Calling PhD researchers and early post-docs: colloquium & research storytelling on convivial conservation/human-wildlife interactions, 13-14 Sep 2022

On 14 September 2022, the CONVIVA – convivial conservation research project will be hosting a colloquium for PhD and early post-doc researchers working on issues related to convivial conservation and human-wildlife interactions. Nine participants will have the opportunity to present a manuscript/PhD chapter and get feedback at the colloquium and from an academic mentor. In addition, they will receive storytelling training to present ‘convivial tales’ on the eve of the colloquium (13 September 2022). The call for participants is below and here as a PDF – please apply/share far and wide!

Call for Participants

Doctoral/early post-doc colloquium & research storytelling on convivial conservation and human-wildlife interactions: 13-14 September 2022

Convivial conservation has been proposed as an alternative approach to transform conservation policy and practice that problematises the global political and economic systems driving biodiversity destruction, and puts justice at the centre of conservation efforts (Büscher and Fletcher, 2019, 2020). The proposal has been engaged with constructively and critically both conceptually and empirically, for example in terms of its ability to include a diversity of knowledges and knowledge holders especially in decolonial or Indigenous settings (Ampumuza, under review; Krauss, 2021; Mabele et al., 2022) as well as the role of narratives within it (Sandroni and Ferraz, 2023). In addition, convivial conservation has been explored in terms of its compatibility with building positive ecological peace (Hsiao, 2022), its capacity to enrich human-wildlife coexistence debates (Fiasco and Massarella, 2022), and its links with more-than-human research (van Bommel & Boonman-Berson, under review; Komi and Nygren, 2021).

The CONVIVA – convivial conservation project will be hosting a doctoral/early post-doc colloquium on convivial conservation and human-wildlife interactions on Wednesday, 14 September 2022, at the University of Sheffield, UK. The colloquium will give advanced doctoral researchers and early post-doctoral researchers the opportunity to present and receive feedback on one specific piece of work (e.g. PhD thesis chapter or paper draft). It will pair an early-career colleague with a more established mentor, who will provide written feedback on their work. In addition, the interdisciplinary group of mentors with expertise and interest in the area of convivial conservation and human-wildlife interactions will provide feedback on the presentation at the colloquium. Preference is for attendance in person, Covid permitting, though hybrid participation in the colloquium will be possible. Participants will also benefit from becoming part of an emerging community of researchers working on themes linked to convivial conservation and human-wildlife interactions.

The academic engagement will be coupled, in the spirit of telling beastly tales which centre more-than-humans and insights from those too rarely heard (Seth, 1999; Mathur, 2021), with a training process on using spoken-word, 10-minute research storytelling, culminating in a showcase on the evening before the colloquium (Tue, 13 September 2022). Benefits of storytelling training include distilling key messages, gaining confidence in one’s own presentation and research, and honing communication skills to connect better with both academic and non-academic audiences (cf. some fuller reflections here). In addition, a video of their story will be made available to each storyteller after the showcase (please see here for examples).

The colloquium is organised jointly by the CONVIVA – convivial conservation research project, the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD) and its Environment and Natural Resources Theme, and the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre based in the Department of Politics at the University of York.

Format: As part of the colloquium, each participant will present a draft manuscript or draft chapter that they are developing for publication. Time will be dedicated to discussion following each presentation. Each participant will also receive advance written feedback from an academic mentor with shared research interests and expertise. In addition, each doctoral/early post-doc participant will commit to being part of a research storytelling process to produce a ‘convivial tales’ storytelling event the evening before the colloquium. The storytelling training process, led by professional storyteller Tim Ralphs, will involve attending two virtual workshops and at least three virtual coaching/rehearsal sessions in the run-up to the showcase, as well as an in-person dress rehearsal.

Eligibility: This colloquium aims to provide mentorship and support to early-career researchers with a focus on convivial conservation and human-wildlife coexistence. Therefore, successful applicants will work in this area of study and usually be advanced PhD researchers who have completed their fieldwork and who have begun drafting their PhD thesis and/or a manuscript for publication, or post-doctoral researchers soon after submission of their thesis.

Questions: If you have any questions, please contact Judith Krauss at j.krauss@sheffield.ac.uk.

Application and Deadline: If you would like to apply, please submit the following information in one Word file by e-mail to j.krauss@sheffield.ac.uk, by 20 May 2022:

  1. A long abstract (up to 500 words) of your manuscript or PhD thesis chapter, incl. references
  2. A short statement (up to 200 words) of why you would like to learn more about research storytelling
  3. A short bio (up to 200 words), incl. your institutional affiliation
  4. Please indicate if you would be attending in person, Covid permitting, or virtually.

Up to nine applicants will be selected to participate. Application results will be announced by early June 2022. Those selected to participate will be required to submit a full draft manuscript or draft chapter of 8,000 – 12,000 words by 14 July 2022.

Funding and Travel Arrangements: The colloquium is funded with the generous support of the CONVIVA – convivial conservation research project through the UK’s Economic and Social Research Fund/NORFACE & Belmont Forum, with logistical support from the Institute for Global Sustainable Development at the University of Sheffield. All travel, visa and accommodation expenses associated with participation in the colloquium will be covered.

Organising Committee: Dan Brockington, Rosaleen Duffy, Judith Krauss

Prospective Mentoring Team: Pete Alagona, Severine van Bommel, Susan Boonman-Berson, Dan Brockington, Bram Büscher, Rosaleen Duffy, Katia Ferraz, Rob Fletcher, George Iordăchescu, Judith Krauss, Teresa Lappé-Osthege, Mathew Bukhi Mabele, Jared Margulies, Kate Massarella, Francis Massé, Megnaa Mehtta, Anja Nygren, Rose Pritchard, Laila Sandroni, Laura Sauls

References

Ampumuza, C. (under review). Living with gorillas? Lessons from historical convivial relations between the Batwa and gorillas at Bwindi, Uganda.

Büscher, B. & Fletcher, R. (2019). “Towards Convivial Conservation.” Conservation and Society 17 (3):283.

Büscher, B., & Fletcher, R. (2020) The Conservation Revolution: Radical Ideas for Saving Nature Beyond the Anthropocene: Verso Trade.

Fiasco, V. & Massarella, K. (2022). Human-wildlife coexistence: business-as-usual conservation or an opportunity for transformative change? Conservation and Society. DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_26_21

Hsiao, E. (2022). Conviviality in disrupted socionatural landscapes: ecological peacebuilding around Akagera National Park. Conservation and Society. DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_24_21

Komi, S. & Nygren, A. (2021) Bad wolves? Political ecology of responsibility and other-than-human perspectives in human-wolf interactions in Finland. Conference paper, RAI 2021, Anthropology and Conservation. https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/rai2021/paper/62568

Krauss, J. E. (2021). Decolonizing, conviviality and convivial conservation: towards a convivial SDG 15, life on land?. Journal of Political Ecology, 28(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.3008

Mabele, M. B., Krauss, J. E., & Kiwango, W. (2022). Going back to the roots: Ubuntu and socially just conservation in southern Africa. Conservation and Society. DOI:10.4103/cs.cs_33_21

Mathur, N. (2021) Crooked Cats: Beastly Encounters in the Anthropocene. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Sandroni, L. T. & Ferraz, K. (2023). “A hotspot losing its apex predator”: issues at stake on human-jaguar interactions in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Conference paper proposed for Political Ecology Network conference (POLLEN2023).

Seth, V. (1999) Beastly Tales from Here and There. W&N.

Van Bommel, S. & Boonman-Berson, S. (under review). Transforming convivial conservation: towards more-than-human participation in research.