Gothic Nature III: New Directions in Ecohorror and the EcoGothic

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Gothic Nature III:  New Directions in Ecohorroand the EcoGothic
The University of Roehampton, London: Friday October 30th, 2020

Symposium and Issue 2 Launch 

NB: We are acutely aware that this CFP coincides with extremely uncertain times re COVID-19. Of course, it is currently unknown when gatherings of people will be able to resume as normal. We have every intention of holding this event in October, but first and foremost must prioritise the safety of our attendees. If necessary, we will either postpone the conference or host it virtually. We also wish to be sensitive to the fact that the themes of the conference have the potential to be somewhat uncomfortably relevant to the current ecosocial crisis; however, we feel that it is important—now more than ever—to provide a space in which we can, together, critically reflect on these ‘Gothic times’, particularly when the line between real and fictional Gothic Nature is becoming ever more blurred.

ABSTRACT DEADLINE: 12th June, 2020

Organisers: Dr Elizabeth Parker, Dr Michelle Poland, and Dr Rachele Dini

Confirmed keynotes: Professor Dawn Keetley and Dr Anne Lister

Academic Keynote: Professor Dawn Keetley (Lehigh University, Pennsylvania)

Dawn Keetley teaches broadly across horror and Gothic literature, film, and television. She has been widely published in leading international journals, has co-edited numerous collections including Plant Horror: Approaches to the Monstrous Vegetal in Fiction and Film and The Ecogothic in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, and is currently writing her next monograph on Folk Horror for the University of Wales Press. She is also co-creator of www.HorrorHomeroom.com.

Creative Keynote: Dr Anne Lister

Anne Lister is known in the folk music world as a songwriter and singer, writing songs which draw heavily on myth, folktales and legends and one of which, “Icarus”, has been recorded by a number of different artists. She has been telling stories professionally since the mid-80s. She has worked as a teacher of English and French to pupils of all ages from nursery to adults, and has run workshops for storytellers in a wide range of venues from holistic holiday centres to prisons! Anne has recorded 9 albums of her own songs, and published one novel (so far).

Our images of monstrous Nature don’t just reflect our fear of Nature; they actively teach it.

– J. W. Williamson

In Autumn 2020, we will publish the second issue of the peer-reviewed and open-access journal Gothic Nature: New Directions in Ecohorror and the EcoGothic, which is devoted to exploring the darker side of our relationships with the nonhuman world. This journal provides a space for new and established scholars alike working at the intersections of ecocriticism, Gothic and horror studies, and the wider environmental humanities more broadly. It aims to provide deeper understandings of the importance of our monstrous, sublime, spectral, and uncanny constructions of Nature in our varied and contradictory narratives – and to productively question how Gothic and horror might factor in our conceptions and experiences of contemporary ‘real life’ ecological crisis.

To celebrate the release of the second issue of Gothic Nature, we are holding a one-day symposium, generously hosted by the English and Creative Writing Department at The University of Roehampton, to bring together academics, artists, activists, and enthusiasts working in various ways with the subject of Gothic Nature. We are particularly keen to hear from those seeking to build on discussions raised in Issue One, as well as those eager to provide insights on themes as yet largely unexplored – such as the decolonisation of the ecoGothic, the Gothicity/horror of environmental science, media, and medicine, and the increasing imbrications between ecohorror/ecoGothic and environmental activism.

We invite proposals for 20-minute scholarly papers and 5-10-minute creative readings. We also warmly welcome proposals from scholars, artists, and activists for alternative modes and formats (critical or creative dialogues, conversations, performances, screenings, presentations, etc.)

Topics might include, but are by no means limited to:

  • EcoGothic and ecohorror: theories, distinctions, directions
  • Decolonising the ecoGothic
  • Green Gothic Activism
  • Anthropocene Gothic
  • The ‘horror’ and ‘Gothicisation’ of contemporary climate crisis
  • Bleeding genres: ecoGothic/ecohorror/folk horror/the new weird, etc.
  • Gothic and food politics: vegetarianism, veganism, carnivorism, cannibalism
  • The intersections of Gothic Nature: class/race/gender/sexuality, etc.
  • Gothic and waste, pollution, and/or sustainability
  • Haunted landscapes
  • The dark blue Gothic: Gothic coasts, seas, oceans, icescapes, etc.
  • The dark green Gothic: Gothic woods, forests, heaths, gardens, etc.
  • Gothic ecology/Gothic geology
  • Nature monsters: wolves, trolls, wendigos, witches, Pan, slender men (!), etc.
  • Animal horror
  • Plant horror

Please send abstracts of 350 words, as well as a brief biography of 150 words to us at [email protected] by 12th June, 2020 (or feel free to contact us informally should you wish to talk through ideas or have any queries). Proposals for panels are also welcome: in these instances, please send a 200-word summary of the rationale for the panel, in addition to individual abstracts.

We are keen to provide a rich, stimulating, and inclusive hub to all Gothic Naturalists and in doing so to celebrate all ecohorror- and ecoGothic-related activity. We will be using the symposium as a platform to launch Elizabeth Parker’s The Forest and the EcoGothic: The Deep Dark Woods in the Popular Imagination (Palgrave Gothic, 2020) and if you too would like to use the symposium as an opportunity to launch a book or collection, or announce any other related event, we would love to hear from you.

About the Journal

Gothic Nature: New Directions in Ecohorror and the EcoGothic is an interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed open-access academic journal seeking to explore the latest evolutions of thought in the areas of ecohorror and the ecoGothic. It welcomes articles, reviews, interviews, and original creative pieces interrogating the darker sides of our relationship with the nonhuman from new and more revered scholars working at the intersection of ecocriticism, Gothic and horror studies, and the wider environmental humanities.

All GN issues and blogs can be found here: https://gothicnaturejournal.com/

Founding editor: Dr Elizabeth Parker
Co-editors: Dr Elizabeth Parker and Dr Michelle Poland
Book review editor: Professor Jennifer Schell
TV and film review editor: Assoc. Prof. Sara L. Crosby
Editorial Board: Professor Stacy Alaimo, Professor Eric G. Anderson, Dr Scott Brewster, Dr Kevin Corstorphine, Dr Rachele Dini, Professor Simon C. Estok, Dr Tom J. Hillard, Professor William Hughes, Professor Dawn Keetley, Dr Ian Kinane, Dr John Miller, Professor Matthew Wynn Sivils, Professor Andrew Smith, Dr Samantha Walton.

Posted on April 28, 2020