The detrimental effects of carbon-based fuel sources, including and especially their contribution to anthropogenic climate change, has motivated scientists to develop alternative renewable energy solutions. Among those, nuclear power has been the most highly contested because of the associated risks to the health and stability of ecological systems. Many scientists argue that a carbon-neutral energy future is not feasible without the continued development of nuclear power technologies.
Anti-nuclear activists, however, have long argued that the potential associated dangers to the health and stability of ecological systems make nuclear power an unnecessarily risky response to the global energy crisis. They have expressed concerns, e.g., about the elevated risks of nuclear contamination incidents as global sea levels rise and threaten a majority of the world’s extant nuclear facilities and interim storage sites. Moreover, activists are increasingly concerned about social and environmental justice issues and the transgenerational effects of nuclear waste spills and radiation incidents on both human and ecosystem health and viability.
The nuclear debate raises many complicated questions at the intersection of ethics and technological innovation of our time, including ‘What are the long-term social and environmental justice implications of nuclear technologies when we consider the effects on both human and non-human species?’.
We welcome proposals from scholars working on intersectional approaches to global anti-nuclear activism in historical and contemporary perspective across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences for a multi-day conference and writer’s workshop which will be held at the University of California, Santa Barbara on 11-13 April 2024.
Selected participants will submit papers that will be pre-circulated among participants of a workshop in Santa Barbara, where they will engage with fellow participants and invited guest speakers and workshop their contributions for a peer-reviewed edited volume published with a university press.
The conference theme, “Global Legacies of Anti-Nuclear Activism: Intersectional Perspectives,” is a direct invitation to those scholars working on the following:
- Historical approaches that shed light on specific movements, individuals, groups, actions, or research/discoveries that have made significant contributions to the anti-nuclear movement, especially those from minority perspectives and/or those with transnational or gender implications, and the reactions they triggered in society, domestic and international politics, and regulatory changes;
- Contemporary approaches (impacted by specific politics of memory) that shape current understandings and discourses about nuclear technologies and their critics;
- Illuminating and minimizing disparity, inequality, and inequity in the research, development, and utilization of nuclear technologies;
- Inquiries into the intersection of religion, gender, sexuality, and embodiment with the construction of scientific and technological forms of knowledge and the rhetoric of nuclear technologies;
- Ethical critiques and compatibility of nuclear technologies (including nuclear weapons, power, waste, and storage) with environmental and social justice, indigenous rights perspectives, and religious/ethical or secular/scientific perspectives;
- Public education and empowerment of individuals and communities with the tools and resources (e.g., political, social, environmental, economic, etc.) necessary for protecting themselves and their environments;
- Approaches that consider the effects of nuclear technologies on non-human species and ecological and planetary systems;
- Intersections with capitalism, extractivism, disposability, necropolitics, and ‘throw-away culture’;
- Emerging nuclear technologies and approaches focused on creating resilient energy futures based on recent climate science data and public resistance;
- Identifying and understanding the intersectional effects and social and environmental justice concerns of global energy transitions;
- Engagement of nuclear technologies and post-truth technologies (social media, misinformation, science denial, conspiracy);
- Artistic expressions and other forms of cultural manifestations of the (anti-) nuclear discourse, i.e., future visions and worldmaking, nuclear technologies in science fiction, dystopia, utopia, apocalypticism, Afro-futurism, Afro-pessimism, and promised, unrealized, and emerging human and non-human futures;
- Nuclear technologies and planetary boundaries, especially as they intersect with matters of race, gender, and social and environmental justice.
We also invite other proposals that fit broadly within the conference theme.
Please submit a 150-word abstract and a 500-1,000 word proposal via our conference website www.antinuclearactivism.org by July 1, 2023.
Decisions will be communicated to all applicants by August 31, 2023.
Please contact the organizers at email@example.com for any further questions.