Resilience in a Multispecies World: The 2017 John Douglas Taylor Conference

April 21-23 2017

McMaster University

Hamilton, Ontario

In 1973, forest ecologist C.S. Holling introduced the concept of resilience to describe the ability of an ecological system to withstand, absorb or fortify against disturbances in a way that still maintains its basic structures. In recent years the concept of resilience has been extrapolated to a wide array of fields, from education, health science, and psychology to global finance, economic policy, and national security. In these contexts, resilience is often mobilized as a moral category that either affirms or denies the vital worth of things in and of themselves. Focusing on resilience situates critical inquiry within an already troubled state of affairs, a disaster in medias res, but it also “favors the cheery, the chipper, and the ignorant who dwell in bliss. It tells us to just keep shopping through the apocalypse” (Alaimo 2). The concept of resilience is especially salient today as we witness the immense stress that human activity has had on the earth’s systems. It can, on one hand, give us a vocabulary to describe and explore a system’s capacity to survive rapid and unpredictable change, but on the other hand, it also carries a warning that natural systems can reach a point of no return.

Resilience theory has most commonly been applied to the capacity of human populations and ecological systems to survive acute and slow disasters, but other animals also live and die alongside humans. With this in mind, the purpose of the 2017 John Douglas Taylor Conference is to generate a discussion of how the concept of resilience functions within discourses of animal life: How has resilience shaped the way we think about animal life? What might it mean for certain organizations and institutions to label a particular species as resilient? What kinds of forces are animals resilient to and how are these forms of resilience characterized by social institutions? This conference will also call attention to what happens when animals are characterized as lacking resilience, to discourses of extinction events and collapse, and to how we might view such “events” as models for expectations of the future of the anthropocene.

Given that animal resilience has not been substantially taken up within critical animal studies, human-animal studies, literary animal studies, ecocriticism, or the environmental humanities, we welcome submissions that engage with resilience in any number of theoretical, sociological, anthropological, textual, historical, political, activist, ethical, or artistic methods. We also encourage non-traditional forms of presentation including collaborative papers; panels that reduce presentation time to encourage discussion; panels that make use of creative limitations (for example: micro-themed, timed, or word-limit response panels); interdisciplinary approaches; proposals from thinkers outside the humanities, such as submissions from artists, writers, community practitioners, veterinarians, activists, and colleagues in the social and natural sciences. Papers may address topics and questions including, but not limited to, the following:

  •  The Aesthetics of Resilience: Environmental and evolutionary aesthetics; bio-/eco-aesthetics; Representing ideas of resilience, disruption/disturbance, disaster; aestheticizing loss and recovery; anti-anthropocentric (re)presentations.
  •  The Economics of Resilience: Bio-politics of resilience; animal capital; economizing decline and recovery; conservation politics and economies; commerce and species loss; neo-liberal (re)shapings of biota; community networking as strategic resilience; the labour of loss/disaster.
  •  Emblems of Resilience: Animals as models/metaphors/metonymies for resilient humans; human ‘nature’ as exceptional resilience; speciation resilience and social Darwinism; genetics, postgenomics and the future of human resilience.
  • Intersecting Resilience: Animal resilience as it intersects across race, gender, sexuality, class, (dis)ability; relationships between marginalized humans and animals; postcolonial resilience;
  • Multispecies Resilience: Sites of intrusion/permeability; liminal animals/humans; co-existence as resilience; the resilience of companion species; empowering the animal; Object Oriented Ontologies, intersectional spaces and bodies.
  •  Pesky Resilience: Microbiopolitics; the exhaustion of infestation; non-charismatic animals; the resilience of invasive species; resilience to extermination as a detriment to humans; urban animal studies; animal intelligence as resilience to humans.
  •  Precarious Resilience: Precarity as a condition of resilience; teleologies of resilience; the condemnation and resignation of species; identification of species “at-risk”.
  •  The Resilient Anthropocene: Extinction and elegy; discourses of ‘failed’ resilience; proleptic/anticipatory mourning; categorical/taxonomic vs physical loss; the resilient after-effects of extractivist mindsets; ecological crises of futurity; the value of speculation.
  •  Resilient Memory: Natural history; taxonomy; resilience in historical periods, histories of ecology and resilience; geological and social histories of ecological entanglement; historicizing animals.
  •  Transnational Modes of Resilience: Ecological citizenship; borderless bioregions; animal/human refuge; the Indigeneity of resilience/resistance; decolonizing ecological relations.

