CfP: SIEF 2021 "After Breakthrough: New Imaginaries in Human - Landscape Relations"

We welcome proposals for the panel Env03 "After Breathrough" at the Congress of The International Society for Ethnology and Folklore - SIEF2021 - which will be held on June 21-24, 2021 virtually (originally planned in Helsinki, Finland). CfP is open until November 26, 2020

Application Link

Panel convenors:

Lili Di Puppo (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
Anna Varfolomeeva (University of Helsinki)
Iwona Kaliszewska (University of Warsaw)

Chair: Francisco Martinez (Tallinn University)

Discussant: Jesko Schmoller (Perm State University)

Panel Description:

This panel invites papers addressing the way breakthroughs in the form of rapid economic and societal developments reshape human bonds to natural landscapes. Profound social, economic, and ideological changes such as a globalising economy and rapid development of resource extraction impact the ways in which local communities experience and reimagine their attachment to landscape. Rather than considering human interventions such as a newly built infrastructure and resource exploitation through the prism of their destructive potential, we are interested in the way these interventions also generate new imaginaries. Mining developments can lead to new ways of interacting with a more-than-human landscape. Similarly, a particular landscape can be revived and redefined through the presence of a new infrastructure that gives a different status to a particular locality, making it more visible. On the contrary, a rejection of mining exploitation can trigger the rediscovery of ancient bonds with a landscape, generating a new sense of belonging and a reawakening of ethnic and religious identification.

Possible questions to engage with include: how do newly built infrastructures or industrial sites become embedded into landscape imaginaries? Can we talk about the liberating potential of breakthroughs in human - landscape relations? How does the threat of intervention such as mining exploitation trigger a renewed attachment to landscape but also the search for environmental-friendly innovation? Can the natural landscape inspire new modes of living and, potentially, new ethical codes to navigate times of crisis?

Contact Info: 

Anna Varfolomeeva

Postdoctoral researcher

University of Helsinki