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CFP: Eco-Images: Altering Environmental Discussions and Political Landscapes

2011 July 19
by smonani

Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

A picture is worth a thousand words – especially when it depicts the natural environment. Images have played a prominent role in environmental discussions for years; pictures, paintings, and photographs have often been used to influence public opinion and advance political discussion. While the impact of oil paintings on the perception of land during the eighteenth and nineteenth century has been investigated to a certain extent, this workshop aims to subject the role of twentieth century images in diverse national campaigns to critical consideration. Papers should examine the role of images in shaping environmental discourses by analyzing the effect of photographs, printed photograph collections, newspaper images, and magazines as well as exhibitions or graphics (posters and logos) on environmental debates.

The workshop will analyze the impact of “eco-images” by discussing the history of their perception and influence. Papers should establish the connection between visual formats and public environmental awareness; case studies on images, specifically those not extensively covered in academic literature or those that examine Asian, African, and South American contexts, are especially encouraged.

The workshop will engage with the following questions:

– How have visual strategies endorsed conservationist and/or environmental perceptions?

– How have eco-images helped environmental issues enter and influence political discussions?

– Is it possible to measure the pictorial influence on public opinion/political bodies/legislation?

– Which common global icons have been adopted by environmental campaigns?

– Can certain images be linked to specific national contexts?

– How have national perceptions of nature impacted visual rhetoric?

– How has the implementation of environmental images changed during the twentieth century?

Detailed abstracts (600-800 words) for papers and a short CV should be submitted by email no later than October 15, 2011 to and

Applications and papers must be written in English. Successful participants will be notified by November 15, 2011. ├é┬áDiscussions at the workshop will be based on pre-circulated papers (about 10 pages) which will be due on February 15, 2012. The best essays will be considered for publication in the Rachel Carson Center’s Perspectives series. Travel and accommodation costs will be reimbursed by the organizers.

For further information on organizational issues please contact:

Julia Staudinger at


The Rachel Carson Center is a joint initiative of LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum and is generously supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

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