Call for panelists – Special Roundtable on The Political Ecology of COVID-19

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This is a call for panelists for a special roundtable on political ecologies of COVID-19 for the Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN), Contested natures: power, politics prefiguration, which will be held virtually 22-25 September 2020.

As an area of inquiry that examines the intersections and mutual constitution of power and environment across scale, political ecology is well suited to examine key dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its emergence, the routes through which it travels, and its impacts. In this roundtable, we aim to bring together contributions that advance a political ecology of COVID-19. We invite contributions that can shed light on particular themes and processes but also develop a more wide-reaching conversation around what a political ecology of COVID-19 might look like and how it might contribute to building a more just and sustainable world.

We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of a political ecology of COVID-19. Possible topics include those below, but we are excited to entertain ideas that push beyond this list to build a more robust conversation.

  • Links between COVID-19, health, and discrimination, especially in the context of Black Lives Matter and other movements for racial, class, indigenous, and gender justice
  • Disease (political) ecology and responses to COVID-19 or other epidemics/pandemics with lessons for today
  • The political ecology of xenophobia, Orientalism, and neo-Malthusianism in the context of COVID-19
  • Political ecology and alternative responses to crisis
  • COVID-19 and the wildlife trade, live animal markets, factory farms, etc.
  • Animal testing to find treatments and a vaccine
  • Broader more-than-human aspects of COVID-19 (e.g., viruses as actors)
  • The political economy of COVID’s emergence, spread, and impact, for instance as these are tied to neoliberalism/austerity, globalization, colonialism, and imperialism  
  • Securitization and militarization of disease / green militarization with lessons for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 in the age of populism, anti-science, and denial
  • The political-ecological impact of COVID-19 and response to it on overlooked communities (e.g., those outside of privileged parts of China and the Global North)
  • How COVID-19 and its study can extend the limits of political ecology and create bridges to other areas of inquiry

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Libby Lunstrum <libbylunstrum@boisestate.edu> and Amber Huff <a.huff@ids.ac.uk> no later than August 10, 2020. We particularly encourage contributions from under-represented scholars including those from the Global South.  

For more information about the conference visit the event site https://pollen2020.wordpress.com/.

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