Current Conference Calls For Papers

 

Please consult this resource for information on conferences you might wish to present at or attend. Deadlines for calls for proposals are listed first; conferences of interest have dates of the actual conference listed first. If you would like to submit a call for papers to be posted, please email Amy McIntyre, ASLE Managing Director.


 

Calls for Proposals

 

April 15, 2014.  The End of Place as We Know It: Shifting Perspectives on Literature and Place.  University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, September 17-19, 2014.  Keynotes: Professor Edward Casey and Professor Timothy Morton.

Literatures of place have often been considered conservative and reactionary. We see this expressed in the longing for a pastoral return to a former Golden Age, in the nostalgic desire to rediscover the home of a long lost childhood, or in that of national extremism as expressed through a practice of territorial and racial purity. However, contemporary theorists have pointed out that ‘place’ is not a stable entity. Place is ‘radically indeterminate – it is intrinsically in question, is a question’ (Timothy Morton, Ecology Without Nature). Accordingly, if ‘place itself is no fixed thing’ (Edward Casey, The Fate of Place), then place has the capacity to ‘change us, not through some visceral belonging (some barely changing rootedness, as so many would have it) but through the practicing of place’ (Doreen Massey, For Space). An attachment to, and investment in, place can be gainfully employed to open up, rather than close down, questions of identity, territory, and nationality.  

Yet it is not simply the theory of place that has undergone fundamental change in recent years. Our lives have been changed due to the rapid development in transportation and communication technologies, explosive growth in migrant mobility, a rise in global population, as well as the sudden shifts enacted by natural and manmade disasters. The fabric of place is changing physically as well as socially. In addition, the breakdown of barriers between the human and the inhuman, the citizen and the foreigner, the actual and the virtual, has complicated questions of belonging for individuals as for entire communities. 
The conference invites paper submissions ranging from re-readings of place and texts traditionally considered to be regressive and restrictive, to discussions of contemporary writings on place. Topics might include but are not limited to: 

• Scale: reinvisioning place and planet, local and global, intimacy and distance • Mobility: migrant, diasporic, transnational and global place • Non-place: generic place and commodified place • The inhuman: animal, industrial and technological place • The country and the city: the increase of urbanization and its impact on perceptions of place as pastoral and rural • Apocalypse: the effect of disasters violently upending the stability of place • Entropy and toxicity: the impact of resource depletion, global warming, pollution and other 'slow' disasters on place • Digital place: the impact of digitalisation on our perceptions of place as a physical entity • Imaginary place: science-fiction, fantasy, gothic and weird place 

Please send a 300 word abstract to rune.graulund@strath.ac.uk by April 15, 2014 if you wish to submit a paper to the conference.


 

April 25, 2014. Cosmo-graphies: Textual and Visual Cultures of Outer Space.
Falmouth University, 24-25 July 2014. Supported by the British Interplanetary Society.  http://www.cosmographies.co.uk

Keynote Speakers: Prof. Chris Welch – Professor of Astronautics (ISU, Strasbourg), and Vice-President of the British Interplanetary Society; Prof. Philip Gross – Professor of Creative Writing (Glamorgan, UK), T. S. Eliot prizewinner and author of Deep Field (2011)

Organisers: Dr. Niamh Downing (Senior Lecturer in English and Writing); Dr. Dario Llinares (Senior Lecturer in Film); Dr. Sarah Arnold (Senior Lecturer in Film)

In his introduction to Space Travel and Culture (2009), David Bell suggests that the neglect of ‘outer space’ in the humanities and social sciences is in part due to the negative stance towards the technological utopianism of the mid-twentieth-century ‘space race’, where ‘Apollo stands now as a future that never happened, or a history that seems not to connect with our present’ (4). For James Hay the emergence or invention of ‘outer space’ as a ‘historical, geographic, and theatrical stage for shaping discourse about rights and responsibilities, war and peace, security and risk’ is profoundly tied to the cold war era (2012: 29). Yet even while the ‘space race’ may be understood as historically and culturally last century, ‘outer space’ continues to serve as a sphere of human technological enterprise, a battleground of political discourse and, a rich source of socio-cultural production.

The critical neglect of ‘outer space’ has been remedied in part by Bell, Denis Cosgrove, Fraser MacDonald, whose work collectively offers the beginnings of a ‘critical geography of outer space’ (MacDonald 593). MacDonald observes that ‘the last fifty years has seen the outer-Earth become an ordinary and accessible sphere of human endeavour, our presence in (and reliance on) space making it one of the enabling conditions for our current mode of everyday life in the west’ (593). Further interventions, such as Alexander Geppert’s Imagining Outer Space: European Astroculture in the Twentieth Century (2012), provide a historiographical perspective, interrogating the ‘heterogeneous array of images and artifacts, media and practices that all aim to ascribe meaning to outer space while stirring both the individual and the collective imagination’ (8). A cross-disciplinary series of essays published in Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries, and Cultures (2012), edited by Lisa Parks and James Schwoch, along with Dario Llinares' study, The Astronaut: Cultural Mythology and Idealised Masculinity (2011) attempt to bring together geographical, historical and cultural/ media studies approaches to examine astro-culture.

