Conference on "Environmental Humanities and New Materialisms: The Ethics of Decolonizing Nature and Culture"

When, local time: 
Wednesday, 7 June 2017 - 2:30pm to Friday, 9 June 2017 - 8:00pm
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
Meeting by Member States or Institutions
John Crowley,

A conference on “Environmental Humanities and New Materialisms: The Ethics of Decolonizing Nature and Culture” will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 7 to 9 June 2017, 2017 as a part of the preparation process for the World Humanities Conference (August 2017).

The New Materialisms, heirs of materialisms, French Theory and critical feminist thoughts, show how the spirit is always material (the mind is an idea of the body), how matter is necessarily something of the mind (the mind has the body as its object), and how nature and culture are always "nature-culture". Hence, one may think that matter has its own morphogenetic capacities, and generates concrete assemblages, the description and understanding of which must replace those of the reified generalities. The New Materialisms are thus opposed to the transcendental, humanist and dualist theories that haunt the philosophical history by proposing a discrepancy allowing to grasp the displacement of the flows of nature and culture, matter and spirit, and the opening of an active theory of the formation of environments.

Environmental Humanities share an approach based on mixed ontologies involving human beings and non humans (animals, plants, minerals, objects), yet also a certain number of critical positions (post-capitalism, post-humanism, post -colonialism, the rejection of anthropocentrism, distance with constructivism) that deserve to be discussed and confronted.

In prospect of contributing to such debates, the Conference will focus on four broadly formulated topic and questions:

• Decoloniality and Environmental Ethics
• Feminism, Work and Social Movements
• Transversal Methodologies
• Environmental Aesthetics

The Conference is organized by: New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on ‘How Matter Comes to Matter’, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), Action IS1307; in association with Laboratory of Social dynamics and spatial reconstruction (LADYSS), and UNESCO.