Live at the AM podcast: HumanNature series – Deborah Bird Rose Lecture on; “how does giving and receiving take form in, and give form to, our living world?”

We post this in memory of Deborah Bird Rose – a founding and leading light in the global Environmental Humanities movement.

“How does giving and receiving take form in, and give form to, our living world? While most discussions of gift-giving focus on exchanges between humans, Deborah Bird Rose is also captivated by the many forms of connectivity and flow that are integral to ecological processes.”

This talk took place on 2 March 2018, in the Hallstrom Theatre at the Australian Museum.

Listen to the full talk here

SEX AND NATURE CONFERENCE, THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER, UK [10-11 JUNE 2019] with Astrida Neimanis, Amy Culter and others




Sex and Nature


10-11 June 2019

The University of Exeter, UK

Keynote speakers:

Greta LaFleur, Yale University, USA

Astrida Neimanis, University of Sydney, Australia

Artist in Residence:

Amy Cutler, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

Since 2016 the Ecosexual Bathhouse art venue has been touring the world. Designed by the Pony Express artist collective, this roving multi-chamber venue aims to explore ecological fantasies: visitors can visit a pollination gallery, a composting glory hole, and a honey bee swarm. Activating desire and channelling erotic expression towards the elements of water, earth, air and fire, the project aims to nurture a visceral connection to nonhuman animals, plants, minerals, and inanimate materials.

The Ecosexual Bathhouse is but one of a number of exemplary case studies that disrupt and display the entangled categories of “sex” and “nature.” This conference aims to interrogate and investigate diverse moments and sites where sex and nature, along with their practices, aesthetics, methodologies, and conceptual histories, are becoming visible in new and unexpected contexts, both in the present and the past, from sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld’s interest in ‘intersex butterflies’ in the 1920s to the botanical sex scene of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian (2007).

Historically, the relationship between sex and nature has long been contested. Ideas of nature and the natural have often been employed to secure and essentialise heteronormative binaries of sex, gender and sexuality. Much feminist and queer scholarship has been dedicated to revealing and challenging such uses of the natural. At the same time, the relationship between nature, the natural and sex has been interpreted to support a variety of causes: in the late nineteenth century, for example, feminists took on the cause of anti-vivisection because they saw it as indicative of a common objectification of women and animals. From Darwin and Linnaeus to Krafft-Ebing and Kinsey, categories of sex and sexuality were introduced into concepts of nature and the natural world. This categorisation of sex and nature led to highly contested and politicised debates among their contemporaries. More recently, the relationship between sex and nature has opened up debates in ecofeminism (Greta Gaard, Val Plumwood), material feminism (Elizabeth Wilson, Stacey Alaimo) and Anthropocene feminism (Claire Colebrook) that seek to rethink the relationship between sex and nature. Instead of rejecting or challenging the idea of the natural, such scholarship has demonstrated the queer and feminist potential of nature. Ground-breaking treatments of nature and sex have led to robust theorizations of queer ecologies (Catriona Sandilands, Astrida Neimanis), natural histories of sexuality (Greta LaFleur) and new kinship forms through reproductive technologies (Sarah Franklin), to name but a few.

The conference welcomes scholars from all disciplines drawing on a broad range of methodologies and focusing broadly on the period since 1800. We aim to explore the entangled categories of sex and nature by examining a wide range of topics related, but not restricted to:

– Natural histories of sex and sexuality

– Sexuality and nature: naturalising sexuality, sexing nature

– Queering nature, naturalising queerness

– (Un)natural sex, (de)naturalising sex, (re)naturalising sex

– The politics of sexual nature

– Nature, naturalness and normativity

– Nature and feminist critique, past and present

– The sexual politics of biotechnological reproduction

– (De)extinction and (re)production

– Sex and nature in the Anthropocene

– Authorities on nature beyond natural sciences

– Race, indigeneity, sex and nature

– Human, animal, vegetable sexuality

– Sex, nature and disability

– Intra-species sexualities from prehistory to the present

– Intersex across species-boundaries

Abstracts of 350 words, along with a 50-word bio, sent in word format or copied into email body, should be sent to Dr Ina Linge ( and Dr Sarah Bezan ( by 30 January 2019. Confirmed participants will be notified by early February 2019. Early career scholars and post-graduate researchers are expressly encouraged to submit abstracts. Travel bursaries will be offered to two postgraduate participants in exchange for live-tweeting during the conference and written reports following the conference. Please let us know in your abstract submission if you would like to be considered for these. We are keen to publish a selection of papers from the conference as an edited volume or special journal issue. Further plans will be discussed with delegates at the conference.

