Call for Papers: III INSULA International Colloquium

Beyond Nature/Artifice

Funchal | UMa-CIERL

8 to 12 November 2017

Submissions deadline by 30th May 2017

“There is no singular ‘nature’ as such, only a diversity of contested natures; and that each such nature is constituted through a variety of socio-cultural processes from which such natures cannot be plausibly separated.” – Macnaghten, P. and Urry, J. (1998), Contested natures

In “Ideas of Nature,” Raymond Williams in 1980 emphasizes two issues that we call upon for the III INSULA International Colloquium- Beyond Nature & Artifice​: (1) the need to think the “natural” not just as a set of physical phenomena that exist in the world, but also as a plural concept, subject to historical and socio-cultural modelling with effective implications on how such a world is constructed; and (2) the need to rethink the human and the anthropological as parts of what is meant by Nature.

In this same line of thought that rejects a dogmatic character to the concept of “Nature”, Bruno Latour (1999) proposes the replacement of a singular “Nature” by plural Natures. This positioning therefore presupposes the existence of a denser, more elastic and articulated relationship between all the elements that constitute the world. A relationship that also integrates both the human or that which is (re)constructed by human, whether in the material, or in virtual or imaginary form.

If such issues gained relevance in the last decades of the 20th century, already marked by the dynamics of the contingency, of the transgressive and globalisation, as well as by the values of complex subjectivity, the simultaneous juxtaposition of the near with the distant or even of the empirical with the virtual, the first decades of the 21st century were to make them even more urgent, given the emergence or dissemination of phenomena such as cloning, transgenic industry, global warming, suspicions of the anthropocene or even the democratization of the access to technology.

Focusing our attention on island spaces, representations, narratives and discourses, the III INSULA International Colloquium. Beyond Nature & Artifice presents itself as a place of reflection where it will attempt discussions on the concept of Nature(s) in contemporaneity, now understood as part of a dialectic in which what conventionally is seen as “natural” articulates to what is conventionally understood as “artificial”, and/or cultural. As a result of the encounter, the contamination, the amalgam and / or hybridization of these differences, a different (concept of) Nature emerges, one that is more complex and expanded than the sum of the two traditional oppositions.

In this encounter between the real and the virtual, fiction, simulation and simulacra, where islands are both physical entities, conceptual devices and multi-dimensional artefacts that project us towards an expanded reality and an expanded concept of Nature (of/in islands):

  • Can insular spaces contain other Natures, or an expanded Nature, where elements of different dimensions encounter?
  • How may the “island” be represented in this context? And what discourses and practices then emerge?
  • What is the implication of this concept of Nature(s), in the way individuals perceive and recreate the “island” and its imaginaries?
  • In what way an expanded Nature implicates encounter, adaptation, transformation and/or actualization of material, artistic, cultural and political phenomena?
  • How can the Nature(s) of the insular spaces, the features and processes implicated in them, constitute samples that present themselves as opportunities for the understanding, development and management of other spaces?

III INSULA International Colloquium: Beyond Nature & Artifice welcomes proposals for presentation (20 minutes), in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish from all areas of Science, Arts and Humanities. ​The following topics​ are suggested (not restricted to):

  • Commodification of Nature(s);
  • Control, Resistance and Governance;
  • Environment and Humanities;
  • Ethics and Values;
  • Identity, Society and Culture;
  • Landscape and Creation
  • Mobility, Migration, Negotiation and Colonization;
  • Oneiric Universes, Imaginaries and Representation;
  • Reality, Simulation and Simulacrum
  • Sustainability;
  • Territories and Heritage;
  • The Expanded Nature(s) of Islands
  • Utopia, Dystopia, Collapse, Apocalypse, Conflict and Revolution;

Submission of Proposals

Proposals for paper or panel must be submitted by email to the coordination of the colloquium ( by 30.05.2017​. It should include the following information:

  • Title of the paper/panel;
  • Abstract/Summary up to 200 words. If presentation is on a language other than English, a summary in English is required;
  • Author(s) name(s), email address, affiliation and a short curricular note (up to 100words).

The organising committee will inform authors on the status of their submission by 31.07.2017

Download the Informational PDF Here:  Call for Papers_INSULA2017

III INSULA International Colloquium. Beyond Nature/Artifice ​stems from a partnership between UMa-CIERL​, Island Cities & Urban Archipelagos Conferences​ (ICUA) and Island Dynamics​.

+ info. ​INSULA 2017: ​

+ info. ​ICUA 2017: ​


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