States of Matter – Joint EnviroAnt and HOLB Networks Conference and Workshop

We are pleased to announce the first joint conference and workshop of the two EASA Networks: Humans and Other Living Beings (HOLB) and Environmental Anthropology (EnviroAnt).

12-13 October 2023, Edinburgh University, Scotland

Please send your 200-word abstract and a short 50-word bio to the emails  and by 15 May 2023.

The event focuses on the theme of States of Matter with panels on: Solid/Earth, Liquid/Water, Gas/Air. Each thematic area provides an open theoretical-material space to explore the intersections between the physical matter of the environment and the beings that inhabit it. The conceptual openness of the foci is intended to provide a creative arena for the interaction of diverse research orientations and interests. They relate to the interests of the networks, and departments at University of Edinburgh, as well as relevant scientific conversations in Europe and beyond.

This event provides a forum for anthropologists and activists to explore these themes and related questions through bringing their different approaches and experiences into conversation. With its cross-sectorial scope, the event hopes to foster collaborations between participants from different backgrounds, develop the interdisciplinary perspectives of environmental and multi-species anthropology.  Each of the states of matter are explored by a thematic keynote lecture followed by 10-12 min presentations plus questions, and extended discussions. Panels will be followed by workshops, designed to enable practical engagement with the physical matter of solids, liquids, and gases to complement our theoretical discussions. We are planning a face-to-face and in-situ event.

Panel descriptions


On many levels, environmental anthropology is “earth-bound”. The discipline has long been concerned with the ways that humans modify, use, and inhabit our environments in concert with other beings. Far from a mere backdrop on which humans project culture, the earth itself might be seen as an active participant in shaping human biocultural relations. This first panel broadly explores the dynamic interrelationships between humans and the land. It considers the qualities of solidity and immobility, fluid landscapes and complex socio-ecological assemblages emerging over time. The panel hopes to feature reflections on these themes grounded in an exploration of multispecies agency and biocultural hope. 

Please click here for the full description and suggested themes of this panel.


Air, the atmospheric, and beings in a gaseous state are topics that are most easy to overlook in the ways we think about the environment. As a state of matter, air/gas is part of our most intimate, internal nature, but it is also an interface that connects us with other beings at many scales, from the breath and exaltations we share with others in daily lives and routines, to the atmosphere that connects us on a global level. This panel broadly explores narratives and logics of gaseous control, infrastructure, and change.

Please click here for the full description and suggested themes of this panel.


Water provides a compelling challenge for the humanities and social sciences, with its liquid state resisting the solid certainties of earthbound thinking, and the inhospitability of aquatic environments for those evolved to live on land. However, increasing overabundance and scarcity of water in a changing climate poses an imperative to grapple with the diversity of ways in which humans and other beings inhabit watery worlds, and how we might do so in the future. Thinking beyond just water, the panel invites reflections on the role that other liquids might play in interspecies and human-environment relationships. 

Please click here for the full description and suggested themes of this panel.

We welcome contributions from within anthropology and related disciplines. Please send a title, a 200-word abstract and a 50-word bio by 15 May 2023 to the emails and

This event is organised by the Environment and Anthropology Network (EnviroAnt) and Humans And Other Living Beings Network (HOLB) of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA).

For more information, please visit the websites and

We look forward to receiving your abstracts. 

Kind regards

Alexandra, Cormac and Katrine, Convenors of EnviroAnt Network

Anibal, Giovanna and Olea, Convenors of HOLB Network. 


  • Good day,

    I see it is planned as an on-site panel, still, I would like to know whether it is possible to participate online.

    Thanks and best wishes,
    Janina Hahne

  • The event is planned as an in-person workshop but we are aware that we should be prepared to accommodate regular participants with extraordinary circumstances. Presenters, however, are requested to submit proposals for in-person attendance. Thank you.

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