CFP. Converging Dichotomies an interdisciplinary approach to Nature and Culture. Milan May 4th 5th

Via Crit Geog Forum 

Converging Dichotomies an interdisciplinary approach to Nature and Culture

Geography session

4th-5th May, 2017

Università degli Studi di Milano

Conference topic areas:

Philosophy (first session), Anthropology (second session), Geography (third session)

The complete call for abstract is available at:

Call for abstracts:

The notions of Nature and Culture may appear as essentially independent the one from the other for their literal definition.Indeed, it is considered one of the traditional dichotomies in Western thought: Nature seems to be an extrinsic dimension of Culture due to the absence of artificiality and development, which seems rather to belong to the latter.

Nevertheless, there have been important philosophical and scientific considerations that have structurally based their theoretical proposition on the close relationship, often dialectical, between the endless change of Nature and the becoming of Culture.

Consequently, the goal of the session will be to provide an interdisciplinary debate through specific cases studies in the panorama of Human and Environmental Geography. Every session will be introduced by a remarkable keynote speech assessing a theoretical framework necessary for a broader contextualization of every case study.

Geography session:

Keynote Speaker, Beth Rose Middleton, University of California Davis, Geography

Following postmodernity and the crisis of the great narratives, Nature and Culture have to be reconceptualized in a form of a new dialogical relationship. In this sense, the rise of the new concept of the Anthropocene represents the public death of the modern understanding of nature removed from society (Lorimer, 2012). Indeed, a vision of Nature as an independent entity from Culture and man is no longer sustainable.

In a geographical perspective, the dichotomy between Nature and Culture has never been so strict and it has always been related with man and the way he managed to live in his own environment. These two subjects set the foundation of the whole discipline; Geography in its diachronic evolution has adopted an array of different standpoints, ranging from the early environmentalist theories to humanistic perspectives. What has always remained constant is the interpretation of the relationship, which has always been conceived as a dialogical system instead of a dichotomic one.

Recently, the environment seems to have acquired a more significant role, due to the wide group of phenomena known as Global Change. Thus, in this new era of Anthropocene, feedback reactions to the initial input given by human activities are forcing humanity to a deep reconsideration of its behavior toward the environment. The result is a new balance in the dialogical relationship, where Culture could be seen as the main engine that moves the adaptation processes providing local answers to global issues.

That being said, new fields of research can arise. How are different communities – in different geographic regions – dealing with ecosystem changes, land loss and resource exploitation? What consequences could be involved for cultural identity, territorialization and the very sense of place? Finally, how these particular examples translate to the global scale?

The aim of the session is to explore this new balance throughout specific case studies and to provide interdisciplinary debate through specific cases studies in the panorama of Human and Environmental Geography. We invite authors to submit abstracts for oral presentation in the following topics:

  • Resilience and adaptation in endangered environments (particular attention will be given to the Small Islands Developing States and the Alps)
  • Conservationism and economic exploitation of natural resources
  • Climate change, ecosystems and traditional economies
  • Climate change, impacts, adaptation, and mitigation on local scales
  • Water management, agriculture and conservation
  • Cultivation and adaptability in changing ecosystems
  • Heritage and Culture of wine in fragile environments
  • Patrimonialization: methods and principles in landscape evaluation
  • Conservation policy in cultural and natural heritage on local scale
  • Ecology on the scale of the landscape
  • Historical ecology

Paper Submission and Conference Guidelines:

Keynote speaker presentation will be 40 minutes long followed by 20 minutes for discussion; all other presentations will be 20 minutes long plus 10 minutes for discussion.

The language of the conference is only English.

We accept extended abstracts that should be prepared for a blind review in a PDF format before March 3rd.

We ask two files: in the first one, the candidate is supposed to write the proposal and in the second one, we would need the following details: name, institutional affiliation, contact information.

We invite proposals from graduate students and early career researchers within three years of completion of their degree for papers of approximately 2500 characters including bibliography. Please write ‘Milan PhD Conference Abstract Submission’ in the subject line of your email as well as the year in which the PhD was awarded in the case of early career researchers. Abstracts should be prepared for blind review, so ensure that your abstract is free from any identifying personal details.

Please, submit your proposals to:

The acceptance notification will be given no later than  March 7th.

Participation at the conference is free of charge.

Meals will be provided for the length of the conference.

Organizers for Geography session:

Giorgio Masellis:

Emiliano Tolusso:

Scientific committee:

Valerio Bini (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Luca Bonardi (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Alice G. Dal Borgo (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Olivier Jacquet (Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté)

Daniele Lorusso (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Emiliano Tolusso

PhD Student in Philosophy and Human Sciences

XXXI Cycle

University of Milan

Via Festa del Perdono 7



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s