Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

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The Greening of Everyday Life: Reimagining Environmentalism in Postindustrial Societies


19.06.2014 – 21.06.2014

Location: The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, Germany.

Conveners: John Meyer (RCC/Humboldt State University) and Jens Kersten (RCC/LMU Munich).



Please click here to see the preliminary program (PDF,  130 KB)

While environmental challenges, including climate change, threaten the very fabric of our lives such that the present course of our societies appears literally unsustainable, ambitious efforts to address these rarely seem to resonate with the everyday concerns and ideas most pressing to citizens in post-industrial societies.

This workshop will focus upon the normative implications of everyday material practices for environmental action. In particular, the workshop will focus on land, transportation, and household practices. In each of these areas, human experience is inextricably interwoven with technology, the built environment, and the nonhuman world. The aim is to approach the political challenges of environmental sustainability by examining these everyday practices and the concerns they foster directly, rather than a more abstract environmental discourse that suggests the need to overcome these concerns.

Analyzing everyday practices invites vital questions about:

  • concepts of property and ownership;
  • the relevance and meaning of citizenship;
  • the character and scope of public and private spheres;
  • the role of new movements;
  • diverse notions of governance;
  • popular understandings of freedom; and
  • understandings of what counts as “the environment” and “environmentalism” in postindustrial societies.

We anticipate that such questions will be the focal point of papers and workshop discussion. Proposals are invited from scholars in the environmental humanities and interpretive social sciences. Papers should centrally address one or more of the three areas (land, transport, or household practices), in order to reimagine or illuminate some aspect of the conceptual framework necessary to foster more sustainable practices. 

Call for Papers (pdf, 234 KB).

Download the conference report (pdf, 391 KB)

Submitted Papers (password protected) for participants only: