TORCH and the Environmental Humanities programe have chosen the three successful applications for the Environmental Humanities Workshop/Symposium/Conference Grant. They are 'Human-Predator Encounters', 'Controlling Environments Workshop', and 'Unencompassing the Archipelago'.
The conference organisers for 'Human-Predator Encounters' are hoping to bring together scholars from across the humanities, and the social and natural sciences to develop a holistic appreciation of the major dimensions of human-predator conflict. It will revolve around four key interrelated themese: explanations for lethal attacks on humans; agency; responsibility; and modes of expressing and reporting such events.
The conference organisers for 'Unencompassing the Archipelago' want to bring together contrasting perspectives on the geography and character of these islands with a view to unsettling habitual notions, stimulating fresh enquiry and, in due course, deepening understanding of cultural, physical, and social environment. They are aiming to generate comparative, interdisciplinary and cross-regional discussion.
Fiona Stafford, one of the organisers of 'Unencompassing the Archipelago' conference, being held at Somerville College on 14 November 2015, comments:
"I am delighted TORCH has decided to offer support for the Conference, and that I'm excited to be able to hold an event in Oxford that will foster new interdisciplinary thinking about the relationships between the arts, local identity and the physical environment. Oxford is an international research centre, but it also has a physical location within a group of islands, so part of the impetus for the Conference is to bring together people from different places and different disciplines to explore how the physical conditions of particular environments affect and are affected by cultural traditions and innovations. Everyone should have something to contribute to a discussion about the nature of place and the ways in which we take our bearings, whether personally or collectively."
The conference organisers for 'Controlling Environments Workshop' want to host an interdisciplinary conference on the historical and contemporary significance of the cybernetic sciences as a meta-discipline that informs the environmental sciences and other disciplinary conceptualisations of human-environment relations.
Thomas Turnbull, one of the organisers of 'The Environmental Use of Human Beings' conference, being held at the School of Geography and Environment on the 15 October 2015, comments:
"TORCH's enthusiasm for interdisciplinary and unconventional initiatives has proven a considerable boon. As recipients of the environmental humanities award we are very grateful to TORCH and those who fund their work. With their support we are hosting a workshop on October 15th which is intended to address the historical and contemporary relations between the information sciences and the environmental sciences. We look forward to bringing a number of innovative social scientists, historians, philosophers, and scholar-activists together here at Oxford to analyse the relation between information and the environment from a wealth of theoretical and disciplinary registers."
Simon Pooley, one of the organisers of the 'Human Predator Encounters' project, comments:
"I am excited about the opportunity this TORCH award and its benefactor have enabled, to convene an interdisciplinary workshop on an exciting topic in the environmental humanities: human predator interactions. I believe this award shows TORCH’s appreciation of the importance of bringing the humanities into conversation with the natural and social sciences on pressing environmental challenges. It has been recognised within conservation science that culture plays a major role in mitigating such conflicts, but until now collaborations between scholars in the sciences and humanities on this theme have been very limited. Oxford offers wonderful opportunities to enable scholars from these different fields to bring their diverse skills and experiences to bear on a shared challenge. We look forward to an exciting and productive day in Tubney Hall, set in the lovely grounds of WildCRU’s Recanati-Kaplan Centre."