Symposium – Conflict Shorelines: History, Politics, and Climate Change

Eduardo Cadava (English), Kelly Caylor (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Rachel Price (Spanish and Portuguese),  Paulo Tavares (Visiting Fellow in the Program in Latin American Studies), and Eyal Weizman (Global Scholar in the School of Architecture) are hosting a three-day symposium entitled “Conflict Shorelines: History, Politics, and Climate Change” that will take place November 12-14, 2015 at Princeton University and that will seek to explore the relations among colonial history, contemporary conflicts, and climate change. The symposium takes its point of departure from the growing number of conflicts that today unfold in complex relation to climatic and environmental transformations. On a global scale, some of these conflicts take place along environmental threshold conditions (“conflict shorelines”) in which climate transformations aggravate existing political tensions. Conflicts over land resources now take place along the threshold of the tropical forests of Central and South America, and of Central Africa and East Asia. Other conflicts are located along the ebbing threshold of deserts, in relation to the drying out of the Sahel and other places across the Middle East. And others are situated across the shorelines of melting glaciers, rising seas, and coastal cities, urban and natural environments increasingly vulnerable to climate instabilities. These conflict shorelines are not simply determined by climatic factors, but are instead deeply complex historical and natural processes that bring together political developments, urban transformations, colonial histories, and patterns of city growth and migration in relation to changing climatic conditions.

The symposium will bring together international scholars, climate scientists and activists, architects, geographers, engineers, visual artists, and theorists from around the globe to think about the entanglement of political conflicts along environmental thresholds by examining the political, legal, epistemic, and aesthetic challenges this kind of conflict initiates. It aims to provide a “forum” in which multiple and apparently distant disciplinary fields and modes of cultural production can think together about some of the most urgent.


More information here.