Contesting Nature in Central Asia
The relationship between humans and their environments is central to both natural and social sciences, yet the fundamental distinction between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ is the reason behind segregation of knowledge into two distinct spheres. ‘Nature’ is often utilised as shorthand for unchanging laws of existence, the inexorable materiality of being, for inevitability, determinism and teleology. As such, the notion of ‘nature’ has been challenged by many scholars as a product of ‘social construction’, whereby neither humans nor their environments are ever fully ‘natural’ or ‘cultural’, but rather are mutually constituted through a network of complex interactions.
We invite contributions from scholars of Central Asia related (but not limited to) one of the following themes and/or approaches:
- Social production/ discursive constructions of nature;
- Social construction of (natural) science/ sociology of scientific knowledge/ science and technology studies;
- The nature of ‘human nature’;
- The social construction of the environment, geography and ecosystems/ Environmental history/Political ecology;
- Ontology, epistemology, phenomenology and metaphysics of nature;
- The concept of domination of nature/”rational use of natural resources”;
- Actor-network theory.
We encourage panel submissions and interdisciplinary approach as well as comparative perspectives (with other regions, periods and realities). The working languages of the conference are English and Russian. Limited financial assistance will be available to selected participants based on need. Participants are encouraged to seek funding from their home institution or alternative sources.
To apply, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short bio (200 words), stating your full name, institutional affiliation, contact details and research interests to email@example.com by July 15, 2016. Please address all queries to Svetlana Jacquesson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mokhira Suyarkulova (email@example.com).
Central Asian Studies Institute
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