Working-class Environmentalism

The postgraduate forum for Environment, Literature, and Culture (ELC) announced a  new CfA (Call for Applications) on their website recently. The CfA concerns the annual conference/workshop for postgraduate students working with questions related to the confluence of environmental issues and culture. This year’s workshop will take place in Venice, Italy (not a bad venue) on November 9-10, and its focus is on working-class environmentalism.

They’re currently looking for applications from interested postgraduate students, so if you’re interested or know of someone else who might be interested in sending an application their way, feel free to let them know about it. Deadline for applications is July 15. More info here on the ELC website, and here where the full CfA can be accessed.

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Credit for pic of Venice’s Marghera industrial area: geocurrents.info

I’m myself tempted to apply but since working-class environmentalism has so far not been a central focus in my work, I’m a little hesitant. Class issues are a significant part of protest masculinity, which was an important part of my second article manuscript, so I guess I could build a decent application around that, plus I was heavily influenced by Pierre Bourdieu‘s ideas when I went through my “Bourdieu phase” a while back. However, I’m not sure if I should apply and possibly take the place of a more deserving colleague to whose work class issues are more central.

I come from a working-class background myself, and probably must admit to the (at least unconscious) influence that my  own working-class environmentalist father has had on me, so there’s that “biographical connection” but I’m not sure whether the above stuff is enough to justify sending an application or whether I should just focus on stuff more obviously connected to my work.

There was one possible topic suggested by the workshop organizers that might suit my own research interests: “– the corrective role of culture in reframing ideas of progress, prosperity, human well-being and ultimately economic models (“alternative hedonism”)” so we’ll see. I’d have to also get a travel grant to attend, and there are complications with that, as I’m still a University of Vaasa student at the time of the applications but a University of Jyväskylä student by the time of the workshop, and (surprise surprise) haven’t yet received any answer to my query about conference travel grant practices from the people at Jyväskylä Uni. Per the CfA, the workshop organizers might also be able to help with travel finances, so that’d be another option if I chose to apply.

So I guess I’ll still think about it. Let people know about this if you can think of someone who might be interested. I’ll now get back to reading up on phenomenology, yeay!

Featured image (not visible in mobile theme) credit: occupy.com

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