Listening, Attuning

What does listening hold?
What holds listening?

How might listening be an act of compassion, a notice of refusal, a way to learn what is enough?
How can we attune though bodies, extended in and across other bodies of difference?

From 23 May – 1 June 2022, the FEELed Lab convened the first (hopefully annual!) Feminist Environmental Humanities Summer Symposium intensive – a week and a half of online lectures, seminars, workshops and discussions on this year’s theme: “Listening, Attuning.”

Is your body an enchantment technology?
Is your body a transit vessel? For what?

Gathering from many pockets of the globe (Canada, Australia, South Africa, Panama, UK, Finland, Portugal, US, and Taiwan) 15 participants, 2 facilitators, and 4 guest lecturers explored listening and attunement as methodological orientations within a field we might loosely call feminist (anticolonial, queer, crip) environmental humanities. Focusing less on the world as research object and more on our relationships to more-than-human worlds, we wondered how acts of listening and attunement might unsettle structures of colonialism, challenge heteropatriarchal understandings of environmentalism and conservation, and enlist our sensate bodies in ethical, epistemological and political world-making practices – even and especially when “to world-make” might mean to offer care, to be still, to slow down, to withdraw, or to orient ourselves otherwise.

What is the inscription of sound on the body?
How do we respect protocols without appropriating them?

Some of the goals of this symposium included fostering accessible community for researchers in feminist environmental humanities (including those without official institutional affiliations); exploring and advancing collective thinking and practice in relation to listening and attunement; and providing opportunity for participants to speak and think about their own projects in a supportive and collective context.

This is a space of not-knowing.
Listening is very difficult. Listening is uncomfortable and unsettling.

With lectures and workshops from Janelle Baker (Athabasca University); AM Kanngieser, (Marie
Curie Fellow and Sound Artist), Camila Marambio (Ensayos) and Ariel Bustamante, and seminar facilitation by Laura McLauchlan (UNSW) and Astrida Neimanis (UBC Okanagan and FEELed Lab), we found the intimacy of ZOOM rooms and maybe something like magic.

other language
a place to collect things

No proper outputs, no proper objects. Instead we carry everything back into the world, to become something else.

Thank you: Aaniyah, Anastasia, Amer, Ariel, Camila, Dani, Fei, Janelle, Joanne, K-Haw, Kiki, Laura, Lyb, Madi, Mar, Margarida, Mel, Olga, Renyu, Satu. You are all magic.

An open notebook with some doodles and writing, set on the ground of twigs, sticks and leaves.
“FEELed notes” by Olga Koroleva

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