Call for proposals: Critical Autoethnography 2020

Where: Brisbane, Australia

When: 7-9th July 2020

“We need stories (and theories) that are just big enough to gather up the complexities and keep the edges open and greedy for surprising new and old connections” writes Haraway (2015, p. 160) and in 2020, the CAE conference is inspired by Haraway’s catch cry “We are all compost” to begin this process. Composting happens as (in)organic materials encounter, across time, and within shifting contexts and circumstances. A cycle of decay? A recycling within systems? An upcycling of renewal and growth? Literally and metaphorically, compost invites care(ful) engagement with praxis of relationalities, unexpected combinations, and becoming-with/making-kin in liminal spaces. We are interested in the ways that critical autoethnography might embrace, embody and enact the most urgent and pressing needs of global and environmental activism to work towards “multi-species justice”. Adding and turning over the terms such as capitalocene, plantationocene, Anthropocene and Chthulucene might be considered as the matters that matter most as we seek to compost critical autoethnography and make sense of the call to our response-abilities in “making kin and kind” as activist researchers. We welcome presentations and performative work grounded in and nurtured by new materialist, post-human and more-than human thinking and wondering. We encourage duo, collaborative and virtual collective presentations which embrace the spirit of making kin that endures over long times and short times, near and far places, and seek to restore a sense of balance between those who have less and those who have more.

Submissions might consider the following provocations:

  1. What is the labour of compost making theoretically, metaphorically and literally in critical autoethnography?

  2. How can critical autoethnography be a form of “composting” our words, worlds and our being-in-relation with them?

  3. What possibilities do the “humus-ities” hold for a response-able critical autoethnography?

  4. What response-abilities do we have as critical autoethnographers in making kin and kind for multi-species justice?

  5. How can the activist critical autoethnographer repair failed compost, or how do we know when our work is b*sh#t or compost?

  6. What elements do we add to composting critical autoethnography to reconstitute ourselves and our theories to align for a situated flourishing?

Please note: In the Haraway-ian and CAE spirit of “making kin”, we will limit participants to 40 once more in 2020 to continue the intimate, collaborative, connective and community-building work of “making sessions”.

Submission process

Please submit your name, title, institution and a 150-word abstract for individual or group presentations of papers, performances, digital works, movement-based and;/or sound-based work by 6 March, 2020 to: All conference submissions will be peer reviewed and participants will be notified by 27 March, 2020. Only prepared presentations will be programmed.

Download the flier: CAE2020 CFP_Turning the compost

Download information on the pre-conference workshop: Haraway pre-conference workshop_CAE2020

For updates, community and more information, visit the Critical Autoethnography Facebook page.

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