Sustainable aviation workshop: University of Essex, 14th Sept. 2012

ESRC Sustainable Aviation workshop ProgrammeThe ESRC Sustainable Aviation Workshop is hosting its final event of a seminar series on the politics and policy of sustainable aviation.

Attached to this post is a programme for the day. The event will be attended by key campaigners in the debate about Heathrow and Stansted, including John Stewart and Brian Ross, who will give their thoughts on the latest developments. The workshop will also address plans for future research projects on questions of “sustainable aviation” in the UK.

The workshop starts at 9.15am and finishes at approximately 4/4.30pm and is taking place in room 5A.303.  This room is reached via Square 2, entrance 2NE and then either taking the stairs or lift up to floor 5A.
All participants will be provided with a claim form on the day which they can use to claim back the cost of travel to the university.  Please keep your receipts. The event is free to attend, but you will need to register your interest in attending with Sian Savage (ssavage at 

Download ESRC-Sustainable-Aviation-workshop-Programme1.docx

Seminar: Is a Just Transition Possible?

The Essex Sustainability Institute  is hosting  a new seminar series, Sustainability Contested, at the Wivenhoe Park campus. The seminars are open to staff, students and members of the public.

The first seminar will be held on the 7th of September 2012, in Room 5A.303 at the Wivenhoe Park Campus, between 1:30pm and 3pm. All are welcome, and attendence is free! Please spread the word! If you would like to meet the speakers on the day, please email Zareen Bharucha, at zpbhar (at) More on the first seminar below.

Title: Is a Just Transition Possible? – A southern perspective on the global polycrisis and what happens next.

Abstract: In this seminar Prof Mark Swilling and Eve Annecke will discuss the arguments developed in their recently published book  Just Transitions: Explorations of Sustainability in an Unfair World (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2012). In particular they will address questions about what lies beyond the current global polycrisis and the implications for rapidly industrialising developing economies. Can we anticipate a ‘sixth wave’ of industrial growth? What will the next long-term development cycle look like? They will draw on Prof Swilling’s work on decoupling and global material flows for UNEP’s International Resource Panel as well as their joint local work in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where they have translated their thinking into practice in the building of South Africa’s first socially integrated ecologically designed neighbourhood. Connecting global transition dynamics to local prefigurative examples of sustainable living in practice has been the focus of their work over the past decade.

About the speakers:

Mark Swilling

Mark Swilling is appointed as Professor of Sustainable Development in the School of Public Leadership, University of Stellenbosch and Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute. He is responsible for the design and implementation of a Master’s and Doctoral Program in Sustainable Development that gets delivered at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also heads up the TSAMA Hub, a new Center for the transdisciplinary study of sustainability and complexity at Stellenbosch University. The TSAMA Hub hosts a new transdisciplinary Doctoral Program that involves collaboration between seven ofStellenboschUniversity’s Faculties. Professor Swilling obtained his PhD from theUniversity ofWarwick in 1994.

Eve Annecke

Eve Annecke is the founding director of the Sustainability Institute (SI), a living and learning centre for studies and experience in ecology, community and spirit. She is co-founder of the Lynedoch EcoVillage, and pioneered the work in Learning for Sustainability Further Education and Training College. She leads a child-centred approach to building sustainable communities within the SI.  Her teaching and research at masters level focuses on sustainability, complexity, leadership and environmental ethics.

Download Mark-Swilling-Flier.pdf

Seminar: Indigenous responses to resource development & property shifts

Deh Cho Dene Elder, Photo: Alan R. Emery

{Photo source}

This seminar will be of interest if you’re researching or are involved with traditional cultures  who are navigating the challenges posed by conventional ‘development’.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities at the University of Essex is organising a seminar on the 30th of April at 4pm. Dr Carol Brown-Leonardi will present on Indigenous Responses To Resource Development And Property Shifts In The Arctic Region

Abstract: The common struggle for many indigenous people world-wide is the recognition of their indigenous rights, economic marginalisation and the political participation and representation for making decisions on their traditional land.  This presentation focuses on the Deh Cho Dene indigenous community in Northern Canada, who are currently negotiating for the control over traditional land and resources with the Canadian government. The presentation is fundamentally concerned with understanding how some underlying political influences and the negotiation for land has transformed the concept of the property for the Deh Cho Dene and what such concept means to the Deh Cho indigenous people.



Call for papers: Ecomasculinities

A scholarly treatment of the issue of Ecomasculinities is currently being compiled.

For more than a century, feminist critical practices have produced important insights into gender, ethnicity, class, social policy, and culture. Since 1974, when Françoise d’Euabonne coined the term ecofeminism, ecofeminist and ecological feminists have linked the patriarchal subjugation of women to ecological degradation. Their enduring work has subverted essentialisms and pointed to alternative constructions of gender and the environment. By contrast, little work has been done in examining the positive relationships that have obtained between environmentalism and masculinity. With the advent of green-based men’s coalitions and pop cultural movements focusing on craft and craftsmanship, the time has come for proponents of ecological studies to explore how masculinity may contribute to today’s environmental awareness.

