Workshop on Critical Climate Change Scholarship



April 5-7, 2013 
University of Minnesota

Hosted by the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC)

View the Conference Schedule and Abstracts Here.

This workshop aims to contribute to recent trans- and interdisciplinary scholarship on critical climate change, and provoke new inquiries by posing the question: what is critical about critical climate change scholarship? Employing the dual implications of this phrase, we ask both how climate change demands a rethinking of the nature of critique, and how critical scholarship is more necessary than ever for efforts toward just and sustainable ecological futures.

We begin from the position that the problems posed by climate change demand a politically-engaged critical practice that transcends disciplinary boundaries, informed by a sophisticated understanding of biospheric processes and the shifting relations among social and ecological systems. While the groundwork for such a pursuit has arguably been laid by the diversity of scholarship on climate change, this work has so far been largely confined to the traditionally ‘critical’ areas of the social sciences and humanities, with limited interaction with the physical and life sciences. This workshop aims to facilitate transdisciplinary critical climate change scholarship by providing an opportunity to: develop a robust critical vocabulary able to speak across disciplines; identify common goals and strategize future projects for critical climate change scholarship; and locate resources, both financial and intellectual, for pursuing these agendas. In particular, we hope to highlight the work of graduate students and early-career scholars, as well as to provide an opportunity for scholars experienced in interdisciplinary research to reflect on and share their strategies for successful collaboration.

Themes include:

1.     Climate futures:

●      The science and politics of anticipation, uncertainty and abrupt climate change

●      Resilience and adaptation: current trajectories, critical perspectives, and alternative possibilities

2.     Carbon economies:

●      Critical geographies of carbon and carbon trading

●      The role of financial capital in climate change mitigation and adaptation

3.     Climate politics:

●      Politics in the Anthropocene

●      Articulations between climate scholarship and activism

Further, a cross-cutting theme of the event will be a focus on consolidating and interrogating the field of critical climate change scholarship, and identifying resources, strategies, and avenues for future critical work.