The purpose of this symposium and exhibition, which is titled ‘Process, Practice, and Environmental Crisis’, is to confront societal failures in resolving the climate crisis and investigate the synthesis of artistic and political responses to crisis. It will gather creative professionals, activists, and academics working at the intersection of artistic and political practices responding to environmental crisis.
Interdisciplinarity is central to this project: the organising team comprises researchers from four different disciplines from York and Leeds. Our aim is to mobilise further intellectual exchange between researchers working on this issue from different disciplines across the three White Rose universities, while also involving artists and activists from outside academia. WRoCAH researchers who participate in this event will benefit from the opportunity to present their work to an academic audience and the chance to establish links with leading academics responding to the climate crisis, paving the way for future collaboration between researchers at Leeds, Sheffield, and York. We intend to publicise the project through the WRoCAH’s online networks and mailing lists to ensure that postgraduates from Leeds and Sheffield will benefit from and hopefully contribute to the discourse.
Furthermore, by collaborating with creative professionals and activists, we aim to have an impact beyond academia and strengthen links with local and national artistic and environmental organisations. Public engagement will be ensured by advertising the project as a public symposium through social media, posters, relevant mailing lists, and by reaching out to organisations directly. Finally, we hope to publish an edited volume of work by our participants to ensure that the project’s impact lasts beyond the symposium itself, and have been investigating a number of routes for publication and have secured White Rose University Press as one potential avenue.
This event will centre around a one-day symposium at the University of York. A CFP is ready for release on confirmation of funding, with the symposium taking place in May 2020.
The symposium will comprise a welcome event, three blocks of two concurrent panels, and a keynote address – our preferred candidate for this is Dr Franklin Ginn, newly appointed editor of the journal Environmental Humanities. Other candidates on our shortlist include the WRoCAH alumnus Lucy Rowland, whose research looks into the response of contemporary women writers to discourses of climate change, and the environmental activist Mike Prior, who has been involved in Culture Declares Emergency and the Letters To The Earth initiative. We will be hosting the event in the Bowland Auditorium, the Treehouse, and the foyer of the Berrick Saul building. As part of the symposium we will use the Treehouse as an exhibition space for works by creative professionals. We hope to leave this exhibition up over for the four days following the symposium. We have also approached the Norman Rea Gallery the opportunity to collaborate. Lunch will be provided for attendees, as well as a drinks reception closing the symposium and an optional dinner.
Adam Koper, Department of Politics, University of York
Other student organisers
Rosamund Portus, University of York; Marielle Hehir, University of Leeds; Joshua D'Archy, University of York