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Event – Call for Papers – Nature, Society and the Great Indoors – by 15 October

Posted in Research by fedwards on October 7th, 2007

The Conference described below investigates the study of the internal environment which is often overlooked within academia. These spaces – which we all inhabit – all contribute towards issues of both healthy physical and social environments. Submissions are due by 15 October

Held by the Association of American Geographers, Boston, MA, April 15 – 19
Organizers: Dawn Biehler (University of British Columbia) and Gregory Simon (Stanford University)

What can political ecologists and other nature-society geographers learn from indoor environments — from homes and factories to prisons, slums, schools, and shopping malls? Traditional research has primarily focused on outdoor environments ranging from wildland areas to community-managed forests and other productive landscapes. More recently, nature-society researchers have expanded their realm of inquiry to include densely populated and built regions such as suburban and urban areas. This session will investigate another promising frontier in nature-society research — “the great indoors”. For some nature-society researchers, the indoors serve as a constructive analytical scale to assess micro-politics and struggles over resource access and control. Yet this research almost always treats the environment as an area external to indoor spaces. The goal of this session is to make the case for nature-society research in indoor environments. The proposed session will explore recent scholarship as well as future challenges and opportunities for researchers confronting enclosed environments.

We are interested in papers that employ frameworks such as political ecology, science studies, environmental justice, and environmental history to examine the enclosed spaces that are the settings for much of human life. By examining indoor spaces through these lenses, we intend to shed new light on the theoretical concerns of political ecologists and other nature-society researchers. Papers submitted to this session may vary in their scope, methods and geographical orientation. We are especially interested in papers that use empirical research to establish critical understandings of the ways the state, capital, science, and/or environmentalists approach indoor spaces. Possible foci for empirical research may include:

-The production of knowledge about bodies, health, and the indoor environment
-Political ecologies of indoor pollution and contamination
-Social movements directed at indoor environmental issues
-State intervention (or lack thereof) in indoor environmental quality
-The role of techno-science in monitoring indoor environmental quality
-Legal structures that regulate environment and health in indoor spaces
-The commodification of resources and species in producing indoor environments
-Representations of the relationship between outdoor and indoor environments in environmental governance and science
-Social geography/identity and indoor political ecologies
-Analysis of mainstream and alternative green consumption/construction discourse
-International development programs aimed at improving household living conditions
-Managed ecological systems and social practices that link indoor/outdoor and public/private environments

If you are conducting research dealing with ecological and health dimensions of households, workspaces, schools and other indoor environments, your participation in this session is strongly encouraged. In order to help the organizers prepare for the late October deadline, please contact Dawn Biehler (dbiehler now to express interest. Please submit abstracts to the same address by 15 October.

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