A common aspect of these approaches is an acknowledgement of the need to encompass cultural, filmic, artistic, and literary engagements with outer space as objects of enquiry. The influence of spatial thinking on film and literary scholarship, demonstrated by an increasing concern with urban space, mobility and the proliferation of terms such as ‘cinematic-’ or ‘literary geographies’, has rarely resulted in a turn towards ‘outer space’. Indeed, the arrival of ‘cyberspace’ could arguably be said to have had a profound effect on the cultural understanding and importance of ‘outer space’ in the collective imaginary. Visual and textual scholarship has arguably under-engaged with the fields of cultural geography, cultural history and cultural studies that are re-imagining ‘astroculture’/‘celestial space’ as part of what Cosgrove calls a ‘cosmography for the twenty-first century’ (35).

This 2-day conference seeks to explore the significance of ‘outer space’ in textual and visual culture, including literature (fiction/non-fiction/scientific or legal texts), film (cinema/documentary/youtube/television/NASA or ISS clips or broadcasts), digital media (games/twitter/social media), photography, material culture, ephemera and popular culture.  We especially welcome papers that move beyond the paradigms of science-fiction studies, and engage with geographical or historical approaches to visual or textual cultures of ‘outer space’. We invite papers on the following themes (but not limited to):
·       20th century and post-millennial representations of outer space
·       Poetics/poetries of outer space
·       Non-fiction and outer space, from film documentary to the non-fiction novel (for example, Al Reinert’s For All Mankind, Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light, Oriana Fallaci’s If the Sun Dies, Norman Mailer’s Of A Fire on the Moon)
·       Digital games and outer space
·       Visual/textual representations of rockets, satellites, telescopes, the International Space Station, and other material technologies of outer space
·       Posthumanism – visual/textual representations of sentient/non-sentient life
·       Weird fictions and outer space
·       Papers that seek to establish frameworks for a cinematic or literary geography of outer space
·       Papers that examine terms such as ‘cosmography’, ‘celestial space’, ‘astroculture’, in relation to literature, film, other visual/textual media
·       Visual/textual gendering of ‘outer space’
·       Governance, laws, and capital of outer space in visual/textual culture
·       Discourse analysis of space law, treaty, governance in technical literature
·       Non-western/Non-Soviet space programmes and their representation (for example Cristina De Middel’s Afronauts (2012) http://www.icp.org/support-icp/infinity-awards/cristina-de-middel)
·       Space tourism/personal space flight
·       Heritage and outer space (archaeologies of outer space, space debris, heritage sites, museum orbit)
·       Ecology and outer space (space as wilderness or environment, terraforming, pollution, waste, life, texts such as Charles Cockell’s Space on Earth (Palgrave 2006), Guy Laliberté http://www.onedrop.org/en/projects/projects-overview/GAIA.aspx

Abstracts of 250-300 words for final presentations of 15-20 minutes should be sent to cosmographies@falmouth.ac.uk by Friday 25th April 2014. Please include name, affiliation, title of paper, and brief bio. Participants will be notified by Friday 2nd May.


 

April 30, 2014. Soil and Culture Forum, July 4-5, 2014, Falmouth University, UK. Confirmed speakers:  Richard Kerridge: Nature writer and literary critic, author of Cold Blood: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians; and Nick Hayes: Political cartoonist and graphic novelist, author of Rhyme of the Modern Mariner.

The event has evolved in response to the UN designation of 2015 as an International year of the Soil and its intention is to promote an awareness of soil and how, without a healthy layer of soil, life and human society as we know it would not be able to function.  The forum connects Soil and the Arts, a whole day being devoted to Soil, Narrative and the Written Word.  For all written word related contributions or enquiries: please submit a 250-word abstract, details of type and length of submission and brief CV before 30 April 2014 to both:

Jude Allen, judeallen1@gmail.com and Mat Osmond, mat.osmond@falmouth.ac.uk, using ‘Soil Culture’ as the subject heading.

