Second Convivialist Manifesto: Towards
a Post-Neoliberal World.” /Civic Sociology /16 June 2020; 1 (1): 12721.
Given, Michael. “Conviviality and the Life of Soil.” /Cambridge
Archaeological Journal/, v. 28, n. 1, 2017, pp. 127-43.
Haraway, Donna. /Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the
Chthulucene/. Duke University Press, 2016.
Illich, Ivan. /Tools for Conviviality. /New York: Harper & Row, 1973.
Mbembe, Achilles. /On the Postcolony/. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 2001.
Nyamnjoh, Francis. “Incompleteness: Frontier Africa and the Currency of
Conviviality.” /Journal of Asian and African Studies/. 2017;52(3):253-270.
Raworth, Kate. /Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st
Century Economist. /
London: Penguin Random House, 2017.
This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit http://commlist.org/
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at http://commlist.org/
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/ vub.ac.be)
[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]