Call for Proposals: Special Session, Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting. 25-29 May 2020, University of Victoria
The social world of wildfires in Canada
Co-organizers: Heidi Walker (PhD Candidate, University of Saskatchewan) and Alex Zahara (PhD Candidate, Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Wildfires are not just ecological processes– they are also profoundly social. In recent years, major wildfire events have deeply affected communities and governments worldwide, including Australia, the United States, and Canada. As anthropogenic climate change contributes to the increasingly unpredictable and dynamic nature of such hazards, there is a growing need to understand how the social dimensions of wildfires and their management impact the wellbeing of forests and the communities living with and supported by them. In Canada, wildfire—and responses to wildfire—are shaped by, and become layered onto, existing local and regional political, economic, and social landscapes. Governance structures, wildfire policy and management, ongoing settler colonialism, and gendered norms and expectations intersect in complex ways to result in diverse experiences of, and responses to, wildfire within and across communities of expertise. Without attention to such issues, adaptation measures and wildfire management strategies risk reinforcing existing social inequalities at the local level. This session brings together a variety of social science perspectives (e.g. hazards research, human dimensions of wildfire, Science and Technology Studies, more-than-human geography, political ecology, Indigenous studies) and case studies to advance our understanding of complex social dimensions of wildfire in Canada. In doing so, it aims to identify emerging strategies for inclusive, justice-oriented governance and wildfire management as governments and communities continue to live with, and plan for, fire in the future
DEADLINE EXTENDED: 15 March 2020, submit via conference portal.