To that end, the editors seek essays that consider how men have approached nature historically, construct nature or the environment today, and imagine how new ecomasculinities may contribute to ecoawareness. To encourage an array of work from academic, first-person, and movement perspectives, the editors wish to leave the definition of the project open. Essay subjects include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical dialectics / exegeses between versions of ecofeminism and ecomasculinity
  • Historical accounts focused on how masculinity in general and men in particular have contributed to ecological progress
  • Past masculine practices that are being repurposed in sustainable ways today
  • Emerging forms of masculinity with special promise for generating future ecological change
  • Popular culture interpretations and evocations of ecomasculinities
  • Ecomasculine interpretations or reinterpretations of men’s movements, associations, or fields of study and influence
  • Analyses of men’s guilds, craft practices, and social activities
  • Explorations of traditional and/or emerging ethical theories or theorists in relationship to masculinity and the environment
  • Discussions of ecomasculinity in action, including areas such as activism, law, or social policy
  • Critical engagements with ecomasculinity in religious or literary texts, whether by authors, characters, dystopian/utopian philosophies, or practices

All essays should be between 4000-7000 words. Deadline for essays is 1 October 2012. Contributors may send abstracts of up to 500 words to Michael at the contact information below for feedback, but only full papers can be evaluated for acceptance into the collection. Please contact Michael in regards to the style sheet for this project prior to submitting your essay. Use this same address for any questions you may have concerning the project as well.

The editors: Michael G. Cornelius is the author/editor of fourteen books, including four previous collections for McFarland Press, three works for Chelsea House, and several works of fiction. He is chair of the Department of English and Mass Communications at Wilson College.

John Elia is chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Wilson College. He teaches courses in environmental ethics, food ethics, and bioethics. His previous work in ethics and applied ethics has appeared in both journals and book collections, including recent work in the genre of pop culture and philosophy.

Larry T. Shillock is a long-time contractor and solar energy proponent. An assistant academic dean at Wilson College, he was recently promoted to Professor of English. He divides his time between Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where he works, and a home outside of Yellowstone Park, where he lives. His research interests include critical theory, the history of affect, the modern novel, and classical Hollywood cinema.

Please see the attached to download a .pdf version of this call.

Download Ecomasculinities-Call-for-papers.pdf

The New Age of Extractivism: Online Seminar

Dr. Böhm will deliver the a webinar for the St. Andrews Microfinance Society tomorrow, the 24th of April, at 6pm GMT. Participation is free and the talk will be streamed online. Register at 

Title: The New Age of Extractivism and its Social and Environmental Impacts in Latin America.

Abstract: A new age of extractivism is haunting the world. As natural resources are dwindling at an alarming rate – fuelled by the gigantic economic growth projects of the East (primarily China and India) – mankind seems to be willing and able to dig and drill deeper and go to ever more remote places to access and extract commodities, such as oil, gas, coal, copper, bauxite, to name just a few. This new extractivism is particularly evident in the Global South (but let us not forget the Canadian Tar Sands and Russia’s new richness through oil and gas) – far away from the eyes of the Western consumers who usually end up buying the products, ‘Made in China’, for which these resources are needed. 
In Latin America even progressive, left-leaning governments have signed up to this new age of extractivism and developmentalism. While social and economic inequities are tackled by Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and other countries and their leftist governments, these seem to be paid for, almost exclusively, through the taxes received from large companies (national and multinational) that are given concessions for open pit mining, deforestation, large hydro-power dams and oil/gas explorations. 
In this paper I will introduce some of the most controversial projects in Latin America that are manifestations of this new age of extractivism. I will discuss the social and environmental impacts of these projects, while framing my analysis within a broader politico-economic theory of development (and underdevelopment).  

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Slider Image: Reuters, here.

Ecocultures 2012: Final Programme

We’re there! Attached to this post is the final programme for Ecocultures 2012! We’ll be also be posting about the conference on the Ecocultures Facebook page and Twitter (@EcocultureEssex / #Ecocultures2012) – do join us there!  

For delegates who will be presenting papers, could we remind you that presentations will generally be limited to 15-20 minutes each. The conference rooms  are equipped with Powerpoint, sound and internet, and we’re happy to help with anything else you may need. Let us know at zpbhar at, if you haven’t already.  

A few words on local travel: The Wivenhoe Park campus is located just outside Colchester (see here for a Google Map). For delegates who will be staying at local hotels or B&Bs, directions to the campus are available here. Depending on where you are travelling from, bus travel to the campus can take 20-45 minutes including waiting times. The link above contains details on which bus numbers to take. If you prefer to travel by cab, there are taxi ranks at the main bus station, outside Colchester North Station and outside the Red Lion Hotel in the town centre. You can also call a cab via the following local cab companies:

  • Colchester Taxis: 01206-524 524
  • Hawai Five-O: 01206-543 210
  • Panther Cabs: 01206 525 525

Taxis should be requested to go to / wait at the North Towers taxi stand, which is the closest stand to the Teaching Centre where the conference will take place. Please feel free to circulate this programme and news about the conference amongst your networks. There are a few places left to register at  

If you have any further questions, please contact Zareen Bharucha (zpbhar at or Steffen Boehm (steffen at

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the event next week. Safe travels to those joining us from overseas, and if you have already arrived, a very warm welcome to the UK!

