Emptying the Climate Crisis through Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika
Anish Mishra

part of: With/In Environments: Reimagining Frameworks and Practices for Environmental Philosophy--Graduate Student Conference
April 15, 2022, 11:00am - 11:30am

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Since Plato, western philosophy has been set down a path paved by a disavowal of the sensuous, bracketed material bodies, and delimited aesthetic conceptions, leaving human beings and their built environments separated from the natural world. Such exclusions have left philosophy ill-equipped to deal with the various environmental crises we currently face, as economic rationality and utilitarian logic further de-animate the world and sharpen the human/nature distinction. Even the concept “environment” often, and ironically, brings with it implicit anthropocentric assumptions, conceptualizing, and thereby separating, the human as independent from the surrounding world and reinforcing the human/nature divide. As a result, our (mis)understandings of “nature” and “environment” may make us insensitive to and perpetuate, rather than address, climate change and other environmental catastrophes. To avoid ambiguities and clarify our understanding, we must ask: what role does Nature play within our theories and practices concerning so-called Environmental Philosophy? Furthermore, what spaces, practices, and questions are made possible when we broaden our understanding of “environment” to include a more robust conceptualization of the natural world and how the human being ought to be contextualized within it? 

This conference asks how we might reorient the language and practices of philosophy in a way that can enable us to adequately respond to ongoing environmental crises. As a starting point, we propose a need to reimagine the concepts “human,” “nature,” and “environment,” as well as the reciprocal relations that constitute them. To recognize humans as natural organisms, we must reevaluate the sensuous, the material, and the aesthetic and the roles they play in our attempts to construct, understand, and preserve our environment(s). How should we make sense of our practices and our relations to those with whom we share our surroundings? How can we re-situate the human with/in the environment? Do we have the right tools to guide these investigations? How might philosophy look beyond itself—to literature, architecture, music, film, design—to better bring Environment, and thus the world, into view? In the spirit of this, we invite paper as well as project submissions from current graduate students in any discipline.

Possible Topics:

●        Environmental Aesthetics: Re-Considering Beauty + the Sublime

●        Environmental Justice + Restorative Justice + Transformative Justice

●        Environmental Ethics + Sustainable Practices

●        Diversity + Biodiversity 

●        Capitalism and Climate 

●        Eco-phenomenology

●        Eco-deconstruction

●        Environmental Racism/Racist Environments

●        Ecofeminist conceptions of nature

●        Land Rights and Property Relations

●        Posthumanism + Object Ontologies

●        Afrofuturism + Technological Utopias

●        Environmental Ethics In Narratives

●        Mastery of Nature in Philosophy

●        Anarcho-primitivism

●        Queer and Trans Ecologies

●        Local and Global Ecologies

●        Regionalisms and Globalisms in the Ecological Imagination


Confirmed Conference Keynotes:

Sandra Shapshay, CUNY Graduate Center, New York

Emanuele Coccia, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris

Dates and Location:

This conference will be held at the New School for Social Research in New York City from Thursday, April 14, to Saturday, April 16. While we (tentatively) plan to hold the conference primarily in-person we would also like to provide a hybrid option for those who would prefer to participate remotely. Following the conference, on Sunday, April 17, all participants and attendees are invited to participate in a conference hike in Cold Spring, NY (about an hour and a half north of NYC and accessible by the Metro North commuter train).

Call for Papers: Submission Procedure:

Please submit complete papers (Word Limit: 3500) and an abstract of 250 words or less by January 1st in the form of a Word attachment (.docx) or PDF to [email protected]. Please prepare your submission for blind review by removing any identifying information from the body of the paper. In your email please include your name, affiliation, and paper title. Notification of acceptance will be sent by January 15.

Call for Projects: Submission Procedure:

Please submit a project description (Word Limit: 1000) by December 1st in the form of a Word attachment (.docx) to [email protected], as well as:

For Visual Arts projects: submit 5 images of your work as .jpeg.

For Performing Arts projects: submit video/ audio of your work in .mp4 format

Please prepare your submission for blind review by removing any identifying information. In your email please include your name, affiliation, and project title. Notification of acceptance will be sent by January 15.

If you have any questions please email [email protected]

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Custom tags:

#New York events, #Environmental philosophy