Call: Unnatural Futures Conference

Call for Papers: Unnatural Futures Conference

Dates: 3 & 4 July, 2014
Venue: Centre for the Arts University of Tasmania, Hobart

From genetically modified foods to zombie apocalypse, concerns about the future are increasingly reflected in contemporary media, policy and culture. An “unnatural future” is being shaped by rapidly escalating anxieties about the social, cultural, environmental and technological risks that now pervade everyday life. This climate of fear and uncertainty about the future requires careful consideration around how best to respond and intervene in debates, discussion and media representations around our “unnatural future”.

This conference brings together researchers from a range of academic disciplines, including those from the social sciences, humanities, and agricultural and environmental studies, to address the following questions: how do we imagine the future? What are the methodologies or theories that may help navigate these potential futures? The intention is to share and explore views of the possible natural and unnatural futures that loom large on the horizon.

We welcome papers that focus on (but are not limited to):

  • Environmental disaster and crime
  • Apocalypse, utopia and dystopia
  • Food security, climate change, genetic technologies
  • Science fiction and horror
  • Artificial or virtual bodies and spaces
  • Technology and human development, the posthuman and nonhuman
  • Industry and corporate interventions in social and environmental
  • Problems
  • Activism, resistance, protest
  • Experiencing the anthropocene
  • Speculative fiction, science, research and theory
  • Inhabiting or representing unnatural futures

Keynote speakers:

Professor Nigel Clark (Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University)
Professor Lesley Head (The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research; University of Wollongong)


Applications and abstracts: 31 January 2014
Notification of acceptance: 28 February 2014

Submission of abstracts or panel proposals:

E-mail the conference contact ( with the following information:

A 250-word abstract in MS Word (doc or docx) format
Your full name as you would like it to appear in the conference booklet
Contact information (email)
A short biography including academic affiliation
Audiovisual requirements


Craig Norris – Journalism, Media & Communications, University of Tasmania <>

Michelle Phillipov – Journalism, Media & Communications, University of Tasmania <>

Felicity Picken – AHURI Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Tasmania <>

Yvette Watt – Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania <>

Conference contact:


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