IBar News

Jade Montserrat. 'You'll have to be on your toes to survive these parts.'

CFP: The Anthropocene and Race Conference

July 24-5

The Anthropocene and Race

University of Central Lancashire, Preston

Hosted by the Institute for Black Atlantic Research, the Asia Pacific Studies Institute and the Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile

Image credit: Jade Montserrat. ‘You’ll have to be on your toes to survive these parts.’


*Note on Covid-19*
We are monitoring the situation carefully, and will post any revisions to the plan for the conference on this website when the call for papers has closed.

Call for Papers

‘The Anthropocene as a politically infused geology and scientific/popular discourse is just now noticing the extinction it has chosen to continually overlook in the making of its modernity and freedom.’ – Karen Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None.

‘If […] we take an environmental justice approach to Anthropocene storytelling, we can better acknowledge the way the geomorphic powers of human beings have involved unequal exposure to risk and unequal access to resources.’ Rob Nixon, ‘The Great Acceleration and the Great Divergence: Vulnerability in the Anthropocene.’

‘[A] buzzing, stinging, sucking swarm now, and human beings are not in a separate compost pile. We are humus, not Homo, not anthropos.’ Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene


The University of Central Lancashire is hosting ‘The Anthropocene and Race’ conference in July 2020. The conference explores the connections among geology and culture, environment, ideology and inequality, memory and displacement, deep time and the far future. Keynote addresses will be given by:


Professor Eric Odada, University of Nairobi

Anthropocene Working Group member, member of United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on water

Professor Kei Miller, University of Exeter

Novelist, poet, author of Augustown and In Nearby Bushes

Forward Prize and OCM Bocas Prize winner

Syaman Rapongan

Novelist, essayist, Tao culture activist

China Times Prize for Literature and Golden Tripod Award winner

Taiwan Ocean Research Institute researcher

Dr Karen McCarthy Woolf, Fulbright All-Disciplines Scholar, UCLA

Ecocritic, poet, editor

Author of An Aviary of Small Birds and Seasonal Disturbances

We are witnessing climate crisis and mass extinction. The Anthropocene is the proposed name for a new geological epoch, created by human actions. The term encapsulates the total impact of human activities on Earth’s systems. As such, it is a crucial new development for the sciences, humanities and arts.

This conference brings together an international array of thinkers from geology, geography, literature and culture.

The term Anthropocene remains controversial. Discussions among geologists are ongoing. Is the scale of ‘human’ activities really what is at stake here, or the activities of a few individuals, nations, corporations and governments? A subsistence farmer in Africa quite clearly does not have the same impact on the Earth as the chief executive of a coal mining company. Is the very idea of the Anthropocene western-centred – even racist?

The Anthropocene has been critiqued for being Eurocentric, human-focussed, capitalist and white-dominated. Karen Yusoff has challenged the Anthropocene’s ‘white geology’ for ignoring the enslaved and exploited black and brown bodies that the term obscures.

Environmental damage is a major driver of diaspora and new forms of exile, from climate change migration and the flight from polluted cities to ‘solastalgia’ (a feeling of distress caused by environmental damage close to your home.)

We welcome abstracts for 20-minute papers. Both scholarly and creative responses are welcome. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

*Theories of the Anthropocene, and what the concept means for different disciplines

*The Anthropocene and race across visual art, literature, music, social sciences and related narratives

*African Diasporan, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and LBGTQ+ perspectives on the Anthropocene, across disciplines

*Ecological imperialism, globalisation and capitalism, the ‘Capitalocene’

*Multi-species communities of resilience and resistance, the ‘Chthulucene’

*Geology, geological narratives, and what they imply for human beings

*Boundaries and border-crossings, human and nonhuman; migration of people, animals and plants (forced or voluntary)
*Oceanic studies and wider Pacific cross-cultural currents

*Cultural narratives about extinction, climate change, oceanic impacts


Paper submission process

We welcome submissions of abstracts for 20-minute presentations.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a 150-word biography to ibaruclan@uclan.ac.uk

Deadline: 10th May 2020.


£120: 2 days

£75: 1 day

Postgraduates, self-employed arts practitioners, lower income:

£100: 2 days

£50: 1 day

Undergraduates: free (please email ibaruclan@uclan.ac.uk to register your interest).


Conference locations:

Friday 24th July

Scholars’ Suite, Ground floor, Foster building, Corporation Street, Preston, PR1 2HE

Saturday 25th July

Greenbank Building 202, 2nd floor, UCLan, Preston, PR12HE