Just Transition Conference 2017

Phaedra C. Pezzullo's picture
Type of Call: 
Call for papers
August 22, 2016

Just Transition Conference: Communicating Power in an Age of Climactic Change
April 7-9, 2017. Villanova University. Cosponsored by the Waterhouse Family Institute & BoulderTalks
Deadline for submissions: August 7, 2016 http://wfi2017.vucommdept.com/

CFP: In these times, our only guarantee is that nothing is going to remain the same. This may give pause for feelings of pre-loss, fear, and anxiety about our own ecological precarity, as well as anger about how crises often are mobilized to exacerbate already existing patterns of political inequity. It also might inspire us to imagine how we can re-energize new power relations, create opportunities for political revolutions, and imagine a future worth striving towards.

“Just transition” is a term developed by labor and climate justice movements to advocate the idea that the major transformation we are undergoing from a global fossil fuel carbon-based economy to a renewable energy economy should incorporate ecological and social justice. Advocates imagine this conjuncture not just as a retreat from a whole way of life, but also an opportunity to reassess and re-energize local and global cultural regimes of value.

This symposium aims to identify, constitute, and critique the key words, transformative discourses, and theoretical turns shaping the scholarship on a just transition. We welcome the diverse range of interdisciplinary perspectives and methods that enable us to address the complexity of the communicative and cultural transformations we face, including but not limited to analysis shaped by: critical race studies, indigenous studies, postcolonial studies, decolonial studies, feminist theory, queer theory, disability studies, body studies, energy studies, urban studies, political economy, international studies, youth studies, the law, desert studies, environmental justice, and climate justice.

Our confirmed plenary speakers include an interdisciplinary cohort of scholarly experts: Julian Agyeman, Tufts University; José T. Bravo, Just Transition Alliance; J. Robert Cox, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; Giovanna Di Chiro, Swarthmore College; Robert Figueroa, Oregon State University; Stephanie LeMenager, University of Oregon; Marisa Parham, Amherst College; and Julie Sze, University of California Davis.

Recognizing the vital role of praxis in our research, the symposium also will include four workshops open to registered participants (who may or may not be attending the rest of the conference) that foreground the value of practice and increasing our capacities to cultivate skills. These public workshops will be led by well-established scholars on the topics noted: Jonathan Gray, University of Southern Illinois, on puppetry; Patrick Murphy, Temple University, on media skills; Leah Sprain, University of Colorado Boulder, on collaboration and games, and Tarla Rai Peterson, University of Texas El Paso, on grant writing.

We invite scholarship on a just transition addressing a range of topics engaging climate (in)justices  locally and globally, including but not limited to:

Energy rhetorics, including petrocultures and decarbonization
Discourses of resilience, adaptation, and regeneration
Cultural politics of labor in renewable and extractive energy industries
Climate refugee rights and resistance
State futures and sovereignty of indigenous and other frontline cultures
Imaginations of futurity (including decolonial, Afrofuturism, scifi and fantasy)
Visions of debt and financial responsibility for sustainable futures
Scales of governance and change
Political climates and atmospheres of solidarity
New Climactic Agents and impure political alliances
Post-Territorial/transnational public spheres
Market solutions and failures
Gendered impacts and responses
Ecological precarity
Affects of loss, pre-loss, and regeneration
Food Security
Automobility and cultures of transportation
Consumption and waste in human/nonhuman relations
Habitats of oppression and hope
Elemental studies and arts, of water, wind, clouds, biomass, carbon, and more
Discourses linking faith to moral and ethical claims

We are organizing this symposium to provide a space for scholars who study communication and cultural studies to share and learn from each other, as well as deepen connections between academics striving on and off campuses to create a more environmentally just world for all.