Individual paper submissions should include a 250-350-word abstract clearly articulating your thesis and its relation to the conference theme. For non-traditional forms of presentation and whole-panel submissions please include a 250-word summary of your theme and a list of presenters. For the sake of blind peer review, please include all contact information and institutional affiliations on a separate title page. All proposals must be submitted by November 1, 2016. We will evaluate your proposal carefully and notify you of its final status by January 13, 2017.

 Please send submissions to:

 In the coming months check out our website for updates, as well as to find information about and sign up for planned outings and adventures around Hamilton.

Global Economic and Climate Change along the Silk Road: Crisis in Central Asia and Afghanistan

In the age of the Silk Road, Central Asia and Afghanistan came to prominence by facilitating global trade between China and the Mediterranean. Today, the fortunes of the region are still tied to global trends, but these are taking an increasingly negative turn.




A profound economic crisis is gripping the region. The causes are diverse: decreasing oil and gas prices, an economic slowdown in China, the falling Russian Ruble, and for Afghanistan – even the withdrawal of NATO forces. Under such circumstances, households and national governments are scrambling to cope.

But the economy is not the sole global force challenging Central Asia and Afghanistan. In recent years, climate change has put growing pressure on this fragile and mountainous region. Rising temperatures, irregular rainfall, and increasingly devastating natural disasters are the new normal.

In a rapidly changing environment, what processes, policies, and plans are in place to help citizens and their governments to deal with these new global realities?

Join the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Carleton University for a panel discussion on the future of Central Asia and Afghanistan. Speakers will bring insights informed by decades of experience in the fields of economic development, public policy, and climate change. In addition Dr Bohdan Krawchenko and Dr Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt from the University of Central Asia will reflect on lessons learned from the UCA’s Research and Public Policy Initiative, funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and AKFC, which sought to strengthen research capacity and evidence-based policy-making in Afghanistan and Central Asia.


Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Time: 1:00 – 4:00PM

Location: Carleton University, River Building Room 2228

Cost: Free (please register)


Refreshments will be provided


Book Launch: Far Off Metal River by Dr. Emilie Cameron

Please join the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University as we celebrate the launch of a new book by Dr. Emilie Cameron.

Far Off Metal River: Inuit Lands, Settler Stories, and the Making of the Contemporary Arctic

Friday, January 22, 2016
2:30pm – 4pm
Room 252, MacOdrum Library
Carleton Univerity

This event will include a panel discussion with:

Dr. Emilie Cameron (Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University)
Dr. Frances Abele (Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University)
Dr. Danielle DiNovelli-Lang (Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University)

Refreshments will be served.


About the BookFar off metal river

Far Off Metal River is about how stories make worlds. It traces the imaginative, material, and political life of a particular story – the Bloody Falls massacre story, first told in the late 18th century – in order to better understand colonial and capitalist relations in the contemporary Arctic. Drawing on extensive ethnographic and archival research in Nunavut over the past decade, Emilie Cameron considers the ways in which this story has shaped the relationship of Qablunaat (an Inuktitut term for non-Inuit, non-Indigenous peoples or settlers) to northern lands and peoples. Although it is conventionally told as a story of Inuit-Dene violence witnessed by a neutral and horrified European explorer (Samuel Hearne), Cameron argues that the massacre story is, in fact, a Qablunaaq story, one that has made specific forms of violence, dispossession, and domination in the Arctic sensible, legible, and possible. She traces its role in the formation of late eighteenth century understandings of race and nature, its role in the production of scientific, geological, and anthropological knowledge about the North and about Inuit, its interweaving with mineral exploration and extraction activity, and various efforts to resist, ignore, and forget the story. Taken together, Cameron argues, these geographies of the massacre story help to both place and displace colonial relations in the Arctic, and suggest new forms of relation that Qablunaat might take up at a time of immense change in the region.

For more information, see UBC Press:

About the Author

Dr. Emilie Cameron is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University.  Her primary research interest is in critical northern geographies.  Most recently, she has been focusing on mineral exploration and mine development in the Canadian Arctic, examining how mining interweaves with comprehensive land claim agreements, environmental assessment institutions, self-determination movements, and histories of colonial knowledge production. Working with partners at the University of British Columbia and Memorial University, Dr. Cameron is also part of a larger research project examining the ways in which industrial mineral economies have transformed social, environmental, economic, and cultural geographies in the Canadian North.

