Place and Placelessness CFP Open

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Deadline: Sep 4 2012
Event Date: Oct 18 2012 – Oct 19 2012
Event Website: Event Webpage
City: Online
Primary Contact Name: Mike Commito
Contact Email:
Sinead Earley
Sinead Earley

The New Scholars group of the Network in Canadian History and Environment would like to invite submissions for the 3rd annual Place and Placelessness Online Workshop, taking place October 18-19, 2012.

This online symposium is intended for graduate students and recently graduated scholars from all disciplines that seek to better understand the complex relationships between nature and culture, with particular attention paid to the theme of climate. The workshop attempts to replicate the collegiate atmosphere of a shared-space meeting by using a variety of internet tools, including WordPress, Skype, Google Maps, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter to share ideas and participate in engaged discussion. This model should appeal especially to those who are eager for academic gatherings without the cost or carbon footprint of in-person meetings. The workshop encourages participation from students across the humanities, social sciences and physical sciences in an attempt to facilitate trans-disciplinary and transnational dialogue for global issues such as anthropogenic climate change.

Although the expectation is that most submissions will come in the form of in-progress pieces of writing, the organizers welcome submissions of alternative multi-media projects that utilize online tools to stimulate arguments about our relationship with local, regional, and transnational environments. All interested presenters must submit a CV, as well as a 300 word abstract outlining their topic, what format their contribution will take, and how their paper or project aims to broaden, illustrate or complicate the notion of ‘climate’ by September 4th, 2012.

The theme of climate is loosely defined, and may include perspectives on:

  • governance and policy history
  • environmental history and industry/industrialization
  • histories of activism or environmentalism
  • global climates, international relations and geopolitics
  • historical climatology
  • histories of ecology, geology or geophysics
  • primary source documents in climate history
  • climate regions (such as arctic or tropical)
  • new digital climates and virtual communities

The organizers would also like to invite others not submitting papers or projects to ‘attend’ the workshop as participants. This two-day event will take place entirely online, using Skype to communicate, and the website to provide access to the program, papers, presentations, blog posts, feedback, and links to relevant websites. Efforts are being made to make the workshop as multilingual as possible, and the goal is to hold sessions in French, Spanish and English. All participants will receive a FREE Skype headset. The workshop has no registration fee, but only limited space, so sign up early.

If you would like to contribute a paper or project, or would like to simply participate in the discussions, please register by sending an email to workshop co-chair, Mike Commito ( A full schedule will be announced September 15th, 2012.

Please also take a look at our Call for Digital Media Projects and Elevator Pitches.

Climate Interventions: Virtual Expressions of Art and Environmental Activism

New digital medias have been incorporated into the workshop each year, generating inventive ways of sharing and collaborating as an online community. In 2010, participants created a virtual field trip using photographs and Picassa to start conversations about commodity chains and automobility. In 2011, a short film competition was held. This year’s workshop calls for mixed-media digital projects that will form the panel Climate Interventions: Virtual Expressions of Art and Environmental Activism. The goal is to encourage projects that place the workshop’s impact in the various locations that participants are speaking from, and to do so by documenting particular acts of public engagement that touch upon the theme of climate. Through a wide variety of mediums (video, photography, audio recordings, music, etc.) these climate interventions will be performed and recorded prior to the workshop, and will be shared panel members via YouTube, Storify, SoundCloud, or using a range of other online tools. The panel will combine the place and placelessness characteristics of the workshop in unique ways, and has the potential to lend a civic and public component to the online workshop.

Elevator Pitches

All participants will be asked to create an elevator pitch for their paper that will describe the topic and themes as succinctly as possible. They are intended to be short (roughly 2 minutes) and will allow each presenter to address any particular issues they would like peer readers to consider or evaluate in reading the piece. Those not presenting, but still participating, will also be asked to create an elevator pitch to describe their studies and ongoing work. The elevator pitches should be uploaded to YouTube a few days before the workshop with the links emailed to Mike or Sinead to be uploaded to the Place and Placelessness website. In addition to enhancing presentations, these videos will also help us visually map out where our participants are connecting to us from and allow everyone to get to know each other better.

Any questions can be directed to either Mike Commito at or Sinead Earley at French and Spanish translations of the workshop description are forthcoming.

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