This conference is generously supported by the Wellcome Trust-funded Rethinking Sexology project.

CFP: Multispecies Justice (University of Sydney, June 2019)

We are sharing this CFP from the Australian Environmental Humanities hub

CFP: Multispecies Justice: Thinking and Enacting Justice in a Multispecies World

June 12 – 20 2019

The University of Sydney

In June 2019, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney and the Sydney Environment Institute will host a series of four international symposia to work in a focused and exploratory way on the question of what justice means in a multispecies context. The events are being held as part of the Faculty’s recently funded research initiative on Multispecies Justice.

Series Highlights:
The four linked symposia will each comprise a more formal set of presentations and an extended round table for reflection, discussion and project planning. Each of the four will examine multispecies justice through a specific theme or set of questions:

Theme 1: The moral, legal and political status of humans, animals, and the environment
Theme 2: Climate change, nonhumans, and relational impacts
Theme 3: Economic justice, human and non-human
Theme 4: Extinction and biocultural conservation

We are inviting participants to present new and exploratory research. The work presented will form the basis for an original publication in the form of an edited volume or special issue of a journal. Each symposium will also be the basis of a multi-authored ‘state of the field’ paper to which participants will be invited to contribute. We hope that the conversations commenced during the symposia will be the basis for future collaborations.

Confirmed speakers:
– Ravi Agarwal, independent artist, photographer, environmental campaigner, writer and curator, India.
– Dr Maan Barua, University of Cambridge.
– Professor Tony Birch, University of Victoria, Melbourne.
– Professor Marisol de la Cadena, University of California, Davis.
– Sria Chatterjee, PhD Candidate, Princeton University.
– Associate Professor Mel Y. Chen, University of California, Berkeley.
– Dr Matthew Chrulew, Curtin University.
– Dr Alasdair Cochrane, University of Sheffield.
– Professor Jacque ‘Jody’ Emel, Clark University.
– Assistant Professor Stefanie Fishel, University of Alabama.
– Professor Claire Jean Kim, University of California, Irvine.
– Associate Professor Lauren Rickards, RMIT University.
– Professor Makere Stewart-Harawira, University of Alberta.
– Professor Petra Tschakert, University of Western Australia.

Abstract Submission:
Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical statement to Professor Danielle Celermajer at by 5pm Friday February 1 2019 (AEST).
If you would like to discuss the project or your ideas, please feel free to send an email.

Suggested Topics:
We are open to proposed papers on any topic within the broad space of multispecies justice. Possibilities include:
• Conceptions and practices of justice in a multispecies context/Thinking beyond liberal/individualist conceptions of justice;
• The legal and moral status of beings beyond the human;
• Dealing with conflicting claims/interests in a multispecies context;
• Intersections between multispecies justice and critical race, gender, postcolonial, disability and queer theory and political practice;
• Multispecies justice, political institutions and social and political movements;
• Storytelling and other aesthetic practices across species;
• The role of aesthetic and poetic thought and practice in imagining, representing and enacting multispecies justice;
• Multispecies methodologies;
• Entangled biological and cultural forms of loss.

University of Sydney Organising Committee:
Conveners: Professor Danielle Celermajer and Professor David Schlosberg
Researchers: Dr Francesco Borghesi, Associate Professor Thom Van Dooren, Associate Professor Jay Johnston, Associate Professor Julia Kindt Dr Astrida Neimanis, Dr Dalia Nassar, Professor Iain McCalman, Dr Killian Quigley, Associate Professor Susan Park Dr Rebecca Pearse, Ms Michelle St Anne, Dr Dinesh Wadiwel, and Associate Professor Anik Waldow.

