CfP: Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias: Justice, Nature & the Liberation of Life. Fifth annual conference of the World-Ecology Research Network

Call for papers, deadline 20 February 2019

Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias:  Justice, Nature & the Liberation of Life
Fifth annual conference of the World-Ecology Research Network

San Francisco
May 30-31, June 1, 2019
California Institute of Integral Studies Department of Anthropology and Social Change

The most dystopian story brings out the darkest and most oppressive features of contemporary capitalism. And the most utopian stories bring out the most hopeful and emancipatory features of modernity today. Utopias/dystopias are predictive, and they are retrodictive. These forms of story -telling and world-making are increasingly necessary in the twenty-first century. The unfolding climate crisis signals a tipping point not only for the biosphere, but also for established modes of power, accumulation, and domination. Utopian imaginaries help us identify the intimate connections between power, in/justice, and the web of life in the modern world – and to unfold a political of liberation that extends to all life. Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias explores the tension between the historical limits of the possible and “impossible” projects of planetary justice.

The World-Ecology Research Network is a global community of scholars, artists, and activists. We welcome all forms of emancipatory interpretation, theory, and analysis committed to planetary justice for planetary life. Recognizing that no tradition or discipline holds all the answers, the Network cultivates a diversity of perspectives on humans in the web of life -- past, present, and future. For us, the web of life is not a factor or variable, but a fundamental moment of all human activity, from birth to death, from the everyday to the rise and fall of civilizations. Common to these perspectives is a critique of Nature/Society dualism as a cosmology and world-historical practice of domination. A conversation and praxis rather than a perspective, world-ecology welcomes all who embrace the challenging of forging new modes of knowledge in an era of climate crisis.

The World-Ecology Research Networks invites proposals on the widest range of topics addressing utopias and dystopias – as well as those related to central themes in the world-ecology conversation. We also welcome proposals for thematic sessions. We are happy to work with artists and activists to develop creative ways to present their work in ways that may differ from conventional academic presentations. 


Possible Topics Include:

• Ecologies of Hope
• Democratic Modernity and Capitalist Modernity
• Reparation Ecologies
• Hydropolitics, Hydro-Crises, and the End of Cheap Water
• World-Ecology and Social Ecology: Dialogues
• From the “Urbanization of the Countryside” to Planetary Urbanization
• Planetary Daydreaming: Utopian Spaces, Dystopian Spaces
• Women and Work in the Making of Planetary Crisis
• The New Global Arc of Fire: California to the Arctic
• Social Reproduction, Unpaid Work
• Racial Capitalocenes
• Feminist Utopias
• State-Making and State-Breaking in the Capitalist World-Ecology
• Organizing Utopia after the “End of History”
• Capitalist Dystopias: Ecocides and Genocides in the Necrocene
• Social Reproduction after the Great Recession: Evictions and the Right to Stay
• Anthropocene/Capitalocene/Cthulucene
• Cultural Materialism and the Utopian Imaginary State Socialisms and Productivist Natures
• Utopias: Social, Ecological, or World-Ecological?


Important Dates:
February 20 Abstract Submissions Due
Submission form:
March 20 Registration Opens

Attached document(s):