EcoPeoPle Symposium: Thinking Environment, Feeling Nature – Program released!

The program for our symposium on February 15 has been finalised and is available to download here. Limited places are still available for participants who are not presenting a paper; all welcome. Please contact if you wish to attend for a half or full day.

EcoPeoPle Symposium: Thinking Environment, Feeling Nature

Thursday 15th February 2018, 9am-5pm.
IAS meeting room, UWA.
Registration free; morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided.

Nature and environment, as they are conceived of and experienced by different human communities, are approached with a range of questions, theories and methods across different disciplines. A key theme of this symposium is how we as researchers conceptualise nature and the environment within our research: as ideas influential in cultural production; as material resources and risks inextricably intwined with social power relations; as sites of embodied experience and emotional connection, and more.

In the humanities and social sciences, distinctions between nature and culture are increasingly being interrogated in the wake of a turn towards non-dualist and materialist re-thinking of human relationships with nature and environments. These perspectives present opportunities as well as challenges, and their utility is not universally agreed upon. Researchers are also increasingly acknowledging the role of emotions in shaping the way many societies have understood and interacted with nature, and are grappling with how to study these relationships in a robust way. Meanwhile diverse and lively strands of research into environmental justice and social aspects of conservation are using social theory and engaged methods and in the process illuminating the ways in which thinking about environments is always shaped by social divisions and power relations.

This symposium will provide EcoPeoPle members with an opportunity to share current research on ideas and emotions of nature and environment in different cultural, historical, and disciplinary contexts. Each participant will have 30 minutes to share their research, with at least 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Proposals for roundtable discussion sessions or other non-standard formats are also welcome. The orientation of this workshop is informal, cross-disciplinary and collegial; contributions from postgraduate students and ECRs are very welcome.

Optional pre-circulated papers (due by 2nd February 2018) will be read by two EcoPeoPle members, who will provide written and verbal comments.

To propose a paper, please email a title and an abstract of maximum 250 words, along with your name and affiliation, and (non-binding) indication of whether you intend to provide a pre-circulated paper, to Andrea Gaynor by 6th December 2017.

EcoPeoPle coffee catch-up

All members are invited to gather for coffee and an informal discussion, Thursday 19th October 2pm at the UWA Club.

EcoPeoPle coffee catch-up

All members are invited to gather for coffee and an informal discussion, Thursday 21st September 2pm at the UWA Club.

EcoPeoPle coffee catch-up

All members are invited to gather for coffee and an informal discussion, Wednesday 23rd August 10:30am at the UWA Club.

Seminar: ‘Hunting, foraging and the pursuit of animal ontologies in Victoria, Australia’

Friday August 4th in the Anthropology/Sociology seminar series, 2:30-3:30pm in Social Sciences Building Room 2204

Catie Gressier

Disenchantment with the industrial food complex—and recognition of its detrimental impacts on ecosystems, animal welfare and human health—has led to growing numbers of Australians endeavouring to reduce their reliance on commercially-produced foods; meat in particular. This paper explores the ways in which self-provisioning hunters and foragers in Victoria invoke animal ontologies within their attempts to create sustainable, emplaced lifestyles and diets that circumvent the industrial food system. Through a focus on practices of accountable killing and sacred eating, I explore hunters’ justifications for their (somewhat anguished) omnivory through the construction of the embodied human as both predator and prey within their local ecosystems.

EcoPeoPle coffee catch-up

All members are invited to gather for coffee and an informal discussion, Thursday 15th June 10:30am at the UWA Club.

EcoPeoPle coffee catch-up

All members are invited to gather for coffee and an informal discussion, Wednesday 26th April 10:30am at the UWA Club.

Seminar: Archaeology in the age of alternative facts -The Beeliar wetlands investigation and Roe 8
Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:00 – Social Sciences, Lecture Room 1 (G28), UWA

Fiona Hook, Joe Dortch and Corina Abraham

During planning for the aborted Roe 8 highway project in the Perth metropolitan region, Noongar Traditional owners and archaeologists became concerned about protection of Aboriginal heritage place DAA 4107, which extends along the north side of Walliabup (Bibra Lake), through the Roe 8 corridor. The site’s original investigators identified 2000 Aboriginal stone artefacts at the surface, and potential for sub-surface archaeological material. Despite these values, the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee determined the place was not a site, supposedly because the site had been disturbed, despite lack of any evidence for these claims. Identifying a lack of process, Traditional Owners and archaeologists undertook a pro bono investigation to determine whether the site was disturbed and contained sub-surface archaeological remains. A shovel test-pitting program in January 2017 revealed stone artefacts, including fossiliferous chert fragments probably older than c.5000 years, and intact pre-European deposits throughout the area assessed. Media coverage of the project was largely positive towards Aboriginal heritage. The project confirms that sub-surface archaeological assessment should have been conducted before clearing for the highway began. It also shows the value of archaeology in engaging the public and the role of research in actively contending ‘alternative facts’.

To see past events involving EcoPeoPle members please click here.