CfP :: workshop :: Coastal connectivities: Ethical tensions in materialities and imaginaries

Coastal connectivities: Ethical tensions in materialities and imaginaries

6-8 May, in LMU Munich

Coastal regions, with their port cities and estuaries, are known for their connectivities: they manifest economic transactions, environmental disturbances, and cultural encounters. With this workshop, we seek to explore the forms of ethical negotiations occurring in such regions in order to identify frictions, dis-junctures, and also unencumbered settlements. These may relate to flows of goods, people, plants, animals, other materials, as well as of information and knowledge, which take place as trans-shipments, migrations, encroachments, and also as communication, translation, and circulation. Coastal regions are areas open to oceans, which often link to cosmopolitan aspirations, although these spaces are also frequently policed. They are at once nodes related to connectivity as well as sites for surveillance and disciplinary governance. Seas are variously imagined: as resource frontiers or waste sinks; as hostile, hazardous and unfathomable realms or convenient roads; as biodiverse ecosystems or recreational assets; and as ancestors, gods, gifts or treasures. In recent years, they are increasingly considered as under threat from climate change, pollution and over use. Equally they are imagined as frontiers ripe for exploitation using new and improved technologies. Each of these framings is a potential context for competing ethical claims.

Citizens, experts, media, enterprises and governments often make ethical claims about what should and what should not be done. Hence our interest lies in how ethical claims are being used, produced or contested. How do these actors select, appropriate, combine, hybridize or contest circulating ethical discourses and knowledge? And how, in turn, do ethical discourses and the knowledge they produce recirculate to other contexts? Some current scientific discourses now refer to ethical buildings, heroic non-human actors, and unethical materials. Therefore, it is reasonable to conceive of an urban ethics of port cities and coastal infrastructures, other-than-human entities, imagined economies and spaces, as well as material flows and processes. Our interest is in how ethics are used in the legitimation, production and contestation of priorities in port city planning, in the materialities of urban, coastal and ocean living, and in the imaginaries of the urban and the maritime.

With the aim to explore these dimensions of urban ethics in coastal areas, including port cities, we announce this call for papers. We envision panel sessions focusing on marine cultural heritage, coastal and marine environments, Blue economies, port planning, security, trade, consumption practices, or transnational governance. While we recognize that an ethical conjuncture – a turn to ethics – in science, literature and society is taking place, we welcome inquiries focused on historical as well as contemporary cases of urban ethics in action. This call for papers comes from the work of an interdisciplinary research group ‘Urban Ethics’ funded by the DFG. We comprise human geographers, social anthropologists and historians but the call is intended to be even more broadly interdisciplinary.

Proposal: 300 word abstract
Deadline: 31 March 2020.

Supported by
Department of Geography, LMU Munich
Department of Social Anthropology, LMU Munich
Urban Ethics Research Group, LMU Munich
Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich

Raúl Acosta-García This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Marie Aschenbrenner This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Gordon Winder This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.