EcoMaterialisms: Organizing Life and Matter

University of California, Irvine

Friday 15th May 2015

Keynote: Elizabeth A. Povinelli (Columbia University, Anthropology)

“EcoMaterialisms: Organizing Life and Matter” will bring interdisciplinary graduate work to  bear on the ongoing critical discussions grouped under the umbrella of “new materialisms.” While what exactly these new materialisms might be or look like remains a vitally open question, this conference is an attempt to map a number of conceptual coordinates that give this emergent field of inquiry some consistency. As Diana Coole and Samantha Frost write in the introduction to their edited collection on new  materialism, “If we persist in our call for an observation of a new materialism, it is because we  are aware that unprecedented things are currently being done with and to matter, nature, life,  production, and reproduction. It is in this contemporary context that theorists are compelled to  rediscover older materialist traditions while pushing them in novel, and sometimes experimental,  directions or toward fresh applications.”

While reconfiguring materiality and our relations to environments has significantly opened the scope of our theoretical engagements, there remains in this same gesture the risk of ignoring other potential lines of thought and practice. “EcoMaterialisms” is intended to open a forum for thinking through these possibilities and their attendant problems. Submissions may address the following topics, but are by no means limited to:

  • Philosophical approaches to new materialism
  • New materialism: problems and limitations
  • Ecocriticism, ecopoetics, and other practices of reading
  • Biopolitics: governing life and matter
  • Postcolonial studies and the politics of location
  • Indigeneities and new materialist thought
  • Environmentalism and political praxis
  • New materialism and theories of race
  • Material feminisms and gender and sexuality studies
  • Animal and/or posthumanist studies
  • Materiality in the arts and a material aesthetics
  • Corporeality and modes of embodiment
  • Historical materialism and revivals of other materialist traditions
  • New materialism in visual, sonic, and digital media
  • New materialism and Speculative Realism

We are accepting abstracts for individual presentations as well as panel proposals for 3-4 presenters. Individual abstracts should be no more than 300 words and include your name and  institutional affiliation. Panel proposals should be no more than 750 words and include a  description of the panel topic and title as well as the names and institutional affiliations of each  participant. Submit abstracts and proposals to by  Friday, January 30th, 2015. Travel funds may be available for participants.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s