Commentary on the Book

“A brilliant and unsettling meditation on our relation to northern lands and peoples. Far Off Metal River teaches us to be responsible to the origins and purposes of our stories, to acknowledge their limits, and to see the North as full of stories that are not ours to know. A “must-read” in the face of renewed Canadian claims to Inuit lands and resources.” -Bruce Braun, author of Intemperate Rainforest: Nature, Culture, and Power on Canada’s West Coast

“In this engrossing and morally spirited book, Emilie Cameron examines Indigenous and newcomer understandings of the Canadian North through narratives of cultural exchange and colonial violence and their material consequences. Alert to how colonial stories about the Arctic maintain an insidious grip on the present, and why we ignore them at our peril, Far Off Metal River is a remarkable and ultimately hopeful work that will inspire debate at a variety of postcolonial sites about the complex links between place, power, memory, storytelling, and affect.” -Daniel Clayton, author of Islands of Truth: The Imperial Fashioning of Vancouver Island

Noel Salmond, The Mahatma, the Pope, and the Planet: “Gandhian Reflections on the Pope’s Recent Letter on the Environment”

The College of the Humanities


Co-sponsored by Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council of Ottawa

This event is part of the 9th Annual Ottawa Peace Festival
The Mahatma, the Pope, and the Planet:

Gandhian Reflections on the Pope’s Recent Letter on the Environment


Prof. Noel Salmond

Carleton University


Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015

2:30 pm.

River Building,

Carleton University

In June of this year Pope Francis released a remarkable encyclical letter addressed to the people of the world. He connects the plight of the earth with the plight of the poor and calls for a new relationship with nature while warning of environmental collapse. President Obama of the United States and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have both called the environmental threat of climate change the defining issue of the twenty-first century. For the first time in history, the Pope addresses the U.S. Congress this September ahead of the critical climate conference in Paris in early December. Focusing on the papal letter, this presentation asks the question: what would Gandhi say on the current climate crisis? It suggests he warned about the trajectory humanity was on as early as his first broadside in the liberation struggle, Hind Swaraj of 1909.



   2:30 pm                   Garlanding                                                     At Gandhi Statue

   3:00 pm                   Hymns by Parampara                                Atrium

   3:30 pm                   Talk                                                              Atrium

   4:30 pm                   Reception                                                       Atrium

Parampara is a music group led by their Guru Dr. Vinay Bhide, a renowned vocalist and exponent of classical Indian music.

Participating in vocals: Bratati Kar, Trishna Praharaj, and Kakoli Nag; accompanied by Opinder Sadana on Tabla and Sundar  Siva on Keyboard

Admission is free but kindly RSVP by email at indicating the number of persons attending


Gasper, Poverty and Climate Change

Assessing & Responding to Climate Change:
Ignoring the Poor?

Des Gasper, Institute of Social Studies,
Erasmus University, The Hague


How far are humanistic principles — principles of judging in terms of all the valued impacts on all people – actually important in assessments of climate change? The paper identifies mechanisms by which interests of vulnerable low-income people are often marginalized, even when assessments are made by agencies supposedly accountable within the United Nations system with its commitments to universal human rights and human security. A major case considered is the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report of 2014. A second example taken is the debate on impacts on human health from climate change. It illustrates how the burden of proof in climate change politics has been placed on the side of those who warn of dangers, and how the precautionary principle often becomes configured in favour of not risking disturbance to the privileged. The paper sketches a typology of ways in which vulnerable poor people are marginalized or excluded in climate change analyses. It then discusses how that marginalization and exclusion might be countered. We look at the recent Papal encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, to raise the question whether attention to the excluded requires perceptual reorientations of sorts that are not yet found in all development discourse.


Friday, September 18

3:00 p.m.

River Building 1200


Sponsored by the Graduate Programs in Ethics and Public Affairs

Mike Brklacich, “IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5): Is there anything new under the sun?”

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5):

Is there anything new under the sun?

Wednesday, May  13, 2015/le mercredi 13 mai 2015

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m./ 11:00 – 12:00

(Eastern Time/ heure de l’est)



Professor Mike Brklacich

Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Associate Dean (Graduate Programs & Research)

Carleton University



The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)has released five assessments since 1989.  In each cycle, IPCC synthesizes research over the previous 5 to 7 year period and presents its findings in three volumes: Climate Science; Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability; and Mitigation of Climate Change.  IPCC’s fifth assessment report (AR5) was released in 2013-14. Several media releases reported that while AR5 employed even stronger language linking recent climate changes to human activities, there was also a sense that “global warming was old news.”


This presentation reviews the IPCC process and highlights five significant new findings from AR5, including climate change is accelerating, North America is not immune to climate change impacts, a new chapter on human security and climate change, adaptation cannot overcome all climate change impacts, and preventing dangerous climate change will require leaving the majority of fossil fuels in the ground.


