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
March 15, 2014. After Loss, After Despair: Environmental Literature, Memorialization, and Futurity: ASLE-Sponsored Panel at 2015 MLA Convention, 8–11 January, 2015, Vancouver, BC.
Environmentalism must consider loss while also looking forward: we mourn the environmental changes and losses that have already occurred, mitigate those that are upon us, and work to prevent those in the future. Firmly entrenched in the Anthropocene, though, our environmental future appears very bleak. Apocalyptic visions abound, and grief, anger, and even despair pervade the many arenas of environmental discourse. Yet the danger of despair is the very absence of hope that defines it and threatens to quell enactments of alternative futures. How do we move forward, then, when material ecological changes—losses—also bring about cultural and individual psychic changes patterned by despair? How might literary representations of material losses help us politicize despair? Timothy Morton has given us a theory of “dark ecology” and Rob Nixon has more recently asked us to consider “slow violence,” but how do we grieve horrific ecological changes that evade easy representation and span beyond readily imagined temporal periods? In what ways can grief, memory, and memorialization drive visions and enactments of alternative futures?
This panel invites papers that examine environmental literature and media as a site for memorializing environmental loss, cataloguing and combatting despair, and envisioning viable futures. While by no means limited to these subjects, essays might address:
• Memory, archives, and environmental literature
• Environmentalism & the politics of despair
• Deep time, environmental loss, & memory
• Affect theory & environmentalism
• Environmental elegies & futurity
• Witnessing & the role of the writer-activist
• Material loss & trauma
Please submit a 250-word abstract and brief CV to Clare Echterling, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment MLA Liaison at email@example.com by March 15.
March 15, 2014. Memory, Palimpsests, and American Indian Literature: ASAIL & ASLE Co-Sponsored Panel at 2015 MLA Convention, 8–11 January, 2015, Vancouver, BC. We invite paper proposals that consider the role of palimpsests in American Indian literature on environmental degradation, colonial erasure, and resistance. How might reading changing environments and sacred places, sites of memory, as palimpsests expose histories modified and hidden by colonial discourse and practices? In what ways can literary representation, in invoking the idea of a palimpsest, help negotiate and resist environmental injustice.
March 30, 2014. Affective Habitus: New Environmental Histories of Botany, Zoology and Emotions, 5th ASLEC-ANZ Biennial Conference. Humanities Research Centre, Australia National University, 19-21 June 2014.
Perceptions, values and representations of our relationship with the physical environment have been read anew in the Anthropocene century through the lens of ecocriticsm and affect theory. At present we are witnessing a turn in ecocritical theory to the relevance of empathy, sympathy and concordance, and how these move across flora and fauna; yet ecocriticism has not thorougly considered whether human and non-human affect are reducible to a theory of the emotions. This conference both seeks to refine that turn and to address the interdisciplinary shortcoming, while articulating the expansion of the analysis of the humanities, ecocritically. Invited speakers include Tom Griffiths, Eileen Joy, Michael Marder, John Plotz, Elspeth Probyn, Ariel Salleh, Will Steffen and Gillen D'Arcy Wood.
Areas for consideration include:
-Archives, encyclopaedias and images of the natural world
-Cultural studies: art, dance, film, literature, music, new media, photography, theatre
-Ecocriticism and Critical Animal Studies: theory and practice of empathy
-Emotions and the environment: learned feelings and historical variability
-Europa Terra Australis: adaptation and heritage; continuities and disjunctions
-Mappae mundi: emotional geographies and territories of affect
-Open to others: More-than-human worlds in non-western spaces
-Renaissance emotions: animals, minerals, plants
-Studio based inquiry climate change: botany, fauna extinction or fauna migration
-Colonialism: pre-histories and the present
-Environmental history: from the Middle Ages to the present
-Green pedagogy: agency, senses and the lifeworld
-Seeds and seed banks
ASLEC-ANZ membership comprises writers, artists, cinematographers and musicians as well as academics working in and across several areas of the Environmental/Ecological Humanities, including ecocritical literary and cultural studies, environmental history and the history of science, anthropology and ecophilosophy. (You do not need to be a member of ASLEC-ANZ to participate in the conference. But we do offer a very affordable annual membership which we hope you may consider.)
Selected conference papers will be published in the Animal Studies Journal and the Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology.
March 31, 2014. Locating Ecocriticism: Systems, Methodologies, Contexts, ASLE-UKI Postgraduate Conference, 30-31 July 2014, University College Dublin.
