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CALL FOR PAPERS | Symposium | Beyond Survival


A two-day symposium organised by the Environmental Change research group.

Start Date

Oct 23, 2018 9:00 am

End Date

Oct 24, 2018 5:00 pm



RSVP / Contact

Enquiries: Naomi Milthorpe

Austerity, Precarity, Resilience

Please send proposals for papers and panels - including a title, 200 word abstract, and brief author biography - to Naomi Milthorpe.
The deadline for proposals is 22 June 2018.
We will endeavour to inform applicants of the outcome within four weeks of the submission deadline.

In periods of extended crisis, individual and collective goals orient towards concepts of “survival”. Acceptable definitions of survival are contested and the conditions for survival are vulnerable to exploitation and unequal distribution. Theoretical and political work alike are faced with the dual challenge that is the pursuit of the goal of survival while seeking also to surpass this goal, in search of richer possibilities of a liveable life.

Thinking ‘beyond survival’, this two-day symposium proposes to examine three crucial themes germane to environmental change: austerity, precarity, and resilience. In considering these themes, this symposium seeks to spark conversations about the ways in which culture can respond to environmental, economic, and social precarity; and about the resilience of humans and nonhumans alike in the face of the overlapping impacts of economic and environmental crisis.

We ask: what does it mean to go beyond survival as an acceptable political goal? What are meaningful representations of life in situations of extreme precarity and how do they operate? What is the role of activism in negotiating definitions and boundaries of survival (considering, for example, Invasion Day Rallies, the Stolenwealth Games, Black Lives Matter and Pacific Climate Warriors)? What does it mean to centre, support and learn from the vulnerability and resilience of the marginalised? What is the role of the humanities, social sciences and creative arts in these conversations?

With these increasingly urgent questions in mind, we invite proposals for 20-minute papers or 3 x 20-minute panel sessions from scholars across HASS-related disciplines that respond to topics that include but are not limited to:

  • living in precarious and austere times
  • imposed/policy-driven scarcity and precarity
  • cultural precarity: cultural survival, precarious languages
  • social precarity: austerity and dismantling the safety net
  • political precarity: austere political economies, wars, states, borders, refugees
  • Indigenous knowledges, politics and resilience
  • climate change and the Anthropocene
  • intersections between human survival and environmental/nonhuman survival
  • nonhuman ethics
  • representation of survival
  • discourses of disaster
  • human rights
  • precarious bodies
  • affect: vulnerability, insecurity, fear, hope
  • austerity and nostalgia, austerity chic
  • frugality and sustainability
  • food production and distribution
  • architectures of precarity/austerity/survival

This symposium is organised by the Environmental Change research group. The group aims to advance HASS-led approaches to environmental change by understanding that the problems addressed by scientific research are constituted through cultural, social and political processes. We welcome submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers.