‘More-Than-Human Worlds of Violence’ at the European International Studies Association’s 2015 Convention in Giardini Naxos, Sicily, from 23-26 September 2015.
Violence is almost always framed as a dynamic that arises between human subjects. Nonhumans are usually treated as its instruments, its passive objects, and/or the background against which it unfurls. For instance, nonhumans may be instrumentalized as weapons, backgrounded as conditions of combat or identified as sites of damage (as opposed to harm). However, emerging discourses on ‘posthumanist’ international relations challenge the anthropocentric ontology that produces these assumptions. Insights from new materialism, animal studies, the environmental humanities, science and technology studies, and other fields have helped to reframe nonhumans as ‘lively’ presences in world politics. From the role of animals in warfare to drone surveillance to the ethics of mass extinction, they illuminate the ways in which nonhumans are integral to various modes of violence. Specifically, they suggest that nonhumans embody, transform and produce specific forms and modalities of violence that cannot be reduced to human agency or subjectivity. This line of thought raises a number of important questions, including, but not limited to:
- (In what ways) can nonhumans be subjects, objects, actants or sites of violence?
- What specific forms of violence do nonhumans participate in and produce?
- What ethical implications might arise from an ontology of violence attuned to the capacities of nonhumans?
- How might a more-than-human ontology reshape the concept of violence?
Subjects may include – but are not limited to: the weaponisation of nonhuman; the impacts of various forms of violence in/on nonhumans and multi-species communities; violence in the Anthropocene (e.g. extinction, climate change); complexity and violence.
Please note that this is an interdisciplinary section and conference – participation is strongly encouraged from all subject areas, including the arts and humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Even if you do not normally present your work at international studies conferences, this section will provide an open and welcoming forum for engaging in interdisciplinary work on violence and the more-than-human that has an international and/or global dimension.
This section aims to represent the best new work at the intersections of more-than-human scholarship and violence, and will include participants at all career levels – postgraduate students and early career researchers are especially encouraged to apply.
Participants may submit a proposal for an individual paper, panel or roundtable (if you have an idea for a different kind of session, please email me). The deadline for all submissions is 15 January 2015. Please note that if you have already agreed to participate in this section, you must still submit your abstract through the online system.
If you have any questions about the panel, feel free to get in touch with me. Also, please circulate this CFP to networks, colleagues and students who might be interested.