CFP: Insect Entanglements Online Workshop

CFP Insect Entanglements Online Workshop

deadline for submissions: April 30, 2020

Faculty of Arts, University of Bristol, 19 June 2020

Insects are everywhere, our (human) lives entangled with them, and yet we know surprisingly little about them. In the introduction to Insectopedia, Hugh Raffles writes the following:

For as long as we’ve been here, they’ve been here too. Wherever we’ve travelled, they’ve been there too. And still, we don’t know them very well, not even the ones we’re closest to, the ones that eat our food and share our beds. Who are they, these beings so different from us and from each other? What do they do? What worlds do they make? What do we make of them? How do we live with them? How could we live with them differently? (3)

These critters have been around longer than we have. They come in so many configurations — different shapes, sizes, and ecological functions. We encounter insects as part of a collective, or as lone individuals. Yet, there is still much to learn about them and, considering their newly realised precarity, the ways in which we can live affirmatively with them.

In the words of Deborah Bird Rose (2013): ‘We live in a time of almost unfathomable loss, and we are called to respond.’ How does one respond to the insect—whether as a taxonomic rank, a certain species, a figure or story, or even the single individual that buzzes and keeps you up at night. What shapes do insect entanglements take in a time of significant biomass and diversity loss, dominated by several flagship species? After all, as Eva Haifa Giraud argues (2019), with (any) politics of entanglement also comes a reality of exclusion, asking us to pay careful attention to those ‘frictions, foreclosures, and exclusions that play a constitutive role in the composition of lived reality.’ These are, of course, only suggestions for topics that are certainly not meant to limit presenters’ areas of research and creativity.

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers, multimedia presentations, and creative responses to insect entanglements from postgraduates, ECRs and academics across disciplines (not just the humanities). We are especially keen to hear new and explorative work. Now covid-19 is forcing us to rethink how we produce academic knowledge and share it with the public, we are also thinking of an online platform to accompany the workshop (e.g., a virtual exhibition).

Please submit a 300 word abstract and short bio to with “Workshop insect entanglements” in the subject line by 30 April 2020. You will hear back from us promptly.

Registration is free. Depending on individual needs, we might be able to cover travel costs for presenting PGRs & ECRs. Coffee and (vegan) lunch will be provided. Please let us know if you have any allergies.

Organisers: Eline Tabak & Maia Dixon

Supported by the University of Bristol’s Centre for Environmental Humanities.

Featured image by Maria Sibylla Merian


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