Conference Announcement; Religion, Materialism and Ecology;15 -17 May 2020; The University of Manchester, UK; Speakers include Bruno Latour

The European Forum for the Study of Religion and Environment in association with the Lincoln Theological Institute

is pleased to announce its sixth international conference

Religion, Materialism and Ecology

Friday 15 May to Sunday 17 May 2020

to be held at The University of Manchester, UK

Confirmed speakers include:

Whitney Bauman (Florida International University, and Berlin)

Bruno Latour (Sciences Po, Paris)

Linn Tonstad (Yale)

A Call for Papers and further information will be published in 2019.

On behalf of the Conference committee:

Peter Scott, The University of Manchester

Sigurd Bergmann, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

Whitney Bauman, Florida International University, and Berlin

Roberto Chiotti, Larkin Architect Limited, Toronto

Catherine Rigby, Bath Spa University

Religion, Materialism and Ecology
Because of changes brought about by, among other things, a warming climate, there has been a revival in materialism. Although there is little agreement on what ‘materialism’ means, this revival is certainly a reaction against a widespread instrumentalism regarding ‘dead matter’. At the very least, its resurgence relates to the return of non-human nature—if indeed nature ever left. The core aim of many of these materialisms is to understand matter in more animated and active ways—a sort of Romantic turn or an undoing of the postmodern end of nature. Options here include the “new materialism” (Bennett, Barad), speculative realism (Morton), and ‘actor-network theory’ (Latour). This has led to many objections from the ‘old’ materialists (i.e. Marxists) who understand nature more in terms of a factor in production and may be more cautious about ascribing agency to nature (Malm). There have also been constructive developments regarding materialism within Marxism such as metabolic rift theory (John Bellamy Foster, Paul Burkett). Feminist theorists (Haraway, for example) have been addressing the issue of materialism already especially in relation to animal and technology studies. At issue are a range of issues, including hierarchy, the nature of relationality, the relation between nature and society, human and other agencies, and ‘world picture’. The conference will aim to explore some of these new developments, including how materialist issues impinge upon religious traditions and the extent to which religions are already materialist and so have a creative contribution to make to debates about ecological materialisms.

Bath Spa University Environmental Humanities Research Centre, Free Public Lecture: Eschatological Imagination in an Age of Extinctions; Stefan Skrimshire (University of Leeds); Wednesday 12th December, 18:00 – 20:00

Eschatological Imagination in an Age of Extinctions 

Wednesday 12th December, 18:00 – 20:00

Bath Spa University, Newton Park,

Commons (NP.CM.107)

Drinks and snacks and chat after the talk


It is increasingly recognised that ethical and cultural responses to the prospect that humans have triggered the ‘sixth mass extinction’ are shaped by environmental imagination in various ways: how lost or endangered species are mediated and represented, and how these are related to narratives of future planetary loss, including loss of human life. In this talk I will explore some of the insights that can be gained from theological and philosophical debates about eschatological (‘end-time’) imagination in Christian traditions – thinking particularly of their critical ethical functions in the past and present. Hopefully this can spark broader discussion about the future role of theology and religious studies within the environmental humanities.

Eschatological Imagination in an Age of Extinctions

About the speaker

Stefan Skrimshire is Associate Professor in the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science at The University of Leeds where he teaches in Religion and Politics, and Continental Philosophy. He is running two AHRC research projects that focus on the implications of the Anthropocene and global extinction discourses for religion, philosophy and ethics, and a doctoral network on ‘Imagining and Representing Species Extinction’.

Free to attand but you can book a place via Bath Spa Live

CFP and info about; Forming the Future, An interdisciplinary conference at Plymouth University, 2-3 Sept 2019

We are happy to shate this info on behalf of  Dr David Sergeant; Lecturer in English post-1850 & AHRC ECR Leadership Fellow (2018-20), Plymouth University

Thinking about the future often focuses on its ‘content’: what might happen. Similarly, thinking about ‘future studies’ often concentrates on its goals, concepts and methods. But what about the forms in which the future comes couched? 

