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Global Ecologies: Nature/Narrative/Neoliberalism stages an interdisciplinary conversation about globally relevant environmental issues such as neo-liberalism, militarism, waste dumping, deforestation, and food, land, and water sovereignty. Our conference will foreground international environmental issues and highlight the importance of how attention to narrative form is vital to understanding and enhancing the impact on public understandings of environmental crisis. We bring together scholars at UCLA and beyond who are concerned with how narrative forms such as the novel, non-fiction prose, poetry, (digital) media, the arts, as well as the narrative practices of scientists, social scientists and ecologists have differently inflected the representation of non-human nature, and to raise questions about the challenges environmental storytelling poses for collaboration between the global North and the global South.
This two-day conference brings together scholars examining globalization and the environment in order to address the interdisciplinary implications of environmental study. Working in diverse fields such as African, Caribbean, Latin American, South Asian, and Pacific Island Studies, our participants will examine issues in environmental studies across a number of geographical and national contexts; those who have engaged critical questions about the role narrative can play in illuminating the links between the environmental concerns and the history of colonialism and globalization. Joan Martinez-Alier’s concept of the “environmentalism of the poor,” and Vandana Shiva’s model of “earth democracy” are central concepts animating the work of our proposed participants.