CfP - Cosmo-Political Ecologies of Conservation - RAI Anthropology and Conservation Conference 2021


Dear all

Apologies for cross-posting. Please see a call for papers for a panel at the RAI Conference: Anthropology and Conservation 2021. If interested please submit an abstract with a title to the convenors by the deadline of 24 June 2021. This is a virtual conference and will be online.

Kind regards,

Alexander Cullen and Riam Kuyakanon




Anthropology and Conservation: Virtual Conference: 25-29 October 2021


PANEL Title: Cosmo-Political Ecologies of Conservation


Conveners: A.L. Cullen, R.S. Kuyakanon – University of Cambridge

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



This session seeks to explore how powerful places and beings play significant, yet often overlooked roles in the performance, contestation and articulation of conservation politics. Political ecology has proved resiliently adaptive for interrogating contested claims to land, environmental values, usufruct rights and bio-material management, but greater attention is needed beyond socio-natures and social constructivist approaches to multi-natures and world making. This panel seeks to provoke further engagement with conservation through ideations on ‘cosmopolitical ecologies’ to offer more holistic analytics and improved vocabularies for seeing and understanding the diversity of other-than-human and cosmological worlds around us. This involves ‘taking seriously indigenous concepts of power and local sovereignties, that puts movement, embodiment, and lived encounters between the human and non-human into view’ (Campbell 2013: 32). For example, in introduced arrangements of restrictive bio-capture and renewal, it is not only ecological flows and its potency that is re-territorialised – but also that of the cosmological. By considering multi-natural metabolisms and their ontological politics, risks to biological and cosmological potency in conservation capture can be made evident, and attention to place-based values of the spiritual in biodiversity outcomes and its care, made possible.


We are interested in papers concerned with (but not limited to), the following:

• ecologies of practice and care in ontologically complex landscapes

• symbolic and cosmological analysis of government power in relation to conservation

• the deployment of ‘traditional’ knowledges and practices in place-based environmental politics

• relationships between communities, cosmos and state governance