The preliminary program is up for the third Under Western Skies conference, “Intersections of Environments, Technologies, Communities,” which will be held in a couple of weeks at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.
And it looks fantastic. I think the biennial UWS gatherings are becoming one of the leading interdisciplinary forums for environmental thinking, critique, and engaged scholarship.
The topics cover a remarkable range: environmental politics, climate change activism, fossil fuel and resource conflicts (tar sands being prominently featured), indigenous struggles, eco-art and aesthetics, ecopoetics and literature, music and acoustic ecology, film and media, pedagogy, animals, ecophilosophy, e-waste, ecological economics, geoengineering, disaster planning and preparedness, health, food, and much more.
Keynotes and plenary activities cover a similar range, from indigenous activists Idle No More and Winona LaDuke (who will speak on the Keystone XL pipeline) to anthropologist Tim Ingold, western historian Patti Limerick, eco-religion scholar Bron Taylor (speaking on “Terrapolilitan Earth Civilization: Toward an Evolutionary and Naturalistic Environmental Ethics”), ecologist David Schindler, and Justice Thomas Berger (best known for his role in the Mackenzie Pipeline Inquiry). They even found a spot for my own keynote, entitled “From the Age of the World Motion Picture to the Archive, the Cloud, and the Commons.”
I look forward to many productive and enjoyable conversations there.
According to the organizers, the next Under Western Skies, to be held in September of 2016, “will be built around the work of Bruno Latour, who has confirmed that he will attend and give the keynote address.” (Latour was originally scheduled for this year’s conference — which was part of the draw for me — but had to change that plan.)
I plan to be there in a couple of years as well.