Cultivating Dynamic Environments

Deadline: February 1st
Contact: Adam Ahlgrim, Co-Director, PhD Student
Email: [email protected]

Duquesne University English Graduate Organization’s Hybrid Graduate Conference:
Cultivating Dynamic Environments, April 8-9th, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA
Deadline for submissions: February 1st, 2022 Contact email: [email protected]

As our natural environments become increasingly vulnerable to the realities of climate change, so too do our personal and communal environments experience strain. In thinking about conversations of potential irreversible climate collapse, we don’t always ruminate on the ways in which our social, economic, political, cultural, creative, and academic environments are increasingly impacted by looming devastation. Thus, the varying environments of our lives do not remain isolated from each other as their pitfalls and triumphs reverberate across the dynamics of culture, manifesting in our policy, lifestyles, art, literature, and criticism to leave profound impressions on the historical record.
Considering ongoing conversations in the wake of climate crises, how might we examine the concept of the “dynamic environment” as an opportunity and space for imagination and praxis to forge ahead in developing discourse? For Amitav Ghosh, “the Anthropocene presents a challenge not only to the arts and humanities, but also our commonsense understandings and beyond that to contemporary culture in general” (The Great Derangement 9). Part of the problem, as he diagnoses it, resides in the Anthropocene’s resistance to language and narrativity. When confronting manifestations of language, we must also contemplate the visceral consequences and effects of our altering environments on social, racial, economic, and physical bodies where such interrogations are also often gendered.
Sprouting from these recent queries, criticism, and meditations on the impacts of climate change, the English Graduate Organization at Duquesne University invites a wide range of proposals from all disciplines that consider, interpret, imagine, respond to the implications and necessity for cultivating dynamic environments in our contemporary era. We also encourage broader interpretations of the conference theme.
We will have a Keynote address by Dr. Chelsea Mikael Frazier. She specializes in ecocriticism and black feminist theory. The conference will also collaborate with City of Asylum, the writing community and bookshop space nearby to campus, where we will hold readings and events relating to the themes of the conference.

Topics may include but are certainly not limited to:
– Depictions and Impressions put forth in art and media
– Experimental perspectives on specific literary excerpts that develop critical arguments
– Literary and cultural perspectives or responsibilities
– Poetic’s relation with, or responding to climate
– Climate-engaged pedagogy
– Eco-criticism and the Environmental Humanities
– Philosophical and Theological ethics
– Capitalocene, Chthulucene, Anthropocene
– Unthinkability and representations of the unthinkable
– Intersectionality across spaces and culture
– Representations of race and culture through food and/or relationships to agriculture/ land
– New Collectives
– Gentrification and access to lived and livable environments
– Displacement and the consequences of non-critical sustainability discourse
– Access to/organization of physical spaces and resources in healthcare
– Geopolitics and globalized responses to and management of climate realities
– Counterinsurgency, nativism, hoarding, and uneven distribution of resources and care
– Resisting Eco-Fascism

Scholars can submit their proposals to [email protected] specifying in subject: “Cultivating Dynamic Environments Conference.” Proposals in pdf or word format must include the participation modality (onsite or online), and a bionote (100 words, including contact details, institutional affiliation, research interests).

Posted on December 19, 2021