Website with full CFP and Facebook link are here:
http://soilculture.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soil-Culture/257978197704018


 

April 30, 2014. Ecomusicologies 2014: Dialogues, 4-5 October 2014, University of North Carolina at Asheville (USA).  Ecomusicologies 2014: Dialogues will bring together artists and scholars to stimulate discussion on music, culture, and the environment.  The conference is part of the multi-day event series, “Ecomusics” (3-7 October 2014), which will include concerts, soundwalks, workshops, and outings (e.g., field trips to the Moog Factory, Black Mountain College, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park).  Not only do the fall colors of October in the Appalachian Mountains make Asheville, North Carolina, an ideal place to be, but its history also makes it an ideal gathering spot for a conference on ecomusicology: it is where Bartok composed his Piano Concerto No. 3, where John Cage conducted happenings, and where Buckminster Fuller created his geodesic dome.  If you would like to participate in the conference but would prefer not to travel for environmental or other reasons, you will have the option to participate as presenter or audience member via the Internet.

The conference theme “Dialogues” aims to foster common ground, where participants representing diverse backgrounds (academic, artistic, industry, non-profit, et al.) can learn about and exchange ideas on ecomusics.  In addition to general ecomusicology topics, the conference committee encourages submissions that respond, but are not limited, to the following topic fields:
- Musical collaboration (in, for, or with the environment)
- Improvisation (human and non-human)
- The music industry
- The sound of “green”
- Acoustic ecology
- Ecopoetics and sound
- Race, class, gender
- Sustainability
- Musician/academic-as-activist

Sponsors: Ecocriticism Study Group of the American Musicological Society, Ecomusicology Special Interest Group of the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  For more information on ecomusicology see ecomusicology.info; for full CFP information see ecomusicologies.org.  Contact and submissions: ecomusicologies [at] gmail.com.


 

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 kinaikue@gmail.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:
Ikue Kina, ISLE-EA Coordinator
International Institute for Okinawan Studies
University of the Ryukyus
Nishihara, Okinawa  903-0213 JAPAN
Email: kinaikue@gmail.com


 

April 30, 2014.  All Things Great and Small: Interdisciplinary Interspecies Community, November 15-17, 2014, UC Davis campus. Keynote Speaker: Frans de Waal.  An innovative interdisciplinary conference of animal science and medicine, contemporary humanistic approaches, and other fields engaging the key problems and prospects of interspecies community, traditional Animal Studies, and current directions in order to challenge and provoke new work.

Exciting new directions in Animal Studies are producing some of the most compelling contemporary scholarship across the entire academy. The UC Davis Interdisciplinary Animal Studies Research Group will host a three-day conference Saturday, November 15th through Monday, November 17th to explore work from the sciences and humanities through the conference theme of interspecies community. This innovative interdisciplinary conference will bridge new and established work in cognition and emotional experience, veterinary medicine, ethics and law, agriculture and food studies, and historical human-nonhuman bonds with historical trends and current directions in indigenous and postcolonial studies, post- and nonhuman theory, environmental studies, intersections with critical race studies, literature, and religious nonhumans to engage the challenges and prospects of new work in a more complete animal studies field.

We invite individual paper or poster proposals of up to 300 words in length and/or complete panel proposals not exceeding 600 words total. Panel proposals should indicate names of all participants and, if applicable, chair or respondent. Individuals may submit a maximum of two proposals. We also ask for a brief CV, not to exceed 3 pages. Proposals and CVs may be sent via email as Word attachments by April 30, 2014 to animalsucd@gmail.com. Please include your preferred name, title and affiliation, and full talk title at the top of your abstract. Select papers will be included in a publication based on conference proceedings.

For inquiries, please contact Ted Geier, tegeier@ucdavis.edu.  For more information and  full CFP details: http://nonhumans.org/november-2014-conference/


 

May 15, 2014.  Ecocriticism session (Sponsored by ASLE) at the annual PAMLA Conference, October 31-November 2, 2014, Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, California. Presiding Officer: Kevin Hutchings, University of Northern British Columbia (hutchink@unbc.ca)

Papers are sought for a special session investigating any aspect of ecocriticism, including (but not limited to) ecocritical theory, environmental ethics, environmental justice, colonial and postcolonial ecologies, gender and ecology, literary representations of non-human being, and interdisciplinary investigations of literature and environmental science.

Paper proposals of approximately 500 words and a 50-word abstract, due by midnight on May 15, 2014, must be submitted via PAMLA's Online Proposal Submission Form available at http://www.pamla.org/2014/proposals.


