This is a first announcement for the June 2017 international conference organised by the Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. The full call for papers and organised sessions will be available in September 2016.
The Value of Life: Measurement, Stakes, Implications
Wageningen, The Netherlands
28-30 June 2017
How to properly conceive of, value, measure, sustain and improve on ‘life’ – in its myriad forms and at a range of scales – is becoming an increasingly profound concern in the 21st century. In this age of computing and other significant technological advances, intensified measures of quantification are enabling us to identify and capitalise on new insights into countless dimensions of ‘life’ that had previously escaped our awareness and comprehension. Wary of the implications of this, however, others argue for a need to move away from quantification entirely to refocus on the qualitative conditions under which ‘life’ – human and/or nonhuman – is best sustained. Our conference aims to engage with this debate, asking what is at stake in contestations over appropriate standards for measuring and valuing ‘life’? How is ‘life’ variously categorized and defined in such different systems of measure? What are the oppositions, trade-offs, and potential complementarities between quantitative and qualitative assessments?
The conference will enable interaction among scholars in the social and natural sciences, practitioners, members of civil society and policymakers with interests in the politics of ‘life’ writ large. A variety of session formats will be invited, including traditional paper presentation sessions, artistic performances, roundtable discussions, posters, etc. Sessions that bring together participants from different fields and backgrounds (e.g., the natural and the social sciences; civil society, policymakers and scholars; etc.) are especially encouraged.
Conference website: https://centreforspaceplacesociety.wordpress.com/2017-conference/
The Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) brings together researchers from three Wageningen University (WUR) chair groups – Cultural Geography (GEO), Rural Sociology (RSO) and Sociology of Development Change (SDC) – and beyond to advance critical-constructive scholarship within the social sciences. Our particular focus is on issues of socio-spatial and environmental justice. In investigating dynamics of spatial and social rootedness, connections, and circulations, with special attention to questions of inequality, exclusion, difference and plurality, CSPS seeks to translate knowledge into practical action in pursuit of a more just and equitable world.