Cultural Studies is not very good at thinking about the place of nature in today's technologically mediated life as it's mainly concerned with “constructivism” or the production of cultural objects, identities and affects. Nature always comes to foil such things, exceeding them, breaking them down, returning them to the earth. The problem is how to “think” nature in this context. And how does this thinking of nature help us to relate to the sciences, with their particular way of thinking of nature as objectified, managed environment.
A number of recent cases in point stand out. One is “climate change” as it problematises a hard and fast distinction between nature and culture. It also upsets an orderly progression and change of the seasons. The seasons are a cultural construction of nature, and the four European seasons imposed in the case of Australia on Aboriginal seasons (often 6) are a colonisation of time. Similarly politicians and journalists referring to recent disasters as natural and as exhibiting the wrath of “Mother Nature” is problematic both for their Janus-faced construction of nature and for not acknowledging and appreciating “her” bounty and generosity.
This special issue of Transformations co-edited by Rod Giblett and Warwick Mules invites submissions from those interested in contributing to the discussion of the cultural construction of nature around the issues of climate change, seasonality, disaster, and so forth, as well as broader theoretical and philosophical issues concerned with the rethinking of nature as a category Western thought.
Abstracts (500 words) due 17 June 2011 with a view to submit articles by 16 September 2011.
Abstracts to be forwarded to Rod Giblett firstname.lastname@example.org or Warwick Mules at email@example.com
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