CfP: Cultivating Sustainability – Education and the Environmental Humanities
University of Cologne (Germany), October 4-6, 2018
Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Professor Greg Garrard (British Columbia) Professor Mike Hulme (Cambridge), Professor Christiane Lütge (Munich), Professor Torben Schmidt (Lüneburg), Professor Hubert Zapf (Augsburg)
What is now known as the environmental humanities has become a recognised and thriving field, and invaluable work that tackles the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and energy consumption is being done in areas such as ecocriticism, human-animal studies, and environmental history. This work helps understand the cultural dimensions of environmental change and underlines the importance of both disciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the global crises at hand. Yet, although policy documents, curricula, and research on subject-specific pedagogies underline the role of education in this regard, we are still only at the beginning of what could be called an ‘environmental turn’ in education. The UNESCO as well as other, political stakeholders demand that findings in environmental research be more fully integrated into teaching practices and suggest that we understand and endorse the societal impact of education in terms of a ‘transformative education’ that is necessary for a ‘Great Transformation’. Concepts such as ‘transformative literacy’ have begun to shape the field of pedagogy – yet the role and full potential of education in literatures, cultures, history, and other, traditionally humanities-based, fields is less than clear.
This international conference seeks to bring together scholars working in the aforementioned fields in order to inquire into the role (and possible shortcomings) of the concept of sustainability in educational and broader social contexts. It will provide a platform to discuss research and teaching methodologies and explore the potential of global and transcultural learning, inclusive education, and interdisciplinary takes on transformative education from hermeneutic-systematic, historical as well as quantitatively and qualitatively empirical vantage points. Possible topics include, but are by no means restricted to, the following:
• (trans)cultural ecology and the role of literatures and cultures in education
• language teaching (EFL, multilingual education, etc.) and sustainability
• research in literary and cultural studies, linguistics, history, geography, biology and so forth and
possible connections with and impacts on concepts of education for sustainability
• the limits of raising awareness and measuring ‘green’ competences
• connections with fields such as critical pedagogy, inclusive education, and intercultural learning
• empirical findings on research and teaching programmes
• narratives of risk and resilience
The contributions will be published, and interested scholars are kindly asked to hand in proposals of no more than 500 words, together with a short bionote, for individual, 20-minute presentations. Deadline: March 23, 2018. Please send all proposals to the conference organiser:
About the conference location: The conference will take part at the University of Cologne, Germany. Cologne is the largest city in Northrhine-Westfalia and one of Germany’s leading cultural and educational hubs. Its pulsing city life, numerous museums, galleries and, of course, the famous Cathedral provide numerous occasions for exploration. The University of Cologne, founded in 1388, is one of the oldest and largest universities in Germany and Europe.