 

May 16, 2014Paradoxes of Life Challenge - Determination - Resilience: The Semiotic Society of America 39th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, October 2–5, 2014.
Full CFP information: http://www.semioticsocietyofamerica.org/index.php/ssa-meetings
Ever since the paradoxes of Zeno (on the impossibility of motion) and Heraclitus (on the possibility of ever- present change)—through the work of Baudrillard, Eco, Escher, Hegel, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Peirce, Picasso, Russell, Whitehead, and others—philosophers, scholars, and artists have been exploring the phenomenological nature of paradoxes. Contemporary societies seem to be especially challenged by paradoxes in all aspects of life. And yet, antinomies in life are not fortuitous, nor do they result from incompetence. They are inherent in the human condition and innate forces in cultural and natural systems. The irony is that when societies face crises, there is a tendency to confuse paradoxical situations with problems. This habitual tendency seems to be generated by intolerance for those ambiguities and uncertainties that are unavoidable features of paradoxes. But whenever paradoxes are perceived as problems, they can never be solved or dissolved. Rather, sooner or later, apparent solutions are discovered to be illusions, leading to ever-more- tangled problems. Thus, it is important to be aware of the difference between what we perceive as problems and what we experience as paradoxes. Paradoxes present contradictions between irresolvably opposing aspects of life. But life feeds on these contradictory relations, and the evolution of life itself is paradoxical. Because we are born into a world of paradoxes, we are compelled to learn how to survive, to persevere, and to thrive in a reality that is constantly in a state of disequilibrium. Although we are challenged by the tension among various opposing forces, the resulting paradoxes can offer unique opportunities for engaging in crucial meaning-making processes. However, the manner in which we deal with the paradoxes of life is contingent upon our personal capacity for meeting challenges with determination and resilience. Indeed, how we deal with paradoxes can give us insight into the nature of complex semiotic processes. We invite you to consider this theme when planning your contribution to the annual meeting.

Please go to the SSA website, http://www.semioticsocietyofamerica.org/index.php/ssa-meetings, and follow the instructions of the “EasyChair” link to submit your abstract or proposal for poster presentation. The deadline for submission is May 16, 2014.   Electronic letters of acceptance will be sent to the selected participants by June 30, 2014.


 

May 21, 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 ottuml@xavier.edu by May 21st.


 

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 rlgodwin@barton.edu.


 

June 1, 2014.  American Environmental Literature Before 1900: Panel proposed for the South Atlantic MLA (SAMLA) Conference, Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center, Atlanta, GA, November 7-9, 2014.

Since the publication of Lawrence Buell’s The Environmental Imagination, there has been increasing awareness that the environment has played a significant role in the shaping of American literature since its beginnings but especially in the nineteenth century.  This panel welcomes papers focused on the environment in American literature written before 1900, particularly those focused on topics dealing with the conference theme of sustainability. Following is a list of possible topics, but any papers related to the overall theme of the “environmental imagination” in American literature before 1900 will be considered.

  • Reconsiderations of canonical and non-canonical literary texts that address nature and the environment in the United States or elsewhere in the Americas
  • Ecological understandings of the human relation to the nonhuman natural world
  • Respect for environmental cycles, bioregionalism, and local or global ecosystems
  • Attempts to minimize human destruction of the natural environment, including the birth of state parks and other preservationist movements that preceded the national parks system of the twentieth-century
  • The space of the natural environment as an alternative to oppressive national ideologies or as an impetus for imaginative engagement with the world
  • Tensions between competing understandings of or interactions with the American landscape:  sublime, beautiful, natural and supernatural, industrial, technological, etc.
  • The development of an aesthetics of nature and/or environmental awareness in literary representations of nature

By June 1, please submit a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Steven Petersheim, Indiana University East, at spetersh@iue.edu.
For more information on SAMLA: http://samla.memberclicks.net/


 

June 15, 2014.  Border Songs: Western Literature Association Annual Conference 2014, Nov. 5–8, 2014.  The 49th Annual Meeting of the Western Literature Association will be held just south of the 49th parallel, returning to Canada for the first time since 1998. The conference will take place at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria BC.

To highlight a conference site from which two countries, and the homelands of several nations, are visible, we have taken our title theme from Washington State writer Jim Lynch’s novel Border Songs.  Singer songwriter Connie Kaldor’s concert will be a highlight.  In addition to proposals on any aspect of the literatures of the North American West, we encourage panels and papers that cross disciplines and/or explore dimensions of the conference theme, singing borders and bordering on song:
• Border crossings broadly interpreted
• First Nations/Native American song, story, and writing
• Songs in, and musical settings of western writing
• The singer/songwriter, the cowgirl/cowboy poet, the storyteller
• Poetry, stories, creative nonfiction with musical accompaniment

We are open to session proposals focused on storytelling and teaching, to workshops and round table discussions, and to other sessions that stretch conventional academic formats.  Deadline: June 15, 2014.  Please submit abstracts, proposals, or questions to Anne Kaufman and Laurie Ricou at WLAconference14@gmail.com.

Graduate Students: awards and funding opportunities are available to support your WLA paper presentations. See http://www.westernlit.org/students-attending-the-wla-conference/.

For more information, see www.westernlit.org/wla-conference-2014/.


 

Conferences of Interest