The presentation will conclude with a discussion of future directions, including possible implications for the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in December 2015.



2nd floor boardroom, National Wildlife Research Centre,Ottawa
salle de réunion, 2ième étage, Centre national de la recherche faunique, Ottawa

by videoconference/ par vidéo:

Ø  Place Vincent Massey, room/salle #16046

Ø  Terrasses de la Chaudière, room/salle #2632

Ø  Fontaine, room/salle 1172




For changes to the distribution list, suggestions for speakers, and offers to speak, please

Pour les modifications à la liste de distribution, des suggestions pour les orateurs, ou si vous souhaitez prendre la parole, veuillez

If you wish to join by videoconference from another Government of Canada location, please notify us in advance.

Si vous souhaitez participer par vidéoconférence à partir d’un autre édifice du gouvernement du Canada, svp informez-nous à l’avance.



Sustainability at the University of Ottawa

Sustainability at the University of Ottawa

Reposted from Academica Top Ten (7 April 2015)

uOttawa campus plan focuses on green spaces, multi-use buildings

The University of Ottawa has offered a glimpse of its campus of the future. The university’s recently released master plan identifies its development goals for the next 20 years, including greener spaces, multipurpose buildings, and new amenities for students, staff, and faculty. According to the plan, uOttawa will seek to incorporate more trees and parks, as well as pathways to integrate the campus with the nearby river. Parking lots in the university core will be replaced with open spaces designed to make the campus more pedestrian-friendly. In addition, plans are in the works for 5 or 6 new buildings. Some aging existing facilities will be demolished and replaced, while others will be re-purposed to suit the institution’s changing needs. The emphasis will be on multi-use buildings that combine classrooms, office space, research areas, and labs with banks, cafés, and other retail spaces. Ottawa Citizen

Sign Up for the Act on Climate March in Quebec!

Sign Up for the Act on Climate March in Quebec!

Posted by Ben Powless 852cc on March 12, 2015

Join us and thousands of others who will make a historic trek to Quebec City on April 11 to demand that we Act on Climate!

All of Canada’s premiers are heading to Quebec City at that time to talk about climate. And so are we. We want to make sure our voices are heard, and send a unified message.

We want strong climate protections. We want renewable energy. What we don’t want is more tar sands or pipeline expansion, including Energy East.

Please sign up below to book a space on a bus to Quebec City.

We will aim to leave at 7am on the 11th, and return by 10pm that same night. If you’d like to make other arrangements for your return, please let us know.

Please check back on this page and in your inbox for final details on bus pickup and dropoff locations.

After signing up, you will be taken to a page asking for donations to help cover the cost of renting the bus and paying the driver.

We hope to see you there!

On behalf of Ecology Ottawa, the Council of Canadians, 350 Ottawa, Climate Reality Canada, and Greenpeace Ottawa.

Dans seulement 30 jours, des dizaines de milliers de personnes se retrouveront dans la ville de Québec pour « Action Climat » qui sera sans doute la plus grande marche jamais faite au Canada en faveur du climat.

Tous les ministres du Canada seront présents à Québec à cette date pour parler du climat. Et nous aussi. Nous voulons être surs d’être entendus et d’envoyer un message uni.

Nous voulons une forte protection du climat. Nous voulons l’énergie renouvelable. Nous ne voulons pas de sables bitumeux ou de prolongement de gazoduc, y compris Energy East.

Nous espérons que vous vous joindrez à nous à Québec. Nous allons réserver des bus et nous avons besoin de savoir dans les prochaines semaines si vous pourrez venir.

Répondez dès maintenant si vous le pouvez.

On se voit bientôt j’espère!

Au nom de Écologie Ottawa, Le conseil des canadiens, 350 Ottawa, Réalité Climatique Canada et Greenpeace Ottawa.

April 11, 2015 at 1pm – 4pm
Quebec’s National Assembly
Ben Powless ·

Naomi Klein Reading Group

The Carleton Working group on Climate Change

invites you to participate in a

Naomi Klein Reading Group


This group will discuss short selections from Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything in three parts (meeting once in February, once in March, and once in April). We have selected this book because it is accessible, engaging, and much discussed now by both scholars and the general public. The group will be a forum for informed consideration of Klein’s position and the issues she presents. We hope that people from a range of disciplines and perspectives will participate. This group is open to ALL faculty and ALL students at Carleton University. It adopts a unique format in which students and faculty will be learning together in small groups.

To sign up for this Reading Group (or if you have any questions) please email:

Please Note: the reading groups will be composed of about 12 people each and the number of groups will depend on the number of people who are interested in participating.