Download Programme-Final.pdf

Ecocultures 2012: Reaching towards sustainability through artistic practice

Photo: Natalia Eernstman

We’re excited to share details on an interactive panel to be held at Ecocultures 2012 which will explore futures thinking, artistic practice and imagination in relation to learning for sustainability. The panel will address questions such as: Do we have to plan from or for the future? How we foster futures thinking? How can art facilitate or catalyze this process? How can we stimulate the envisioning of different and positive futures in communities? And how do we proceed from the mere imagined visions and ‘good’ intentions to actual realization and steps in the right direction?

The panelists who have come together to craft this session are Oleg Koefoed, Natalia Eernstman, Eva Bakkeslett, Karen Blincoe and Lucy Neal.

Oleg Koefoed

Oleg is an action-philosopher and head of Cultura212 Nordic group.  Natalia is an artist and is pursuing her doctoral studies at University College Falmouth. Eva is also an artist, and engages in the crossover between art and ecology. Karen is Present of Danish Designers and also a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Brighton University. Lucy is initiator and co-chair of Transition Town Tooting. 

The panel will be held in Room TC 2.9 at the Tony Rich Teaching Centre from 10:30 to 12:30. 

Ecocultures 2012: Keynote Address by Dougald Hine

Dougald Hine

Dougald Hine will deliver a keynote address at Ecocultures 2012 on the theme of the practical power of stories.

Dougald is a writer and thinker who is fascinated by how we change things and how things change, with or without us. He develops his ideas in practice, creating projects and organisations such as Space Makers Agency, the School of Everything, New Public Thinking and the Institute for Collapsonomics.

In 2009, he published the Dark Mountain Manifesto with Paul Kingsnorth, which has led to an international cultural movement to respond to the deep roots of today’s crises in the stories our societies have been telling for generations.

More on Dougald’s work here.

Ecocultures 2012: Conference dinner

Leon Lewis

Leon Lewis is an award-winning chef based at Brentwood, in Essex.  Leon gave up his job as a Mathematics teacher to become a vegetarian caterer in 1980.  Since then, he has catered for thousands of people each year, at buffets and festivals.

Leon’s food ethic is to use locally sourced, fresh vegetarian food and handpicked wild ingredients.   For our conference dinner, Leon will serve a selection of homemade breads and dips, nettle balls, a pie, quiche and nutroast with St. George’s mushrooms. Salads will feature Egyptian marinated aubergines, tabbouli, wild rice and wild greens. To finish, we’ll have plum and wild apple crumble, poppyseed gateau and white chocolate cheesecake with a blueberry and creme de cassis topping.

We’ll  post a full menu as soon as this is finalised, as the wild foods used will depend on weather conditions closer to the time. Leon will be on-hand on the evening to talk us through the beautiful wild ingredients he will incorporate into every dish.

To read more about Leon, visit his website. He also has two cookbooks, which you can order from here.

[Slider photo from here]

Ecocultures 2012: Keynote address by Paul Wimbush

Paul Wimbush

Paul Wimbush will deliver a keynote address at Ecocultures 2012, entited The Lammas ecovillage project – Redesigning the human relationship to resources.

Paul Wimbush was the driving force behind the creation of the Lammas project in Pembrokeshire. Having studied Architecture, he went on to live in a wide range of alternative communities throughoutWest Wales. In 2005 he co-founded Lammas and spearheaded a 3 year campaign to win planning permission for the Tir y Gafel ecovillage. The replicable model is pioneering in its grass-roots approach, empowering people to generate their own solutions to the challenge of sustainability. He has been influential in shaping both local and national planning policies and is actively involved in supporting the emergence of a low-impact movement inWalesthat seeks to promote an alternative rural lifestyle model that is productive, affordable and attractive.

Paul’s talk will describe key issues in rural sustainability, land productivity and understanding human impacts. It will set out the the core concepts of the Lammas project, which combines a conventional social model with an alternative ethos. The talk will cover the importance of harnessing creativity, the role of research and academia, opportunities provided by the media, political and policy process, and appreciating and negotiating key obstacles to the design and creation of intentional communities.

More information on Lammas is available here, and here are some wonderful images sent by Paul of the low-impact housing in Wales …

Hay-bale workshop, plot 1, Lammas Ecovillage, Tir y Gafel. Photo: Paul Wimbush

Roundhouse/ workshop, plot 2, Lammas Ecovillage , Tir y Gafel. Photo: Paul WimbushPhoto: Paul Wimbush
Earth sheltered dwellinghouse, plot 7, Lammas Ecovillage, Tir y Gafel. Photo: Paul Wimbush

Registration for Ecocultures 2012 is available online here, and full details on the programme of events as they evolve are here. We look forward to hearing what you think and meeting you in April!