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Conference theme

The Annual International Conference 2016 will be chaired by Professor Peter Jackson (University of Sheffield)

Nexus thinking

Professor Peter Jackson, the Chair of Conference for AC2016, discusses the theme of the conference.


Chair's plenary lectures

We are delighted to announce further details for the Chair's plenary lectures at AC2016. Further information about the lectures, and about other events at the conference, will be announced shortly.

Professor Andrew Stirling, University of Sussex, UK

Tuesday 30 August 2016, evening, Ondaatje Theatre. 

Meeting Nexus Challenges: from policy connections to political transformations

The advent of ‘nexus thinking’ in current global change research and policy, has drawn welcome attention to many neglected connectivities. From familiar and trivial, to unfamiliar and profound, these span: between sectors; across scales; joining jurisdictions; mingling human, biological and physical; and linking framings of knowledge with directions for action. Perhaps the most important, are those between existing configurations of power, privilege and incumbency and ways in which understandings, imaginations and aspirations are shaped concerning what is reasonable or possible. Based on efforts in the ESRC’s Nexus Network, this talk will explore some deeper connotations – and practical implications for research and action.

Discussants: Professor Gail Davies, University of Exeter, UK; Professor David Demeritt, King’s College London, UK

Professor Julie Guthman, University of California Santa Cruz, USA

Wednesday 31 August 2016, 13.10, Ondaatje Theatre.

Did the pathogen speak? Plants, chemicals, land and workers in the making and unmaking of California’s strawberry industry

With its pathogen ridden soils, debt-ridden farmers and underpaid workers, and high reliance on toxic chemicals, California’s strawberry industry is surely an exemplar of a nexus in which livelihoods, public health, environmental sustainability, and profit are in tension. In this talk I will refrain from the “grand challenge” talk of nexus thinking and instead provide a more modest and specific rendering of how the human and nonhuman materials and forces that came together to make the strawberry industry so successful are now the bases of threats. These threats portend major changes in the ways strawberries will be produced, precisely because they are co-evolved and relational so that one concatenates with another.  Beginning with the pathogen, this talk will describe five of these threats, with nods to both old and new materialisms. I will end by suggesting that any resolutions to nexus tensions are necessarily (bio)political – a reflection of whose and what lives appear to count.

Discussants: Dr Jamie Lorimer, University of Oxford, UK; Professor Mara Miele, Cardiff University, UK

Professor Ananya Roy, University of California Los Angeles, USA

Thursday 1 September 2016, 13.10, Ondaatje Theatre

The Ghost in the Nexus: Global Poverty and the Dilemmas of Development

In this talk, I situate “nexus thinking” in the present conjuncture of sustainable development and in the long history of development as a global project.  In doing so, I pay attention to the disciplines and professions that are being mobilized to solve urgent human problems, specifically that of poverty.  Framed as scientific solutions towards a better world, such frameworks of action are also replete with distinctive aspirations and affects.  Foregrounding the figure of the millennial – college students and young professionals enrolled in the global university and enlisted in the work of poverty action – I examine the potentialities and limits of the will to make poverty history, and thereby of nexus thinking.

Discussants: Professor Jennifer Robinson, University College London, UK; Professor Parvati Raghuram, The Open University, UK

Professor Tim Jackson, University of Surrey, UK

Friday 2 September 2016, 13.10, Ondaatje Theatre

Title and abstract to be announced shortly.

Discussants: Dr David Evans, The University of Manchester, UK; Professor Jo Little, University of Exeter, UK

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