Confirmed Keynote Addresses:
Day 1: Dr Sharae Deckard (UCD) and Dr Pablo Mukherjee (Warwick)
Day 2: Mark Cocker and Professor Anne Milne (Toronto)
How does one define a system? Be it an ecosystem, world-system, literary system, colonial system, the term itself, despite implying order, exudes chaos in its infinite iterability. In 2004, Greg Garrard wrote that “no single or simple perspective unites all ecocritics.” It would seem, therefore, that system and ecocritic imply a commonality that diversifies beyond the usual implications of the terms themselves. This conference will therefore investigate how thinking about systems, and thinking systemically, might impact upon green readings of literature. Ecocriticism has at its foundation an awareness of ecological systems, and maintains a keen focus on the myriad ways in which systems of human making depend upon, intersect with, or exploit nature, and how humans are as much a part of nature as plants and other animals, indeed, how nature is produced and produces through a myriad of systems. It is interested in how literature explores the vital relation of people to place and non-human life.
The conference will investigate the ways in which interlaced natural and cultural systems influence, and are influenced by, literary works and criticism. It seeks to open to critique conventional practices and representations in literature as well as grafting trajectories, making sense of the chaotic, or making chaotic that which seems ordered through new paradigms. Must a system be ordered to function, or is chaos the necessary entry-point? Is the motif of environmental crisis overused in literary, theoretical and scientific discourse to the point of exhaustion? Where does connection become convention in ecological critique, and how can this be avoided?
We invite speakers to engage with the theme creatively and we warmly welcome paper proposals and artistic works in progress relating to, but not at all restricted to, the following:
• Ways in which literary form relates to ecosystems
• Ways in which literatures of past periods understood ecosystems and/or understood nature through contemporary systems of thought
• Creating art/creating criticism through intercommunication and interdisciplinarity
• Environmental crisis and climate change: systems of measurement/warning systems, and literary representation
• Sensibility and Praxis: bringing ethics to bear on environmental systems.
• World-Systems theory, the capitalist longue-durée and literary depictions of commodity frontiers, plantation, and industrialisation
• Representing the anthropocene: narrative, form, and aesthetic engagement
• Postcolonial Ecocriticism: nature, culture, power
• Disability Studies and Ecocriticism
Please send an abstract of 250-300 words for 20 minute papers along with a short profile to firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants will be notified of acceptance by 21 April.
We also have a wordpress site which will be updated with information regularly:
http://locatingecocriticism.wordpress.com. Organisers: Emma Curran and Michael Paye. Deadline: 31 March 2014. Sponsored by ASLE-UKI and UCD School of English
April 30, 2014. Unsettling Boundaries: Nature, Technology, Art, International Symposium on Literature and the Environment in East Asia (ISLE-EA), (ASLE-Japan Symposium). November 22-23, 2014, Meio University, Okinawa, Japan. See website for more information: http://www.asle-japan.org/calls-for-papers/.
The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment in Japan (ASLE-Japan) invites proposals for its International Symposium on Literature and Environment in East Asia (ISLE-EA), to be held from November 22 through 23, 2014, at Meio University, Okinawa. This is the fourth ASLE-related symposium focusing on the study of literature and environment in East Asia; this time the major theme is reconsideration of binary oppositions, such as nature and technology, the organic and the synthetic, the local and the global, and East and West, that have been predominant in ecocritical thinking patterns. Plenary speakers include Ursula Heise from UCLA.
We seek proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables that address how we can “unsettle” practices that have contributed to creating boundaries in our perceptions and values. Fields of study may include but are not limited to: literary approaches to environmental issues, animal studies, gender issues in ecocriticism, sense of place, environmental humanities, media representation of nature, nature and art, technonature, or environmental imagination in the anthropocene. Send proposals of 400-500 words to email@example.com by April 30, 2014. Please include your contact information, affiliation, and ASLE-related organization membership in your email and attach your proposal as a PDF. Membership in ASLE-Japan, ASLE-Korea, ASLE-Taiwan, or another ASLE organization/affiliate is required to present a paper at the conference except for those who have been invited to speak/present.
Inquiries should be addressed to:
International Institute for Okinawan Studies
University of the Ryukyus
Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213 JAPAN
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conferences of Interest
March 8, 2014. Haunted Landscapes: Nature, Super-Nature and the Environment. One-Day Symposium hosted by Falmouth University and the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK and Ireland (ASLE-UKI). Keynote Speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton (Bristol)
From places and spaces haunted by spectres, memory or history to conceptions of landscape as palimpsest, holy wells and ancient sites, literature, art and film have always explored concepts of the supernatural and the landscape and environment. Landscapes can be haunted by echoes and memories of colonization, violence done and irrevocable acts committed. Places may be marked indelibly by the past and by the people who populated and shaped the environment in many different ways. Layers of memory and action can be embedded in the landscape alongside the layering of history in stone. Encounters with the landscape reverberate through the ages and through the rocks, trees, hills and streams that are still present today. Ghosts can shade the atmosphere of a place and some things never leave. The environment bears witness to the super-natural and that which seems paranormal may eventually become a natural part of the environment.
For more information or to register, visit http://hauntedlandscapes.co.uk/.