Leaders in Biodiversity Conservation: Botanic Gardens in the 21st Century – Call for Papers

Call for Conference Papers

Leaders in Biodiversity Conservation: Botanic Gardens in the 21st Century
October 23rd, 24th, and 25th Montreal Canada

The organizing committee for the Leaders in Biodiversity Conservation: Botanic Gardens in the 21st Century conference is seeking submissions for panel themes and individual papers. The conference is organized by Dr. Katja Neves of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, along with Drs. Peter Stoett and Jill Didur and other colleagues at the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, who are pioneering research on the transformative role of botanic gardens and kin institutions (e.g. zoos, natural science museums). The three-day conference will take place at various venues in the beautiful city of Montreal, Canada. Post-conference productions will include a special peer-reviewed journal issue and an edited university press book.

Under the aegis of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), botanical gardens around the world are taking on increasingly significant roles in the governance of biodiversity conservation. They occupy pole position in the development and implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and in concomitant processes at national and regional levels. Botanical gardens are thus entering realms of governance previously restricted to state officials. Arguably, this transformation reflects a wider phenomenon: modern institutions such as zoos and natural science museums are being re-invented as biodiversity conservation agents, and emerging as key conservation constituencies alongside established conservation actors such as government bureaucracies, public-private partnerships, and NGOs.

However, botanic garden biodiversity governance (and the role of kin institutions such as zoos and natural science museums) remains under-explored within the social sciences and humanities. This conference seeks to redress this lacuna, creating a productive framework to scrutinize and discuss these transformations by joining scholars who have worked on botanic gardens and/or kin institutions with social theorists.

Scholars who have researched botanical gardens, zoos, and natural science museums as biodiversity conservation agents are hence invited to submit panel themes or papers.  We also welcome theoretically-oriented papers/panels on pertinent topics such biodiversity conservation, eco-citizenship, the intersection of governance with governmentality, environmentality, participatory governance, neoliberal biodiversity conservation, social studies of science, urban gardening, and public engagement.

A key goal of this conference is to stimulate productive dialogue not only amongst scholars but also between scholars and constituents from the botanical garden world. It is our conviction that such a dialogue can foster mutual learning while contributing to more comprehensive understandings of botanical gardens as leaders of biodiversity conservation governance. We are especially pleased that Dr. Sara Oldfield, Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International will attend this conference as a keynote presenter. Dr. Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, will also present a keynote speech. Dr. Esther Turnhout, a leading scholar in critical Social Studies of Science, has also confirmed her participation.

Please submit your 250-word abstract and paper title to the attention of Dr. Katja Neves at  Katja.neves@concordia.ca by August 15th 2014. To stay posted on further developments please visit the conference’s website at: http://leadersinconservation.wordpress.com

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