2013 Colloquium: “Social Ecology in an Era of Crisis: Renewal and Reassessment”

August 23-25, 2013

Marshfield, Vermont

In the coming year the Institute for Social Ecology will celebrate 40 years as a unique educational haven for critical thought and political action directed towards creating a free and ecological society. We invite friends, colleagues, alumni, and fellow travelers to gather this August to critically reflect on the continued relevance of Social Ecology today, while also renewing old friendships and making new ones in the beautiful Vermont countryside.

The present moment poses multiple interlocking crises – economic, political, and ecological – ripe for the ideas and politics of Social Ecology. Yet where does this tradition stand today? Although relatively little new political or intellectual work has emerged that is explicitly informed by Social Ecology, this is in part due to its success; the very ideas that were once so unique and heretical have become common sense in many parts of the left and the broader ecology movement. This new political landscape, and a rapidly changing historical context, provides an important opportunity to reflect on the relevance and critical force of key ideas and concepts within Social Ecology.

To this end, we invite papers that examine this legacy against the backdrop of the current historical moment. Topics of interest might include: examining the relationship between neoliberal antistatism and the political decentralism of libertarian municipalism, the role and relevance of Social Ecology for Occupy Wall Street and its many offshoots, how the concepts of hierarchy and freedom might be applied to transgender politics, critiques of the philosophy of Dialectical Naturalism, the relation of Bookchin/Social Ecology to other traditions such as Marxism, ecosocialism, or poststructuralism. These are only suggestions; there should be many more so feel free to propose them.

Registration info.: The colloquium is intended to be a space for focused discussion on the development of social ecology in theory and praxis, while relaxing together and renewing the ISE community. We invite all who are familiar with the core ideas of social ecology to attend and submit abstracts for papers. As space is unfortunately limited, we ask that all participants submit a brief note to register that explains your relationship and familiarity with social ecology and what you’d like to get out of attending the colloquium.

Please note that proposing a paper is not a requirement for attendance; there are many ways to contribute; typically we discuss 5-8 papers, along with other, more general discussions, over the three days. Paper abstracts (350-500 words), registration information, and general questions can be sent to Blair Taylor (blairfett at yahoo.com). Abstracts are due by June 20th, with final drafts of accepted papers due by August 1st to allow adequate time for them to be distributed and read.

We look forward to a fun, lively, and rejuvenating weekend – please join us!


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