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Wilderness, & Place

Interdisciplinary and Cross- Cultural Dialogues

The 2024 Annual Conference of Research Center for Nature, Wilderness, and Civilization (NWC)

Jul 10, 2024, 7:00 PM
Suzhou News Mansion

​Call For Proposals 

Important Dates

  • Conference Dates: July 10-14, 2024

  • Format: Virtual/In person combined

  • First round Submission Deadline: Feb. 29, 2024

  • Notification of Acceptance: Mar. 15, 2024

  • Second round submission Deadline: Mar. 31, 2024

  • Notification of acceptance: Apr.15, 2024

  • Registration Due: Jun. 1, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

The organizing committee of "Nature, Wilderness, and Places: Interdisciplinary and Cross Cultural Dialogues" and the 2024 Annual Conference of Research Center for Nature, Wilderness, and Civilization (NWC) invites interdisciplinary scholars, researchers, educators, artists, philosophers, environmentalists, conservationists, and practitioners in a variety of fields to submit proposals for individual presentations, workshops, panels, and poster presentations that address the intricate relationships among nature, wilderness, and places. The conference will take place over five days in two spaces: the NWC Metaverse Space and the Soochow News Mansion in China. The conference is co-hosted by the Center for Environmental Philosophy (CEP) in the USA, the Cape Horn International Center (CHIC) in Chile, and the Research Center for Nature, Wilderness, and Civilization (NWC) in China.

The study of "place" is a fundamental and enduring topic that has captured the attention of environmental philosophers, humanists, anthropologists, geographers, and scholars in a variety of closely related fields for generations. The term "place" encompasses not only biophysical and geographical dimensions, but also weaves complex narratives of human connection, belonging, and identity that reverberate across cultures and societies, imbuing the plural form of place, "places," rich biocultural diversity. The dynamic interactions between human communities and their surroundings produce evolving and complex survival strategies that are deeply rooted in the ecological and cultural contexts of particular places and habitats. These strategies reflect the adroit ways in which societies adapt to their environments in response to the unique challenges and opportunities presented by their geographic locations and habitats. The intersection of place and environment is not limited to the practical realm of survival, but extends into the realm of symbolism and attachment through cultural landscapes, a deep sense of rootedness, and the shades of human existence and experience. While researchers and practitioners delve into the rich meaning of Place, they unravel the stories of the past and provide invaluable insights into the complex and evolving dynamics that continue to shape our living spaces and planet today.

In practice, the understanding of the concept of nature and wilderness varies enormously from one ethnic group to another and from one region to another, due to differences in geospatial and cultural tradition. These understandings have led to different senses of place that have directly catalyzed and shaped a range of eco-cultural practices, including the creation of permanent wilderness reserves, biocultural conservation/restoration, ecotourism, permaculture, rewilding, and the creation of various types of heritage sites such as gardens, agro-cultural sites, urban eco- cultural venues, and re-purposed industrial landscapes, to name just a few. Rewilding, for example, as an ecological restoration strategy, aims to restore and revitalize the natural balance and biodiversity of a place by reintroducing native species, allowing natural processes to unfold and reducing human intervention. In the process, rewilding not only restores the ecological integrity of a place, but also promotes a new understanding of the unique natural heritage of a particular site. As rewilding efforts progress, they can generate a profound sense of "place" that is not only ecologically vibrant but also culturally significant, reaffirming the vital link between humans and the landscapes they inhabit.

In an era characterized by rapid urbanization and socio-environmental challenges, most of the world's people live in urbanized environments and in landscapes that have been transformed by human societies. People's relationship with nature, wilderness and places has never been more complex, as people seem to be separated from nature and wilderness, yet aspire to be connected to nature and wilderness within the places they inhabit. This complexity is affecting environmental practices across the places. This conference aims to promote a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between the natural world as well as people's sense of place. The organizing committee encourages submissions that explore the following related themes:

  • Philosophical, Historical, and Cultural Perspectives

    • Nature, Wilderness and Place in Western Philosophy

    • Place and Wilderness in American Transcendentalism and Chinese Philosophy

    • Indigenous Knowledge and Wilderness

    • Wilderness and Place in Ecocriticism and Environmental Philosophy

    • Environmental History and Heritage: Place, Memory and Meaning

    • Cross-cultural Understanding of Nature, Wilderness and Place

    • Define the Concept of Wilderness in the Context of Asian-Pacific Culture

    • The Concept of Place in Field Environmental Philosophy and Biocultural Ethics

    • The Concept of Place in South American Philosophy

  • Perspectives of Spatial Philosophy

    • Spatial Justice in City, Countryside, and Wilderness

    • Wilderness and Place

    • Metaverse and Place

    • Metaverse and Environmental Humanities

    • Metaverse and Wilderness

    • Digital Space and Human Experience of Place

  • Perspectives in Ecological Practices

    • Wilderness and National Parks

    • Wilderness and Ecological Design

    • The Practice of Rewilding

    • Outdoor Recreation and Ecotourism

    • Wilderness Education

    • Place-Based Biocultural Conservation and Restoration

    • Ecology in Urban Landscape Architecture

  • Aesthetic Perspectives

    • Aesthetics of Farming

    • Food Aesthetics

    • Aesthetics of Biodiversity in Cities

    • Wilderness Aesthetics and Nature Conservation in the Metaverse

    • Environmental aesthetics, ecological aesthetics, and aesthetics of nature

    • Everyday Aesthetics and Environment

    • EcoArts

  • Spirit of China's New Great Northern Wilderness

    • Geographic Concept and Humanistic Connotation of the New Great Northern Wilderness

    • Eco-city construction in the New Great Northern Wilderness

    • The New Great Northern Wilderness and Eco-tourism

    • Environmental Education through the New Great Northern Wilderness

We welcome proposals for:

  • Individual Presentation

  • Panel Session

  • Workshop

  • Poster

Submission Process:

Fill out the submission form and submit to Instructions are also provided at the end of the document.

Registration Fees:

Standard Registration: $ 60

Graduate Student Registration: $ 30

Contact Information:

For inquiries and additional information (such as VISA Application for in-person participants), please contact the conference organizing commottee at


We look forward to your contributions and hope to have a meaningful dialogue with you on these vital topics. Please feel free to distribute this Call for Proposal in your relevant networks.

Conference Committee 

Danqiong Zhu

Center for Environmental Philosophy, Cape Horn International Center (Chile)

Shan Gao

NWC founder, Soochow University

Gene Hargrove

Center for Environmental Philosophy

George James

University of North Texas

Ricardo Rozzi

Center for Environmental Philosophy, Cape Horn International Center (Chile)

Qionglin Tan

The Center for Gary Snyder Studies, Shanghai University of Financial & Economics

Allen Thompson

Chief editor of Environmental Ethics

Oregon State University




09:00 - 09:15am

Opening Remarks

Day 1

02:00 - 03:40pm 

Afternoon Session A

09:15 - 10:00am

Keynote Speech

03:40 - 04:00pm

Coffee Break

10:00 - 10:20am

Coffee Break

04:00 - 05:40pm

Afternoon Session B

10:20 - 12:20am

07:00 - 10:00pm

Workshop 1

Morning Session


Evening Drinks


Host Organizations

Q CEP Logo.png

Center For Environmental Philosophy

Afternoon Session B


Nature, Wilderness, & Civilization









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