Our Sentimental Natures: environmental commitments, media and feeling

Our Sentimental Natures: environmental commitments, media and feeling

Image of lake under fog and surrounding trees

Day colloquium at Macquarie University Friday May 8, 2020

Call for provocations and papers

Deadline for abstracts: Monday March 2nd 2020

This colloquium will consider the way photography, comics, visual art, film and video, social media, the press and books might cultivate feeling for spaces, places and environmental politics.  How might media motivate or exhaust environmental action and climate justice? On what occasions might sentiment be a productive and catalysing force? Might some forms of media, in their making, circulation and consumption, militate against meaningful ecological change?  How and when are people moved by stories and images of the more-than-human world, and what might be the consequences of such feelings? What feelings prompt people to create and curate their own eco-media, and what forms do these media take?

We invite short 6 minute provocations or longer 15 minute papers from scholars, researchers, creative practitioners and activists working across a broad range of fields and disciplines.

Topics on the day might include the following:

  • indigenous perspectives on media and country
  • locating images – domestic, urban and distributed geographies of affective media
  • genealogies of sentiment and its implications for environmentalism
  • sentimental connections to place and critiques of sentiment
  • disgust and abjection in environmental media
  • the politics of peopled and unpeopled landscapes
  • gendered media, emotion and value in environmental politics
  • media and environmental justice
  • the colonial gaze and its alternatives
  • circuits of activist media and cultivation of a feeling for place
  • beyond binaries: thinking, feeling and media forms
  • climate grief – media and the management of feeling
  • alternatives to apocalyptic tropes and story-telling
  • media and the politics of care in the Anthropocene
  • mediating human-more-than-human feelings

As this colloquium is tied to a photographic exhibition Deerubbin at dawn: river lives on the Hawkesbury (Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre in Hornsby from May 1-17 as part of the Head On photo festival), papers which consider estuaries, rivers and other waterways, or work grounded in particular places and spaces, and/or histories of those places and spaces, will be especially welcome.

Please send proposals of 200-300 words and a short biographical note of no more than 100 words to Ian Collinson with the subject line “Our Sentimental Natures”.  Please clearly indicate whether your presentation would be a provocation or a paper.

This colloquium is affiliated with the Arrested/ Arresting Ecologies Research Cluster, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, and the Environmental Humanities Research Stream, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Macquarie University.

Based on the colloquium we hope to publish a special issue of an international journal on the theme of sentiment, media and nature in 2022/23.

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