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Anthropocene Future Memory Conference

Future Memory: Mapping the Anthropocene Conference
Call for Papers

The Utah State University Anthropocene Working Group invites proposals for a series of panels and presentations in the spring 2019 conference titled Future Memory: Mapping the Anthropocene. This one-day conference, on the Utah State campus on Saturday, April 20, 2019, seeks to encourage dialogue across disciplines from the sciences to the humanities, in fields including, among others, ecology, environment and society, landscape architecture, fine arts, history, journalism, geography, literature, media studies, agriculture, sociology, food sciences, and geology. Events will include a series of panels, an undergraduate poster session, and a conference dinner.

Terms such as “anticipatory memory,” “speculative memory,” and “ecosystemic memory” surround much discussion of the human age on Earth and what traces it will leave behind. Studies of existing markers in the geologic record, projected maps of changing coastlines or wildlife migration patterns, and sociological documentation of humans’ responses to climate crisis help to provide clues for imagining the planet’s future with or without us. Across contemporary media, from film and fiction to interactive gaming, more speculative forms of “future memory” add critical insight to Anthropocene discourse. With its paradox of human arrogance and humility in the face of a rapidly changing planet, this discourse can benefit from multiple angles of discussion.


The Conference is April 20, 2019.
Poster and Presentation abstracts are due November 20, 2018.

Suggested paper topics can include but are not limited to the following:
  • Future Landscapes via GIS
  • At the Museum of Extinction
  • The Anthropocene Soundtrack
  • Feeding the Planet in 100 Years
  • Disease in Dystopian Fiction
  • Choose Your Own Apocalypse: Augmented Reality
  • Archaeologies of Human Water Use
  • Saving the Seed Bank
  • Meteors or Machines? Planetary Crisis in Science Fiction
  • The Arid West Moves East
  • Projecting Assisted Species Migration: Where Are They Now?
  • A Look (Back) at 21st-century Truth Wars
  • The Art of Decaying Memorials
  • Polar Bear Pathos a Little Too Late?
  • The Sociology of Hope

“The first thing that happens at the end of the world is
that we don’t know what is happening.”
Louise Erdrich

Submit proposals for 20-minute presentations or undergraduate posters to Heidi Hart (heidi.hart@usu.edu) by November 20, 2018.
  • For 20-minute presentations, submit a 300-word abstract and short bio.
  • For undergraduate poster session proposals, submit a 200-word abstract.
Successful applicants will also supply a pdf in advance of the conference. Because of this conference’s broad interdisciplinarity, abstracts should include language accessible to scholars in other fields, and presentations should be aimed at a general audience.