How does the medium in which the future is presented – its genres, structures, conventions – shape or influence what the future might include? What forms do representations of the future currently take in different disciplines and fields of practice – from fiction to non-fiction, the visual to the textual, science to politics – and to what effect? Can we make our representations of the future more efficacious, with a view to the current world situation? And what might different fields learn from each other, or how might they combine, in order to do this?

This conference sets out to investigate these and related questions, and to trigger dialogue within and across different areas in which the future is being ‘formed’. Proposals are welcome from researchers across the humanities, social sciences and STEM disciplines, as well as from those working outside the university sector.

 For all details and CFP see here


Lecture and poetry reading: From Aesop to Kafka: Talking Animals in Children’s Literature and Writing for Adults; Bath University; 4 December 2018

The Bath University Politics of Culture & Memory Cluster would like to invite you to the following afternoon event:

The Politics of Culture & Memory Cluster seminar

From Aesop to Kafka: Talking Animals in Children’s Literature and Writing for Adults

4 December 2018, 16.15-18.45, Room 1W 2.103

Two papers will be presented, by Lorraine Kerslake Young (University of Alicante/ GIECO-Instituto Franklin) and by Axel Goodbody (University of Bath/ Bath Spa University). The event will end by a poetry reading by Terry Gifford, chair of the event, from his collection of poems A Feast of Fools (2018). Refreshments including wine and nibbles will be served. All are welcome, free tickets have to be booked on Eventbrite:

Lorraine Kerslake Young (University of Alicante/ GIECO-Instituto Franklin) Raising Ecological Awareness through Talking Animals in Children’s Literature

The tradition of over-enthusiastically attributing physical human forms to real or imaginary creatures is a practice frequently encountered in children’s stories today. The fascination of children with anthropoid dressed-up creatures led by Peter Rabbit, Toad, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, Barbar, Rupert Bear and a long list of other quadruple creatures is indeed one of the most interesting developments in the history of children’s literature. But where has the genre come from and why do we think it is so suitable for children?

This paper offers an overview of the history of talking animals in children’s literature by placing the study of talking animals inside a wider literary tradition in order to consider the different uses of anthropomorphism and raise questions such as the following: Can anthropomorphism be seen as a useful tool in children’s literature for understanding animals? Could it be seen as a step towards “eradicating” anthropocentricism by educating through environmental awareness in animal stories of children’s literature? Can it be justified and even seen as necessary in order to create environmental imagination and empathy towards the other, non-human, in the child from an early age?

Axel Goodbody (University of Bath/ Bath Spa University) Undermining Human Exceptionalism in Franz Kafka’s Animal Stories

Talking animals are mainly found in children’s literature. Lorraine has argued that far from trivialising animals, annexing them to the human sphere and depriving them of their otherness and autonomy, having animals talk and look like little people can serve to arouse empathy with non-human Others in young readers and viewers, and enable them to understand animals better, thereby promoting environmental awareness and furthering environmental education. In my paper I think about what functions talking animals serve in writing for adult readers, using Kafka’s animal stories as an example. ‘Metamorphosis’ and ‘A Report to an Academy’ are classics of literary modernism, enigmatic but haunting parables which continue after a century.

Lorraine Kerslake is doctor in children’s literature and ecocriticism.  In 2013, she co-edited a special issue of the review Feminismo/s (CEM) on Ecofeminism: Women and Nature. She is an active member of the ecocriticism group GIECO and in 2018 she published The Voice of Nature in Ted Hughes’s Writing for Children: Correcting Culture’s Error (Routledge).

Axel Goodbody is Emeritus Professor of German and European Culture at the University of Bath, UK. His publications include, as co-editor, Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches (2011) and Climate Change Scepticism (2019)

Terry Gifford is Visiting Research Fellow in Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University and Profesor Honorifico at the University of Alicante. Author of eight collections of poetry and author/editor of seven books on Ted Hughes, his research interests also include post-pastoral theory, John Muir, new nature writing and ecopoetics. He is the author of the poetry collection A Feast of Fools.

with best wishes,

Christina & Jorge

Dr Christina Horvath

Senior Lecturer in French

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies

University of Bath

1 West North  4.25, Bath BA2 7AY

+44 (0)1225 383272