Ecological Praxes: On Gardens, Senses, and Subjects

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: Ian Shaw
Chairs: Ian Shaw


In the face of global environmental disasters, our ecological senses and praxes have become vital terrains of struggle for hope, desire, and the production of ethical subjects. As Felix Guattari writes (1989), “Ecological praxes might, in this light, be defined as a search to identify in each partial locus of existence the potential vectors of subjectification.” How can we equip ourselves with the ecological praxes to change our mental and social ecologies? This session will explore how community and school gardens—together with a range of other urban commons—can shape and re-shape the production of ethical subjects, senses, and spaces. We seek to understand how interactions between humans and nonhumans can cultivate orientations beyond what Mark Fisher termed (2009) “capitalist realism:” the deadening belief that our neoliberal order is the only horizon of possibility. By planting, growing, caring for animals, building, crafting, assembling, and watering, we explore how micro-practices such as these can generate sensual solidarities that stretch beyond any individual “self” and the neoliberal subject. How might these ecological practices—and their attending senses—be the basis for site-specific forms of pre-figurative politics in everyday life? And, of course, we must also ask: what are the limitations of gardens and other commons for new social relations? What work is still to be done?

We are interested in the following broad concerns:

• The role and potential of school and community gardens for generating ethical subjects
• Theorizations of ecological praxes
• The ontological relationship between sense, subject, and space
• Ethical orientations between humans and nonhumans
• Everyday life and ecological transformation
• Living—and growing—beyond neoliberal subjectifications


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Ria Dunkley*, University of Glasgow, Childhood Ecological Encounters and Micro-practices in the New Climatic Regime 15 12:00 AM

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