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Eco-creativity 2022: The Arts Mapping Emotional Landscapes of the Climate and Ecological Crises

This virtual conference took place on Friday, November ,18 - 19 2022 (13:00 to 17:00)

Eco-creativity Conference 2022 Programme

Eco-creativity 2022 brings together interdisciplinary, empirical, and ethnographic approaches to understanding the role of arts and creative industries in delineating new ‘emotional landscapes’ of the climate and ecological crises. The arts have long been expected to exert some form of moral influence on the audience or develop our moral imagination (Leung, 2018), enabling us to ‘revalue’ the world. Eco-creativity 2022 explores the role of the arts, as disciplines, practices and methodologies in the humanities, as well as social, natural and technological sciences, in contributing new directions and finding new ways to both communicate and protect the fragile ecology of our planet.

By looking at emotional landscapes we wish to bring attention to the affective and material turns in eco-criticism and cultural theory. These are pointing to a recognition of what we might call ‘feeling signs’ in a revised biosemiotics: a neglected ontological dimension which can elucidate how cognition and emotion are co-shaped by – and in turn shape – physical place. Thus, the conference brings into focus ‘emotional landscapes’ aiming to go beyond more disincarnate and anthropocentric – albeit important – understandings of cultural, social or historical content, such as Raymond Williams’ ‘structure of feelings’.

Conference participants will consider past, present and future geographies of disappointment, regret, hope, despair, anxiety, love, empathy, grief, joy, fatigue, shame, anger, sorrow, resignation, resilience, romanticism, sympathy, tragedy, trauma, vulnerability, detachment – and many more. By illuminating both historical and contemporary emotional landscapes we will explore new embodied and artistic approaches to the emotions of the climate and ecological crises, not only as affects, or ‘feelings that have found the right match in words’ (Brennan, 2004: 5), but also landscapes, bodies, and material culture.

Key theme:

  • Urban and rural landscapes
  • Oceans and waterways
  • Storms, extreme weather and floods
  • Burnt land and desertification
  • Walking across landscapes and pilgrimages
  • Liminal landscapes and protest
  • New technologies changing landscapes
  • Post-human landscapes   
  • Landscapes of waste and plastic


Bachmann-Medick, Doris, and Frederik Tygstrup. 2015. Structures of Feeling: Affectivity and the Study of Culture. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Brennan, Teresa. 2004. The Transmission of Affect. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Leung, Wing Sze. 2018. ‘The Moral Significance of Art in Kant’s Critique of Judgment: Imagination and the Performance of Imperfect Duties’, Journal of Aesthetic Education, 1 (3): 87.

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