August 2012 Social Ecology Colloquium




Invitation and Call for Papers:

Social Ecology in the Occupy Movement
6th Annual Summer Colloquium
Institute for Social Ecology
Marshfield, Vermont, August 17-19, 2012

Application/Registration Deadline: June 1, 2012  (details below)

The Institute for Social Ecology invites you to attend our 6th annual summer colloquium.

ISE colloquia offer the opportunity to gather with an international community of social ecologists and students of social ecology to present written work, discuss activist projects, and examine ideas related to the theory and praxis of social ecology. This summer’s colloquium will include panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and time to enjoy a summer weekend in Vermont.

This year we are especially seeking papers and presentations that examine the relationship of social ecology to the Occupy movement, with a particular emphasis on how the political theory and practice  of social ecology can inform the strategic decisions facing Occupy in 2012 and beyond. What is the role of Direct Action, and what types of direct actions are appropriate and most relevant? What, if any role can Libertarian Municipalism play?  How can Occupy bring together oppositional and reconstructive strategies?  What economic models can social ecology contribute?  How can a utopian perspective be brought to bear in a movement that also faces the need to grapple with issues of everyday survival?  These and other questions should provide for a full and invigorating weekend of discussion.

Anyone who is familiar with the core ideas of social ecology is invited to attend, and participants are also invited to submit abstracts for papers or presentations, either on this year’s theme or any other topic that may contribute to the continuing evolution of social ecology. The Murray Bookchin Reader, edited by Janet Biehl, is one excellent source of readings for anyone who may need to refresh their background in social ecology.

If you would like to be a presenter at the colloquium, please send an abstract (350-500 words) that briefly describes your paper/presentation objectives and demonstrates your proposed contribution to the work of the ISE community to Brian Tokar (briant [at] by June 1. If your proposal is accepted, final papers and presentation details will be due on July 15th so that we can distribute them to colloquium attendees by August 1st and allow everyone time to read the papers and/or familiarize themselves with presentation themes. We ask that you please respect these deadlines as they aim to facilitate planning and enhance the colloquium experience for all of us.

Registration: The colloquium is intended to be a space for focused discussion on the development of social ecology, both theory and praxis, as well as a time for renewal and building of the ISE community. As space is, unfortunately, limited we are asking that you please submit a brief “application” by *June 1, 2012*  The application consists of a short statement that briefly explains your relationship and familiarity with social ecology and the ISE. In addition, you should reflect upon the contributions you would like to make to the colloquium gathering and what you hope to get out of attending. Please note that proposing a paper is definitely not a requirement or expectation for attendance. We know there are many ways that attendees contribute to the colloquium experience; typically we will discuss 6-8 papers in detail during the weekend.

Please send your Registration/Application materials, and any general inquiries to:

Participation will be limited to 30 people. Indoor housing, nearby hotels, and camping options will be available.

Meals: We will begin the weekend eating lunch together on Friday, August 17th at 12:30pm.  Continental breakfasts will be served Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner, and Sunday lunch are all included.

Lodging: There are nearby bed and breakfasts and a motel, as well as on-site camping available. There will be a limited number of indoor on-site options on a need-based priority basis. We will do our best to assist you in finding lodging and also to help coordinate carpool/transportation, as well as bus, train and airport pickups in Montpelier and Burlington; please let us know what we can do to help!

Fees: The fee for the weekend is on a sliding scale from $250 to $150 per person.  We urge you to please give on the higher end of this fee spectrum to support the continuing work of the Institute, which has ongoing expenses to sustain our organization but few sources of income.  We also want to make this financially workable for people in various financial situations, so please let us know if you need financial assistance for this event, as it is available.  We generally spend about $75 per person to cover the basic costs of food (mainly local and organic) and to adequately compensate our cook for the weekend.  Please bring cash or a check (made out to “Institute for Social Ecology”) to the colloquium, and these will be collected on Friday night.

The 2012 Social Ecology Colloquium Organizing Committee:

Dan Chodorkoff, Brian Tokar, Eleanor Finley, Ben Grosscup, Josh Telson