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2nd Nature and Nation Workshop 'State of Nature', Bucharest 2-4 December 2011‏

CfP: 2nd Nature and Nation Workshop "State of Nature"

2nd international workshop of the Nature&Nation network
Bucharest, Romania, 02-04 December 2011
Deadline: 20 September 2011

Nature&Nation's first workshop, held in Trento, Italy, in September
2010 was mainly focused on the first part of the nation-state combine.
In fact, the main issues of discussion on that occasion have been
related to the role of nature in national identity discourses and
rhetoric and vice versa. With this second workshop we want to look
instead at the state, and at its role in transforming, representing
and even creating nature.
States have had a significant role in the modification of landscapes
and natural environments that has occurred during the nineteenth and
twentieth century. Good part of this change may be ascribed to what
James C. Scott has defined the high-modernist tendencies within modern
nation-states. States, both under democratic and totalitarian rule,
have thus attempted to simplify, as to make more legible and
manageable, both the landscapes and the systems of relationships,
construed over centuries of settlement, that human communities had
with these natural environments.
Modern states have thus proceeded at an appropriation of nature, in
both its physical and symbolical facets, and attempted repeatedly to
monopolize, beside other social systems of relationship, also the way
society has interpreted nature. Both nature itself and the
society/nature relationship have in fact been radically modified over
the last two centuries by state-driven engineering projects, economic
policies, propagandist rhetorics and legal systems. Determining
property rights, planning urban and industrial development,
implementing public/private transportations, building national parks,
fighting malaria or other, and bloodier, wars have definitely played a
major role in shaping the natural environment.

Aims and scope
In occasion of this 2nd workshop we are interested not only in the
European context but also in the ways in which national states have
included imperial/colonial natures and environments into the national
We want to gather a variety of scholars, not only specialists in
environmental history, but also political, cultural and social
historians, historical geographers and historical anthropologists with
an interest in nationalism, nature perception and/or symbolic
politics. During the selection process both comparative analyses at
the transnational level and specific case studies able to give new
insights in the mechanism of state management of natural resources and
symbolic uses of the natural world will be equally considered.

The workshop is limited to 20 participants. The working language is English.
Each selected participant will prepare a draft text that will be
pre-circulated to workshop attendees in mid-November 2011. Each paper
will be briefly presented by the author in a short talk (10 min.) and
then fully discussed by all the workshop attendees. After the
workshop, all participants will be asked to revise their papers for
possible inclusion in an edited volume to be submitted to an
international academic press or as a journal special issue.

Prospective schedule
Friday, 02 December 2011 �" Arrival and first session;
Saturday, 03 December 2011 �" Further sessions;
Sunday, 04 December 2011 �" Roundtable, conclusions and departure.

Funding and benefits
This event is funded and supported by the ‘Nicolae Titulescu’
University, the National School of Political Studies and Public
Administration (NSPSPA) and The Center for the Study of Political
Ideas (CeSIP), Bucharest, Romania.Workshop attendees will be granted
free lodging in college accommodation and meals for the duration of
the workshop. Unfortunately, we will not be able to cover travel
expenses. More details will soon be available on the network’s

To be considered as a workshop participant please post an abstract of
up to 300 words and a very brief CV (1 page) on the application form
( by 20
September 2011. For further information please feel free to contact us
via email:

A PDF version of the call is available here: