Main Content

"Echoing Ecologies – Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Canadian Studies" / "Les écologies canadiennes et leurs enjeux interdisciplinaires"

Eine Kanadakarte mit den Symbolen für Kanada, Quebec und den Indigenen Kanadas, alle miteinander verknüpft
Bild: Isabelle Wientzek

International conference in Marburg: 22-24 May, 2019

The word ecology appears to be on everyone's lips today, but it is seldom scrutinized. Even though the term stems from biology and was defined as the "study of the economy, of the household, of animal organisms" (which "includes the relationships of animals with both the inorganic and organic environments") by Ernst Haeckel in the 1870s, it seems to be used interchangeably with terms such as 'environment' or 'environmentalism' today. The revisiting and re-evaluation of ecology, (not only) in the broadest and traditional meaning of the term, becomes increasingly pressing today in the context of ideologies, new scientific breakthroughs or backlashes in the fight against global warming, for example.

In 2018, the so called Earth Overshoot Day, which marks the date when humanity has "used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year," ( fell on August 1 –the earliest date so far. This day raises awareness of mankind's position within ecology and, by extension, also ties in with human beings' position in a glocal world. Our conference aims at overcoming simplistic conceptions of 'ecology' and at exploring the potential of the term as a perspective, vantage point, concept and epistemological approach. As Tucker and Bates stress, "All ecological study is at once multidisciplinary" and such inter-or multidisciplinary study is needed in order to explore contemporary ecological issues. We thus want to transcend the boundaries of disciplines such as Media, Arts and Culture, Economy, Politics, Natural Sciences, Linguistics etc.