The Center for Ethnography presents

"Speculative Ecologies: Using Theories of Ecology to Re-Imagine Your Research"

Saturday, May 25, 2013
11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway (SBSG), Third Floor Lobby

Ecologies have come to be broadly used to attend to the relations and boundaries between bodies and environments. While cultural ecologists of the old school counted average growth rate and calorie consumption, recent work with the concept of ecology gestures toward proliferations and constellations of vital subjects, some of which may not be alive at all. Within ecologies as such, certain agents emerge at certain scales and come to matter as indicators of ecological movement, health, safety, and value. Ecologies continually escape our efforts to plan for and around them, yet continue to serve as the rubric under which speculative plans are made.

In this half-day workshop, we challenge ourselves to think with ecology as both a concept and a method. Could identifying the ecological in our research projects reveal new avenues for inquiry? What might it mean to ecologize our field sites, our ideas, and ourselves as researchers? Participants will be encouraged to explore, engage with, and think through provocative snippets of ecological thought (compiled into an Ecology Workbook by the organizers and circulated in advance), with the goal of producing or reshaping individual research imaginaries and building collaborative networks. Activities will include short writing exercises, discussions, debates, and guided walks around provocative spaces on campus, and participants will be encouraged to contribute to the Ecology Workbook.

While this workshop is primarily oriented towards participants already working with ideas of environment, spatiality, and/or place-making, it also encourages those whose work may not be explicitly ecological to experiment with the concept. We ask that interested graduate students, post-docs, and early career professionals from across the disciplines submit a 250-word abstract describing a project to be workshopped. Please submit abstracts by May 10th, 2013, to Questions may be sent to the same address.

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