Despite an increasingly vast production of knowledge about nature, there is still no agreement about the strategies needed to build “sustainable”, “green” or “environmentally friendly” societies. Even Nature is not a shared concept, and what is valued and worth protecting remains controversial.
Climate change, commodification of natural resources, land deprivation, biodiversity loss, pollution and other issues pertaining to nature and natural resources are making themself felt in the very heart of society yet in highly contested ways. The dominant stream of natural science research is geared towards investigating the “nature of nature”, and tends to overlook the plurality of natures produced in the intersection with society. The social sciences and the humanities should not only continue to take on the challenges of investigating how nature has become a contested concept but also enter into dialogue with the natural sciences to explore the implications of ongoing ontological politics as well as the effects of nature being a contested concept. In turn, this suggests new intellectual landscapes of transdiciplinary research where the social sciences, the humanities and the natural sciences have to (re)convene to establish a basis from which nature-society may be reformed – in theory as well as in practice – to deal with the demanding challenges of the Anthropocene.
The purpose of this conference is to engage with such challenges to provoke ideas on new ways for social theory to explore and engage in nature-society relations. We welcome researchers from all social science, humanities and other relevant fields to present their latest research related to aspects and interactions of social, cultural and environmental changes. Más en: http://ness2015.rural.no/