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Welcome to the 2021 ISSRNC online conference - Religion and Environment: Relations and Relationality.
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Sunday, February 28 • 10:00am - 10:45am
Tending to All (Academic and Political) Relations During (Socio-Ecological) Collapse

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(LIVE conversation with presenters. Please watch session beforehand.)

How do ongoing social-ecological reorganizations and looming collapse impact relationality between disciplines in the Academy, and between the Academy and larger social-ecological world? This panel will address the conference theme of relationality through the context of changing climates, ecologies, educations, policies, social structures, and norms. We examine relationality and collapse through the adaptive cycle of resilience, looking specifically at the moments of shifting from Exploitation to Conservation, into Release and Reorganization. What does relationality mean given this inevitable reorganization trajectory upon which we tread? Each panelist will discuss where they think we (a global bio-ecological community, an Academy, and a field of scholarship) are within the adaptive cycle, and address the need for deeper relational integration within the Academy across disciplines; and between the Academy and society (and thus ecologies of place) at large.

Chair: Todd LeVasseur

For panel chair Dr. Todd LeVasseur, academic relationality must be geared towards responding to release and reorganization. Pulling on the anti-racism work of Dr. Ibram Kendi, Dr. LeVasseur argues academics must move from being public scholars, to actively undertaking public scholarship. This scholarship must be in service of biocultural sustainability, and religion and nature scholars have a key role to play in this. Yet we must also challenge how the Academy has been, and continues to be complicit with, Settler Colonialisms and social-ecological destruction. Here we must ask deeper questions of our students in the classroom; and our colleagues across disciplines, in various contexts, in service of creating resilient responses to collapse.

Richard Carp

For panelist Dr. Richard Carp, the Academy is fundamentally destructive of social-ecological resilience. Dr. Carp argues the need for a fundamentally transformed paradigm of (higher) education intended to integrate persons individually, socially, culturally, and ecologically, transforming the relationships and the patterns of relationships that characterize the Academy. "It is not disciplines that need to be integrated with one another, but we who need to become integrated as human beings." A transformed Academy would be characterized by deep participation in places, multi-generational learning, embedded values of gratitude and humility, decentering Western culture and (white) male authority. Undertaking this transformation requires academics to enter into new relationships while exiting many existing ones. It is political and economic as well as existential, and includes substantial personal risk accepted on behalf of the larger community of beings within which we reside. It accepts that something is truthful only to the extent that it contributes to the long term resilience of the social-ecological pattern, which is the final judge of our knowledge proposals.

Garrett Boudinot

Panelist Dr. Garrett Boudinot is a multidisciplinary climate change researcher, with publications and ongoing projects in geological and climate science, philosophy of science, and the study of religion, nature, and culture. Dr. Boudinot has experience building relationality between disciplines, and particularly between the climate and environmental-focused natural sciences (geology, chemistry, Earth history) and the humanities (religious studies, philosophy), while also pushing to build relationality between such research and the broader community through policy and outreach. Dr. Boudinot will speak to the guiding frameworks of the adaptive cycle through the lens of the Academy as well as climate and environmental sciences, in regards to how they relate to broader ongoing social and environmental changes. Case studies will provide further exploration of what building relationality looks like "on the ground" - identifying barriers that stem from historical and cultural developments in the Academy and society, as well as opportunities for growth and improvements that researchers, educators, and interested scholars can use to tend to relationality.

Greg Cajete

Dr. Greg Cajete (Santa Clara Pueblo) is a Professor of Native American Studies and Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Cajete earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from New Mexico Highlands University with majors in both Biology and Sociology and a minor in Secondary Education. He received his Masters of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in Adult and Secondary Education. He received his Ph.D. from International College – Los Angeles New Philosophy Program in Social Science Education with an emphasis in Native American Studies.

avatar for Todd LeVasseur

Todd LeVasseur

Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences and Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Director, College of Charleston

avatar for Richard Carp

Richard Carp

Retired, Appalachian State University
avatar for Garrett Boudinot

Garrett Boudinot

Research Associate, Cornell University
avatar for Greg Cajete

Greg Cajete

Professor of Native American Studies and Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies, University of New Mexico
Gregory Cajete, Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of indigenous knowledge in education. Dr. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has served as a New Mexico Humanities scholar in ethno botany of Northern New Mexico... Read More →

Sunday February 28, 2021 10:00am - 10:45am MST
Online (Live)