CfP: Modes of Futuring between Care and Control: Engaging with the Conservation of Endangered More-Than-Human Life

Where:  EASST/4S Joint Conference in Prague, Panel 110

Convenors: Franziska von Verschuer (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany), Markus Rudolfi (Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany), Franziska Dahlmeier (University of Hamburg, Germany)

The accelerating loss of biodiversity is one of the central contemporary ecological crises that challenge the foundations and conditions of current forms of life on Earth. In the wake of this development and the associated threats, projects of environmental conservation that seek to care for the ongoingness of life have gained momentum. Exploring these from an STS perspective, we contribute to an important discourse about and intervention into the technoscientific politics of life and death in times of ecological crises.

We want to discuss how practices and technologies of conservation engage with endangered more-than-human life and what future worlds they bring to matter; how they account for the entanglement of fatal ecological developments with extractive naturalcultural forms of (human) life. In this context, we are interested in the notion of care: Who are the recipients of conservational care? What is the relation between care and control? How are conservation practices directed at the sustainability of more-than-human life embedded in power relations? We specifically want to discuss dis/continuities to humanist forms of controlling nature in conservational practices of care. Finally, we want to explore modes of futuring in conservational care. How does the temporality of urgency of ecological crises affect practices and politics of conservation and more-than-human forms of life? What could it mean for practices of conservation to (re)think ecological vulnerability and precarity, maybe even ext  inction, as part of (techno)ecological processes of worlding? How can a notion of living and dying well together help us craft new modes of caring?

We welcome submissions from various fields and styles. If any of the above mentioned questions speak to your research – be it empirical, theoretical, speculative, work-in-progress, etc. – please submit your abstract of up to 250 words via the conference website here:

*Submission Deadline* February 29, 2020

We also seek to create a network of engaged STS scholars with a focus on practices of care and conservation in multi-species assemblages beyond the conference. If you are interested or have any further questions please feel free to contact us (