Global and all-encompassing human impact has brought along many new types of relations between humans and other biological species. These interactions change animal ecologies but also bring along new forms and aggregations of umwelts (animal personal worlds, after J. v. Uexküll). In this context, human technology both alienates and reconnects — media technologies have created new ways of becoming related with the environment (development of citizen science and augmented realities), and there are new technological capacities for restoring and shaping environments (geoengineering). Correspondingly, the human-animal-environment configurations have a hybrid nature: they are based on ecological relations, make use of the technologies and artificial environments and at the same time are represented and framed by human culture.
Achieving better knowledge on the dynamics and expressions of “hybrid natures” is essential for mitigating environmental conflicts and enhancing biodiversity in environments under human impact. The aim of the conference is to exchange knowledge on various manifestations of hybrid natures as well as to elaborate suitable research methods in ecosemiotics and beyond in other environmental humanities. Semiotics appears to have good potential for developing methods with prognostic value — for instance, analyzing umwelts and communication for estimating what species can reach stable co-existence and what adjustments may be needed for new natures to persist.
Nathalie Blanc (CNRS / Université Paris Diderot -Paris 7, France)– “At the crossroads of senses and meaning, socio-environmental communities”
Morten Tønnessen (University of Stavanger, Norway) - “Current human ecology in light of Umwelt theory”
Kati Lindström (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) - “Generating value in protection policies: Challenge of the Anthropocene entanglements”
Possible topics for contributions include, but are not limited to:
new types of interactions in interspecies relations;
semiotics of techno-natures;
human-induced changes in animal umwelts;
changes of human perception in hybrid environments;
recognizing and reacting to environmental change;
methodologies for studying hybrid natures;
semiotics of multispecies environments