Accessibility statement

(Terra)py: At the Intersection of Care and Anthropocene

Wednesday 5 October 2022, 12.00PM to 06 Oct

The CModS CounterVoices Annual Conference will be held over two afternoons and will include some talks being released via Twitter as well as in-person and online. The CFP is open until 5pm on Friday 2nd September.

The last few years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their intersection with rising global temperatures, droughts, and food scarcity, have exposed and further exacerbated societal inequalities. This has raised questions about the distribution of and accessibility to health- and environmental care and delineated who is most able to benefit from practices of care during times of crises.

This conference asks: How do the practices of care - be it healthcare, therapy, self-care, care for others and the wider world, or sustainable practices of conservation - intersect with the current epoch of the Anthropocene? What forms can care take? Can our understanding of the Anthropocene include practices of care, or are they mutually exclusive from one another during a time in which humankind has deeply transformed the world around them?

As we think of care, we are immediately brought to think of a particular taxonomy of being where the ‘living’ are placed in a hierarchy above the ‘non-living’. Can we push the idea of care to also include the non-living, such as material objects or geological sites? How does looking after certain objects and what they represent correspond to a practice of care? How does a lack of care for other objects or the non-living expose wider power dynamics and how are these related to perceived ‘value’? To think of these often implies a relation to the human and the living, connections which are presented as providing an ‘ultimate’ and ‘true’ purpose of caring for the non-living and objects. Is it possible to care about objects for objects’ sake? Can moving away from the anthropocentrism of western research and a focus on the nonhuman offer a different mode of care? This consideration of the non-living could include the conservation of coastal erosion, heritage sites, and historic and contemporary objects - to name just a few.

CFP: Potential Topics to Explore:

  • The Human / Non-Human
  • The Living / Non-Living
  • Crisis and the Anthropocene
  • Climate / Environment
  • Professional Care / Personal Care / Political Care
  • Care as an active rather than passive practice
  • Community and Family
  • Duty of Care
  • Conservation
  • The Approach to Care in Teaching and Research
  • Potential Research Practices of Care: 
    • What examples of care - for the living and/or non-living - can be found in the past and present?
    • How can we continue to take care of ourselves in times of crisis, including the existential crisis of the Anthropocene?
    • How can we adopt methods and practices which centre practices of care in teaching and research? What would a research framework centred around the practices of care actually mean?
    • How can research cause harm and what are the ways that this can be avoided?
    • How do we decide on what the right forms of care are and who gets to decide this?
    • Can practising care and richer alternative forms of action allow us to bring about meaningful change through what Judith Halberstam calls “radical passivity”, away from the dominant understandings of action as careless productivity and “hustle”?
    • How might such decisions reinforce or challenge wider societal and global power dynamics?
    • How can interdisciplinary research and practices help to address the issues of the Anthropocene or help to create research frameworks centred around practices of care?
    • How can research centre practices and methods of care? For example, William Caraher and Richard Rothaus have previously called for an ‘Archaeology of Care’ which not only ‘actively questions the colonial, capitalistic and, at times, antihumanistic tendencies of the discipline’ but also aims to create genuine and meaningful efforts of public outreach.

Further details to be announced so check back in September!

Location: TBA. In-person and online.