Autecologies: Emerging Gleanings On Autism & Emergency

Deadline: March 25
Contact: Natalie Joelle, Doctoral Candidate, Birkbeck, University of London
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +447971665456

ASLE 2021 Virtual Conference proposed panel

“I think in many ways that we autistic are the normal ones and the rest of the people are pretty strange. They keep saying that climate change is an existential threat and the most important issue of all. And yet they just carry on like before. If the emissions have to stop, then we must stop the emissions. […] Now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say.”
–Greta Thunberg

How can divergent ways of being and living lead to ecologically recognising diverse forms of life?

This panel brings together perspectives on ecological issues from Autistic literary scholars in the medical humanities and critical autism studies; from Autistic scholars in the environmental humanities; and from Autistic creative practitioners working in ecological fields. The panellists collectively consider how autism meets ecology in their work, all grounded in Autistic lived experience.

This session will be a rare and timely gathering of Autist environmental work and Autists in one space, helping to build Autistic community and solidarity around shared experiences and shared ecological commitments, which for some, enabled by new ways of working, will be for the first time. The session seeks to dispel othering stereotypes of environmental savantism towards new knowledges and liberatory actions, connecting an under-supported and under-networked group. The panel will help to create links between Autistic ASLE members and current Autism and environment research taking place in the medical humanities.

The participants include established writers on autism and ecology, as well as emerging work from both early career panelists and established panelists newly identifying as Autistic. In a transnational context where the idea but not the reality of autism is young, white and male, the panel are diverse in terms of ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, race, and nationality.

Potential outputs from this session may include: formation of affinity group AutSLE for ASLE members that identify as Autistic; Aut & Emergency, a future ASLE-affiliated research and practice event, including a public events programme targeted for Autistic accessibility; Aut & Emergency special issue or cluster for ISLE.

Keywords: autism, literature, creative practice, environmental humanities, eco-crip studies, activism

Initial Ideas for Access Requirements: captioning; text chat functions compatible with assistive technology Dragon NaturallySpeaking; slow pacing of messages on text chat

Posted on March 16, 2021