Convened by: Hannah Fitchett, University of St Andrews and Dr Maria Nita, The Open University
The seminar invites short papers from scholars across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences who are currently researching and writing about the Extinction Rebellion movement, as well as cross-fertilising and intersecting climate activist networks, like Fridays for Future or Just Stop Oil. We welcome verifocal perspectives, including historical perspectives, for example from scholars looking at broader cultural and political contexts, or specific influences, such as anti-capitalist and indigenous land rights movements. The event aims to build an interdisciplinary network of researchers in order to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing that can collectively strengthen our academic research and its value to XR and the wider climate movement. We will also explore the possibility of hosting a conference with published proceedings during Summer/ Autumn 2024.
While groups such as ‘Scientists For XR’ and ‘Social Scientists Rebel’ unite academics engaging in XR activism, the research community we aim to launch in January 2024 will focus specifically on impact, mainly how researchers studying XR can use their research to support the climate movement. Many of us are activist researchers, yet we welcome engagement from anyone studying XR who wishes for their research to contribute positively towards this key aim. While such contributions could involve producing practical, accessible research summaries for activists, they could also simply involve strengthening knowledge production about XR through sharing research as part of this community of researchers. Addressing the climate crisis demands more collaborative rather than competitive academic research, and we aim to provide networking opportunities for a collaborative academic community.
XR is global in its outreach - with 1022 self-reported local groups across 88 countries. Gathering scholarly voices researching XR in different locations across the globe can provide new insight into the adoption of new forms of civil resistance responding to escalating climate breakdown, as well as how these approaches both differ between diverse political, cultural, and environmental contexts, and are united through digital sharing of cultures of activism, tactics and methodologies. A global Extinction Rebellion research community presents opportunities to look at global green protest cultures, on the backdrop of very contrasting cultural and geo-political contexts. For example, XR groups in Western Europe and other Anglophone countries, like Canada and Australia, have similar actions and performances, and make use of the same infographics and art, on the backdrop of increasing global exchange of digital cultural and organisation resources. Our seminar aims to bring together multidisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives that can interrogate the growth of this movement in the broader context of global climate activism.
We invite submissions of 100-word abstracts for short, lightning talks (6 - 10 minutes long) introducing your research area, from both activist and non-activist researchers studying the Extinction Rebellion movement.
Please email eco-creativity[at]open[dot]ac[dot]uk with your abstract, full name, and institutional affiliation.
Deadline for abstract submissions: 7th December 2023
Speakers will be notified: 15th December 2023
Please address any other enquiries to Dr Maria Nita.
Banner image: Glitch Landscape Picture by Alessandra Campoli
Main image: Red Rebel Brigade, UK, 2019, copyright Maria Nita