ASLE-Affiliated Conferences


We will post here any calls for papers or information on conferences related to ASLE and affiliated organizations, including international groups, ASLE-sponsored panels at other conferences, and ASLE-sponsored off-year symposia.


Calls for Proposals



June 10, 2014. The Work of Wendell Berry: Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment Panel at 2014 SAMLA Convention, 7-9 November, 2014, Atlanta Marriot Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center, Atlanta, Georgia.

The theme for this year’s South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference is Sustainability and the Humanities, and Wendell Berry, environmental activist, farmer, and writer of more than forty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, will be a featured speaker at this 86th annual SAMLA meeting.  From his farm in Henry County, Kentucky, Berry has become a national spokesman for agricultural, ecological, and economic sustainability.  His work highlights the role of the humanities in shaping people’s thinking about living in harmony with the natural world, responding to their particular place, and treating other humans, animals, plants, and the land itself ethically. The occasion of his speaking at SAMLA marks an excellent opportunity for ASLE to further explore as well as to honor his contributions to our understanding of the natural world and our obligations to it.

This session invites papers on any aspect of Berry’s work.  While by no means limited to the following subjects, essays might address the following topics:
•    The connection of Berry’s poetry or fiction to his nonfiction manifestos against corporate industrialism or to his political activism (such as his participation in sit-ins protesting mountaintop removal coal mining).
•    His fiction’s portrayal of shifts in agricultural practices and the rise of agribusiness.
•    His poetic, fictional, and/or nonfiction pleas for localism or devotion to the land.
•    The connection of his poetry or fiction to his nonfiction’s arguments concerning institutionalized religion’s role in environmental exploitation.
•    The intersection of his work with that of other writers.
•    Teaching his poetry, fiction, and/or nonfiction.

By June 10, 2014, please send a 300-word abstract along with a brief bio and A/V requirements to Rebecca L. Godwin, Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment SAMLA liaison, at


Deadline Extended: June 20, 2014.  Ecocritical Perspectives on Cities: Midwest MLA (MMLA) Associated Organizations Panel sponsored by The Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment.  The 56th Annual MMLA Convention will be held in Detroit, Michigan at the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton from November 13-16, 2014.

In response to the 2014 MMLA conference theme "The Lives of Cities," this panel seeks papers that explore “the lives of cities” from an ecocritical perspective.  Some possible topics include, but are not limited to: literary or filmic representations of urban nature; recent trends in urban / suburban ecology (such as urban farming); cities’ responses to natural disasters; the rhetoric of urban sustainability; environmental justice in urban settings; the role of the humanities in urban sustainability; and teaching ecocriticism in urban settings.

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract including a paper title to Dr. Lisa Ottum at by June 20.


August 20, 2014. SEA-ASLE Roundtable in Early American Animal Studies. Roundtable at the SEA-OIEAHC (The Society of Early Americanists and Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture) Joint Conference, Chicago, June 18-21, 2015.  In recent years, Animal Studies has gained increasing prominence among literature scholars, particularly among those working in the environmental humanities. This roundtable invites early American considerations of non-human animals, broadly conceived. We welcome papers that examine literary or visual texts as well as material artifacts.

We seek exciting work and work-in-progress that would benefit from presentation in a roundtable format. Recognizing that discussion among roundtable participants and between participants and the audience members can yield productive results, we seek abstracts of projects that could be presented briefly (say, five to ten minutes) and that would benefit from cross-pollinations.

Please submit to Lauren LaFauci ( an abstract of the work you would present (ca. 100 words) and a brief scholarly biography or abbreviated c.v. by August 20th.

Note: This roundtable will be the official panel of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) at SEA and is guaranteed a spot on the program. Interested roundtable participants need not be members of ASLE to present at the ASLE-sponsored SEA panel, but all conference participants must be members of SEA. For more information on ASLE, please see For more information on the SEA-OIEAHC conference, please see


September 30, 2014. Waste Matters: Environmental Pollution and Materiality.  ASLE-Sponsored panel proposed for the Northeast Modern Language Association 46th Annual Convention, Toronto, Ontario, April 30-May 3, 2015.
Literary, filmic, and artistic media are littered with representations of environmental pollution and waste, whether in accounts of catastrophe and crisis or in stories of scavenging and survival. From e-waste shipped from the U.S. to China and Africa, to trash salvaged by cartoneros in Central and South America, to nuclear and oil spill contamination spread across the globe, to trash accumulated in space, waste increasingly appears in literature, film, and visual arts not simply as a symbol of the abject but as a material force shaping contemporary life. This seminar seeks to facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation about how writers and other artists represent pollution and waste as material concerns. Participants might address questions such as:

How have varied cultural and historical contexts shaped understandings of pollution and waste as material concerns? How was pollution understood materially prior to the emergence of this terminology in the mid-nineteenth century, and prior to the twentieth-century environmental movement? How does the original notion of pollution as moral contamination continue to inform discourse on material waste?

How is the materiality of environmental pollution understood in relation to social justice? How have the social meanings and material impacts of waste been mapped onto marginalized populations? Who or what controls the production of knowledge—and of uncertainty—regarding pollution and waste?

To what extent are pollution and waste depicted as “vital” actants (Jane Bennett 2010) or “violent” social forces (Rob Nixon 2011)? How are they perceived on the micro-scale of the particle, via the everyday experience of the body, or through a macro-view of the planet? How are human bodies, nonhuman nature, and waste understood as interrelational agents?

What kinds of affective or aesthetic responses do pollution and waste invite, facilitate, or foreclose? How do writers and other artists engage audiences aesthetically, affectively, and critically in their representations of pollution and waste?

This session will be a seminar with pre-circulated papers, short presentations, and discussion if we have 5-10 participants, or a traditional panel if we have 3-4 participants. Please submit 300-500 word abstracts on the NeMLA website by 9/30/14: Contact Jill Gatlin (jill.gatlin at with any other inquiries.


Conferences of Interest