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Thematic Sessions

Urgent Action vs. Slow Politics
Friday, 2:15-3:30pm

In an unfolding present seemingly defined by the proliferation of multiple, interlocking crises (from severe weather events to extreme political volatility) scholars working at the intersection of social and environmental concerns face a new mandate. Collective actions to reverse, mitigate, or simply survive acute socio ecological stressors require a radical reimagination of politics as usual. Yet, the deep relational work inherent in just democratic processes is often messy, slow, and non-linear in nature. The apparent tension between what we’re calling here “urgent action” and “slow politics” is a rich terrain for theory and practice.

The Praxis of Critical Physical Geography
Friday, 4:00-5:15pm

Critical Physical Geography – CPG – represents an emerging opportunity in human-environment research to integrate methods and approaches from both the natural and the social sciences. CPG emphasizes bringing back the focus to the physical and ecological environment, aspects that seem to have become diluted in political ecology research. Geography has long sought the integration of natural and social sciences to address social and environmental challenges. The goal of this panel is to reflect on the challenges and opportunities offered by the emerging field of CPG for an integrated knowledge of natural-human interactions and its application to address contemporary environmental crises. What are the challenges of bridging theory and methods from natural and physical geography with social sciences in graduate school? How can we overcome those challenges? How can we have a greater impact with our research on decision-making?

Multi-Species (In)Justice
Saturday, 1:30-2:45pm

The aim of this panel is to explore the myriad ways more-than-human researchers encounter multi-species injustice. In so doing, we will be looking at embodied/feminist approaches and research methodologies that shape the observer/participant relationship and the role of ‘objectivity.’ We hope to investigate the ways in which multi-species injustice challenges the analysis and presentation of non-human research, from pedagogy to publication. We will discuss the ways researchers might reconcile the need for involved, embodied, and emotional human and more-than-human research with the hierarchical structures of academia, as well as addressing how the relationship between certain types of animal spaces (poultry CAFOs, fur farms, wet markets, etc.), multispecies injustice, and pandemics relate to the future of more-than-human geographies.