Call for presenters: Eleventh International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Deadline: 3 September 2015 - 12:00am

Dates: 2 - 4 August 2016


Where: Imperial College London, London, UK

Conveners: Imperial College - Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

2016 Focus: An Age and Its Ends: Social Science in the Era of the Anthropocene

From the first hunting of animals and burning of lands by hunters and gatherers, then the tilling of fields and planting of crops by farmers, to the rise of smokestack industries, and more recently to intensified social, political and economic globalizations, collective human action has left an undeniable mark on the natural environment. The more recent phases of this long history are now being defined as the ‘age of the Anthropocene’, or an age where a single species is determining the direction of the Earth’s natural history. A key purpose of defining the age is to understand a new stage in the interaction of the social and the natural, manifest today in human-induced changes to global temperatures, sea level, CO2 in the atmosphere, to name just a few consequential eco-systemic changes.

There is a certain kind of teleological quality to this argument. We are ‘in’ the age of the Anthropocene but we are at the same time concerned about its ‘ends’, in the sense of human purposes and effects. In the most apocalyptic versions of this argument, human damage to the Earth that may undermine the very conditions of human and other life on Earth. ‘Ends’ are projected through augments supported by evidence of the intensifying impacts of human activity and social systems on the Earth. How can interdisciplinary approaches in the social sciences help us to explore these ‘ends’ of our age in terms of their environmental and human consequences? This year’s Special Focus for the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Knowledge Community – An Age and Its Ends: Social Science in the Era of the Anthropocene – is necessarily open-ended because of the contingent nature of human ‘ends’. Whether or not we accept the velocity of global environmental change, human impacts on the environment demand a reappraisal of the disciplinary moorings of the social sciences. Looking forward into the future, how can we navigate alternative sustainable social pathways, sensitive to the natural environment? What social, economic, political, educational as well as natural scientific perspectives and methods need to be brought to the table in this essentially interdisciplinary endeavor?

We invite proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, virtual lightning talks, virtual posters, or colloquia addressing one of the following themes:

  • Social and Community Studies
  • Civic and Political Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Global Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Organizational Studies
  • Educational Studies
  • Communication

Proposal Deadline: 3rd of September 2015

Photo Credit: Uli Harder

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