Conference looks at the material world in an environmental cultural context

Mankind’s ever-changing understandings of nature, its social construction and the interrelations between cultural practices and the biophysical world are at the core of an upcomng conference hosted by Canada Research Chair in Sustainability & Culture Cate Mortimer-Sandilands and doctoral candidate Megan Salhus, both of York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. The conference will be held at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto from Oct. 25 to 28.

The conference “Nature Matters: Materiality and the More-than-Human in Cultural Studies of the Environment”, will have an interdisciplinary focus with more than 200 scholars from a wide range of academic backgrounds who will present on a myriad of different topics. Some of the areas of focus include papers and presentations on human-animal relationships, visual cultures of nature, ecological literary criticism, critical urban geographies, deep ecology, technology studies and critical theory. The conference also includes an eclectic array of artistic and literary presentations.

Seven plenary sessions feature top-flight scholars from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds whose work touches on broad questions of environment, culture and “matter”. Their presentations will focus on subjects such as the puzzling condition known as multiple chemical sensitivity, the political life of “things”, embodiment and ecological fiction, narratives of nature in environmental justice, animal philosophies, ethical responsibilities toward the non-human world and the storied glacial landscapes of the Alaska-Yukon border region.

Many other topics will also be featured, including:

  • environmental politics and rhetoric
  • ecofeminist philosophies
  • animal studies, ethics and representation
  • ecopoetics and environmental literatures
  • the greening of visual cultures
  • contested paradigms of climate change, water, and space

For more information or to register, visit the Nature Matters conference website. The registration deadline is Oct. 20. There will be no registration at the conference venue.