28–31 May 2015, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China
Co-sponsored by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, and the Center for Ecological History, Renmin University of China
Nuclear power plants, bullet trains, factory farms, and ancient rice paddies are all forms of landscapes transformed by technology. They express a relationship between humans and the natural world. Like all technologies, they have been shaped by their environmental conditions and in turn have reshaped the earth into new environments.
This conference seeks to include papers on such topics as the transformation of plants, animals, and genes into “organic machines,” the impact of water or electric power production on natural systems, mining as an intervention in nature, the perception of nature through the changing lens of technology and innovation, and the ecology of industrialization. Other issues of interest include the meaning of the “Anthropocene” and its cultural implications, Western vs. non-Western views of the line separating nature from technology, theories of hybridity and techno-imperialism, and concepts of envirotech histories.
Convenors: Mingfang Xia (Renmin University of China), Helmuth Trischler (Deutsches Museum, Rachel Carson Center), and Donald Worster (University of Kansas, Renmin University of China).
This conference is open to all ranks and all scholars, from graduate students to senior professors. Participants will be selected competitively. Those interested in attending should send a written proposal of one page in length (or about 300 words) and include a title and a one- or two-page CV. The deadline for consideration is 1 January 2015. Successful proposals will be announced around 1 February, and complete drafts of papers (minimum of 5,000 words in English or the equivalent in Chinese characters) will be required by 1 May. All papers will be circulated to the participants in advance and will not be orally presented in full during the conference.