Author Archives: Centre for Space, Place and Society

Conference | On the Nature-of-Things: New Technologies and Environmental Governance | Organised by Karen Bakker (University of British Columbia) and Bram Büscher (Wageningen University)

July 2nd, 2019 | 09:00 – 17:00 | Leeuwenborch C62

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.

TimePresenterPaper Title
08:30Welcome 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
17:00DRINKS

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

Research Seminar | Conservation Conflicts: Perspectives & Implications

June 25th, 2018 | 3 – 5pm | Lumen 1

An ecologist in conflict

Abstract: My work has focused on conflicts that emerge over the management and conservation of species around the world. I will give a couple of examples and explore how these conflicts are described. I will consider stakeholder and researcher goals and roles and explore some of the challenges to managing such conflicts.

Jelle Behagel, Assistant Professor, Forest and Nature Conservation Policy, Wageningen University

Forest fantasies: anxiety, repression, and sublimation

Abstract: The relationship between humans and nature is highly fantasmatic: is it a fundamental scheme by which we both make sense of the world and establish an affective relationship with it. In other words, the fantasies we have about nature allow us to interact with it, to be in nature, to take from it, and to make it into something else. Moreover, the fantasmatic quality of nature makes that its loss can make us anxious, and its presence can calm us down. I will use the example of global reforestation schemes to illustrate that forest fantasies are not just in our minds, but also in our politics. Accordingly, I argue that the different forest fantasies that people have are at the centre of numerous conservation conflicts. Following (Anna) Freud, these conflicts can be repressed, sublimated, and many things in-between.

Lisa Trogisch, PhD Candidate, Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University

Geographies of fear: the geopolitics of green violence and emotionality around the transboundary Virunga conservation area

Abstract: Recent dynamics of militarization and securitisation around the transboundary Virunga Conservation Area (VCA) between Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo, last habitat of endangered mountain gorillas, exemplify how the role of rangers exceeds the protection of flora and fauna to a ‘responsibility to protect’ tourists and national borders. I propose that ranger’s responsibilities in the VCA are instilled by geopolitical security narratives creating ‘geographies of fear’ – an emotional landscape of ‘dangerous’ and no-go-areas. How do rangers perceive and perform these geopolitical landscapes in their day-to-day conservation tasks?

CSPS PhD Event | Coral Whispers: Scientists on the brink | with Irus Braverman

June 20th | 13:30 – 15:30 | Leeuwenborch 63 | Lunch provided

CSPS would like to invite PhD students to a late lunch and discussion with Irus Braverman. In conjunction with the annual lecture, the event will be a relaxed space for students to engage with Dr Braverman on her work on Coral Whispers. The event will also include an informational session with Jeroen Warner regarding important information on services available to PhDs. Please RSVP here or send us a note letting us know you will be attending as well as your area and focus of work. We want to create a space for students to engage with Dr. Braverman that will be focused on the area of work of PhDs that will be taking part in the discussion.

Coral Whisperers captures a critical moment in the history of coral reef science. Gleaning insights from over one hundred interviews with leading scientists and conservation managers, Irus Braverman documents a community caught in an existential crisis and alternating between despair and hope. In her talk, corals will emerge not only as signs and measures of environmental catastrophe, but also as catalysts for action.

Irus Braverman is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is author of Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine (2009), Zooland: The Institution of Captivity (2012), and Wild Life: The Institution of Nature (2015). Her latest monograph, Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink was published by the University of California Press in November 2018.

Invitation | Wisdom and Wonder Movie Talks | with Prof. Dr. Maria Koelen/ Sacro GRA

June 18, 2019 | 20:30 | Herenstraat Theater

Maria will introduce the documentary SACRO GRA, made by Gianfranco Rosi in 2013. This film is about people who live near the autostrada  A90, the big ring road around Rome. It is a voyeuristic view in everyday live and shows how people manage their life in different circumstances within their built and natural environment. The theater talk and movie will start at 8.30 PM. Tickets are EUR 10,-, one drink during break included. Tickets available at the Heerenstraattheater or at: www.heerenstraattheater.nl

Blog Post | “But You Are Also Ghanaian, You Should Know”: the iceberg illusion and the story of a research article | by Dr. Emmanuel Akwasi Adu-Ampong

New Blog from GEO’s Dr. Emmanuel Akwasi Adu – Ampong and corresponding article.

The Unplanned PhD Planner

This paper has finally seen the light of day through sheer hard graft. It feels almost like a pyrrhic victory but that is the nature of the process sometimes. I am nonetheless happy to share the news of this published co-authored journal article . Thanks to my man Ellis for keeping us going through the valleys until this point. You can access it through this link…

“But You Are Also Ghanaian, You Should Know”: Negotiating the Insider–Outsider Research Positionality in the Fieldwork Encounter 

but you are also ghanaian

When I think of this particular research article, the metaphorical image that comes to my mind is that of an iceberg – you only see the tip on the surface while missing the bigger piece in the water. This has been characterised as ‘The Iceberg Illusion”. What people get to see as ‘success’ is that the paper is published but what they might not see is the sweaty…

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