CFP – Un/sustainable futures: The hidden abode of the ‘ecological transition’ , SIAC Conference 22-25 September in Rome

Calling for papers for the panel Un/sustainable futures: The hidden abode of the ‘ecological transition’ (see abstract below) at the 3rd SIAC Conference Future: Anthropologies of the Future, the Future of Anthropology, which will be held in Rome on 22-25 September 2021.

Submit a proposal:

Deadline: 14 June 2021

*** P21: Un/sustainable futures: The hidden abode of the ‘ecological transition’ ***
Convenors:Lorenzo D’Angelo (University of Hamburg)Antonio Maria Pusceddu (Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)

Discussant: Eleanor Fisher (The Nordic Africa Institute)

Keywords: ecological crisis; extractivism and post-extractivism; human/non-human relations; socio-environmental inequality; sustainability

Over the last few decades, the worldwide spread of climate justice movements contributed to pushing the ecological crisis to the core of public concerns, while academic debates on the Anthropocene, sustainability, extractivism, circular economy, and degrowth have made inroads also into non-academic audiences. All these debates variously address the need for global systemic changes based on alternative economies and ecological relationships between humans and non-humans. However, despite the increasing awareness of living in a damaged planet, the question of how to imaginatively and practically realise alternative sustainable futures remains open.
At institutional levels, national and supra-national policy frameworks emphasise the pressing demand for more environmentally “sustainable” economic systems. The Covid-19 pandemic further boosted the narrative on “the ecological transition” aimed at designing and orienting the “green” conversion of technology for energy and agro-food production, transports, and communications. This restructuring process is already reshaping the growing demand of key “natural” resources, deeply affecting activities such as mining, farming, and fishing. Still, the uneven geography of planetary extraction that materially sustains this process is often disguised by the recursive claim of the digital economy, green procurement, electric mobility, and decarbonization as crucial pillars of the “ecological transition”. Against this background, technological innovations emerge as a way of fixing specific problems leaving unquestioned – or even enhancing – socio-economic and environmental violence and inequalities.
This panel aims to explore the hidden abodes of this “ecological transition”. It invites proposals that examine how processes of “green” restructuring emerge as a potential new frontier of dispossession and accumulation which leave untouched the very premises that brought us to the current situation. In this light, it encourages ethnographically informed proposals that address the contradictions and complexities underlying the social and material construction of un/sustainable futures, and that explore alternative cosmologies or non-capitalist imaginaries and practices of sustainability and just transition.
Possible topics include:
• the social and political construction of resources as “green”, “clean”, or “fair”;
• the role of specific technological innovations in the narrative of “ecological transition”;
• the way policies on sustainability affect livelihoods, labour regimes and environments;
• the environmental moralization of “natural resources” (according to a logic of costs and benefits for the future of the planet);
• non-extractive or “post-extractive” practices and narratives aiming at re-configuring human and non-human relations;
• frictions and conflicts generated by the contradictory entanglements of the “ecological transition”.

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