CFP: Toward a Sustainable Attitude: Aesthetics, the Arts, and the Environment

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Date(s): 18. March – 31. March


Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy, Oct 6–08, 2022

Deadline: Mar 31, 2022


> “Toward a Sustainable Attitude: Aesthetics, the Arts, and the Environment”

> Venice, 6-8 October 2022 (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Aula Magna Ca’ Dolfin, ITALY)


> Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (IT), New York University Tandon (USA), University of Bern (CH)

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE > Roberta Dreon, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (IT); Carolina Fernandez Castrillo, Universidad Carlos III Madrid (ES); Diego Mantoan, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (IT); Peter Schneemann, Universität Bern (CH); Jonathan Soffer, NYU Tandon (USA).

The conference is set to investigate sustainability challenges confronting the world from a philosophical and artistic perspective to overcome the indeterminateness of the term sustainability and its multi-faceted nature, which unfortunately falls prey to contrasting world views. So far, the crisis has been addressed primarily with solutions based on technological innovation, rather than those that require significant changes in attitude and conceptual frameworks. The failure of inspiring behavioural change through rigorous scientific communication increasingly fostered interest in the relationship between aesthetics, art, and sustainability, which offers new forms of knowledge production and human action that complement necessary legislative developments and shared international policies.

The background of the conference lies in the problematic of concepts such as ‘world’ and ‘environment’, as well as in the opposition between ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’. Considering how human transformations of the Earth system and the climate crisis definitively question the culture/nature and natural sciences/humanities dichotomies, as well as their underlying epistemological paradigms, the conference will explore the theoretical and procedural implications of connecting aesthetics and art to sustainability. Two aspects shall be explored particularly, the first one related to the way sustainability is sensed and understood in different cultural and social contexts, the other one to the way artists may contribute to the debate on sustainability at an experiential and conceptual level. Hence, the conference wants to become a privileged occasion to reflect on the philosophical and artistic contribution to the discourse and practices of sustainability, such as to emerge as favourable drivers of behavioural change.

Proposals for the conference are open to scholars from the entire spectrum of the humanities, ranging from philosophy to art history, from public to environmental humanities. Conceived as a multi-disciplinary conference, the framework will be grounded on four principal research strains: philosophical inquiry, sustainability practices, ethics and aesthetics, artistic contributions. For the full call for proposals please visit the conference website ( The concept of the conference is based on the fieldwork done in art and sustainability at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice over a period of eight years, especially by means of the Sustainable Art Prize founded by Sustainable Ca’ Foscari at the art fair of ArtVerona and the subsequent public art projects developed in Venice. Conference partners are Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, New York University Tandon and University of Bern. The conference is organised and funded by Ca’ Foscari’s Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities at the Department of Humanities, Sustainable Ca’ Foscari and the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage.

If you are interested in submitting a speech proposal (30min), please write an abstract in English of no more than 3.000 characters (spaces included) together with the provisional title and a short biographical note (max 1.500 characters, spaces included). The organisers will favour proposals that engage explicitly with the conference topics exploring the philosophical and artistic dimension of sustainability. The accepted language is English.

Conference proceedings will be published in a peer reviewed as well as open-access volume in the aftermath, thus some of the proposals might be considered for publication. The presence of young scholars is particularly welcome, such that some places will be reserved for PhD candidates and post-Docs. All materials should be sent by March 31, 2022, via email to the organisers ( with subject matter “Proposal: Toward a Sustainable Attitude”. According to budget limits and financial regulations of Italian university law, selected speakers will be provided with accommodation and/or travel expenses in Venice over the conference days.