STEPS Annual Lecture: Andrea J Nightingale
12th May 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Bounding unruly landscapes: future imaginaries and socioenvironmental change
2020 STEPS Annual Lecture
Andrea J Nightingale
Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography
University of Oslo
This event will be open to the public and includes a drinks reception after the lecture. It is the only public event of the STEPS Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability.
About the lecture
Amidst anxieties about rapid rate environmental change and the best pathways to transformation, the unruliness of life reasserts itself. Not only can environments collapse unexpectedly, others persist despite intense pressures. Meanwhile, new governance mechanisms exceed expectations, while others become avenues for older relationships and practices of exploitation to re-emerge. Such dynamics point to the need for better conceptualisations of change if we are to confront the 21st century challenges of climate and environmental change.
Through examples from the Himalayas, I focus on boundary un/making as a creative approach to the continuous (re)configurations of humans and non-humans that transpire in any attempts at governing. The complex, often unpredictable political, social, cultural and ecological terrains that emerge in environmental governance offer insights into the dynamics of change. Drawing from scholars of science and political ecologists who have long pointed out that knowing is not somehow separate from the worlds we create, and feminist work on power and recognition, this lecture will look at how boundary-making reflects the operation of power across scales, suggesting new approaches to tackling environmental issues.
Speaking through case studies from Nepal and elsewhere, the lecture will work through the entanglements of forests, user-groups, geopolitics and efforts at responding to predictions of calamitous change to show how they are complicit in producing the dilemmas we face. It will show how environmental change programmes are caught up in the riotous, inadvertent contradictions of environmental governance. Action, imagination, naming, and everyday practices create lasting connections; they bring the world into being in a continuous and dynamic manner; in turn demanding that we take account of the more-than-human within our governing logics if global environmental challenges are to be confronted.
About Andrea J Nightingale
Andrea J. Nightingale is Professor of Human Geography, University of Oslo and Senior Researcher at the University of Agricultural Sciences. Her interests cross between climate change adaptation and transformation debates; collective action and state formation; the nature-society nexus; political violence in natural resource governance; and feminist work on emotion and subjectivity in relation to development, transformation, collective action and cooperation. She has over 30 years of experience on natural resource governance in Nepal and a current research collaboration focused on state formation and climate change. She has also done research on in-shore fisheries management in Scotland. Her recent book is Environment and Sustainability in a Globalizing World, Routledge, 2019.