CFP: Commodification and Materiality

The Environment, Space, and Place Division (ESPD) seeks participants for the
Tenth Annual Cultural Studies Association Meeting, to be held at the
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA,March 28-April 1, 2012

(1) Environmental Commodification
In keeping with the conference theme of “Culture Matters,” papers are
solicited for one session addressing “environmental commodification.” The
production of material culture necessarily engages use of the physical
environment. But especially since the environmental movement gained
popularity in the 1960s, we have seen the rise of environmental
commodification in the form of products and marketing designed to sell the
environment in the form of consumer goods, whether they be “green products”
such as hemp clothing or “natural” products (e.g. cosmetics, scented
candles, furniture) intended to make you feel you are bringing the
environment into your home. In this session, we want to critically examine
products, practices and discourses engaged in the material commodification
of the environmental at any scale and in any location.

(2) Materiality of Places
Places are socially constructed, but in many cases they are also materially
produced through architecture, landscaping, or the intentional placement of
objects. This session will look specifically about the role of
materiality—rather than the organization of space itself—in the production
of places: choices of design, manufacture, materials, textures, colors and
objects as signs used in the production of place, intentionally or
otherwise. In doing so, this panel aims to explore the role that
materiality plays in the production of place and, in turn, on social
relations and cultural understanding.

Persons interested in submitting papers for consideration in either session
should send the following:
• A 500-word abstract for your paper
• Name, email address, phone number, institutional affiliation, and
• List of audiovisual equipment needed for your presentation, if any.

All materials must be submitted by September 15, 2011.

Contact: Doug Herman, Senior Geographer, Smithsonian National Museum of the
American Indian: (202) 633-8843.


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