Conference | On the Nature-of-Things: New Technologies and Environmental Governance

July 2nd, 2019 | 09:00 – 17:00 | Leeuwenborch C62 | Organised by Karen Bakker (University of British Columbia) and Bram Büscher (Wageningen University)

The Digital Age has entailed the rapid expansion of disruptive technologies. Over the last decade, we have seen a rapid development of new, integrated and Internet based technologies, especially related to Internet-of-Things, new SMART technologies, and social media platforms. Together, these have drastically changed the ways humans interact with, see and understand, monitor and regulate and conserve the rest of nature. We need to better understand what these technologies do, how they are integrated, how they relate to, change and mediate different nonhuman natures, including animal and plant species, ecosystems and their interactions. Given the fact that many of these technologies perform pre-programmed actions, including through algorithms, we also need to know the extent to which they surpass human oversight. To date, relatively little scholarly attention has been given to these questions though a body of work is beginning to emerge. The one-day conference ‘On the Nature-of-Things: New Technologies and Environmental Governance’, is meant to take stock of this emerging scholarship and to discuss potential research agendas and topics moving forward. Leading scholars in the field will present their recent work to help us understand the ‘nature-of-things’ as disruptive technologies reach ever further and deeply transform human-nature relations into the future.

Time Presenter Paper Title
08:30 Welcome with COFFEE and TEA
9:00 –
10:00
Jennifer Gabrys (University of
Cambridge)
Data Citizens and Environmental Sensors
10:00 –
11:00
Bram Büscher (Wageningen University) Conservation-Glut: Saving and Sharing Nature in the Era of
Platform Capitalism
Break    
11:15 –
12:15
Karen Bakker (University of British
Columbia)
Digital Disruptions in Environmental Governance: The
promise and pitfalls of contemporaneous environmental
regulation
Lunch    
13:00 –
14:00
Elizabeth Johnson (Durham
University)
On the backs of bees: Narrating futures at the intersection of
production and reproduction
14:00 –
15:00
Max Ritts (University of
British Columbia)
New Forms: Data Stories, Anthropocene Festivals,  and
Experimental Governance in an age of Smart Earth
Break    
15:15 –
16:15
Mike Goodman
(Reading University)
Make Non-humans Great Again!!?:
Virtual companionisation and iAnimal’s thanato-biopolitics of becoming pig
16:15 –
17:00
General discussion
(moderated by
Karen Bakker and
Bram Büscher)
Future Research Agendas
17:00 DRINKS

SPEAKERS & ABSTRACTS

Jennifer Gabrys, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge

Title: Data Citizens and Environmental Sensors

Bram Büscher, Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University

Title: Conservation-Glut: Saving and Sharing Nature in the Era of Platform Capitalism

Karen Bakker, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia

Title: Digital Disruptions in Environmental Governance: The promise and pitfalls of contemporaneous environmental regulation

Elizabeth R. Johnson, department of geography, Durham University, UK. 

Title: On the backs of bees: Narrating futures at the intersection of production and reproduction

Max Ritts, department of geography, University of British Columbia, Canada

Title: New Forms: Data Stories, Anthropocene Festivals, and Experimental Governance in an age of Smart Earth

Mike Goodman, Professor of Environment and Development/Human Geography

Reading University, UK

Title: Make Non-humans Great Again!!?: Virtual companionisation and iAnimal’s thanato-biopolitics of becoming pig

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