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

Friday, November 18, 2022 - 13:00 to Saturday, November 19, 2022 - 17:00
Virtual Conference, The Open University
Glitch Landscape Picture by Alessandra Campoli

Glitch Landscape Picture by Alessandra Campoli

Conference conveners: Dr Maria Nita (Religious Studies) and Dr Alessandra Campoli (Design) at The Open University

Conference team: Dr Paul Francois-Tremlett (Religious Studies), Dr Byron Dueck (Music), Dr Mark Porter (Music), Dr Philip Seargeant (Applied Linguistics), Prof George Revill (Geography), Dr Marion Bowman (Religious Studies) at The Open University

In this third edition of the Eco-creativity conference, we invite 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aiming to go beyond more disincarnate and anthropocentric – albeit important – understandings of cultural, social or historical content, such as Raymond Williams’ ‘structure of feelings’.

We invite creative incursions into 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.

Papers and panels can respond to (but are not limited to) the ways in which the arts are mapping:

  • 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

Opening Keynote: Professor Stephen Peake, The Open University

Plenary Keynote: Dr Samantha Walton, Bath Spa University


We invite proposals for papers and panels on any aspect of the conference theme. Submissions may range from lightning presentations (6 minutes) to short (10 minutes) and regular papers (15 or 20 minutes). We welcome panel submissions and presentations in alternative formats, including artistic performances. 

Please email us a 200-word abstract plus a short 50-word bio, in one file to

Deadline for abstract submission: 12 September 2022

Speakers will be notified: 19 September 2022

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