ASLE Seeks Proposals for 2021 Conference Site

We are currently seeking a site for 2021!  Read more: Request for Proposals ASLE 2021.

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment hosts a large international conference every other year. These are five-day gatherings, usually occurring in mid- to late June. Conference attendance has been growing steadily for the past decade. Recent conferences have included from 800-1200 participants from approximately 30 countries, and been hosted by such institutions as Wayne State University (2017), the University of Idaho (2015), the University of Kansas (2013), Indiana University (2011), University of Victoria (Canada, 2009), and Wofford College (2007). Venues must be able to accommodate large groups with inexpensive housing (on campus or off), a large auditorium with 600+ seats to accommodate plenaries, and 25-30 classrooms (30-100 seats) for panels. 

In addition to the paper sessions that are typical of most scholarly conferences, our conferences feature pre-conference workshops conducted by leaders in the field, roundtable discussion sessions, creative readings, and field trips. The conferences include stellar plenary speakers; past plenaries have featured Kyle Powys Whyte, Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing, Edward O. Wilson, Sandra Steingraber, Bill McKibben, Linda Hogan, and Donald Worster, to name just a few. The conference also prioritizes collaborations with local businesses, artists, activists and food growers and sellers, with a strong focus on sustainability and accessibility.

ASLE is currently searching for a host institution for our 2021 biennial conference that will both expand upon the successes of past conferences and help take us in important new directions. Specifically, we are looking for a 2021 host institution that will support and inspire new work in the interdisciplinary environmental humanities by making use of both local and international talents, that will be able to support and welcome a large and diverse group of attendees (preferably with the aid of a conference planning office on campus), that will help us develop a more significant presence in a part of the North American continent that has not recently hosted ASLE, and that will connect us with environmental justice and other concerns oriented to that region,

Here are some of the advantages of hosting an ASLE biennial conference:

  • it would bring prominent ecocritical scholars to your institution, in addition to top-flight creative writers and well-known environmental activists, thus raising the profile of the environmental arts and humanities at the institution and in the larger community
  • it would be an excellent opportunity to showcase, on an international stage, local writers, artists, critics, activists and environmental concerns that are important to your region
  • it would place your institution “on the map” for future students and faculty considering work in the area of the environmental arts and humanities
  • it would be an excellent opportunity to involve graduate and undergraduate students in all facets of the conference, including organizational apprenticeships as well as presentations in a supportive but rigorous interdisciplinary environment
  • it would be an excellent opportunity for environmentally-invested scholars, writers, and artists in your region to come together and to use ASLE support to develop a stronger regional relationship

The ASLE guidelines for conference proposals gives a sense of the kind of facilities, staffing and other capacities a host institution should have, and what a successful proposal should address.  They can be found on our website: https://www.asle.org/wp-content/uploads/ASLE_Conferences_BiennialGuide.pdf.

The deadline for proposals is July 30, 2019. Please submit proposal documents to Amy McIntyre, ASLE Managing Director, at info@asle.org.

Thank you very much for considering the possibility. If you have any questions, or if you would like to pursue the possibility of developing a proposal, please contact ASLE Co-Presidents Stacy Alaimo (alaimo@uta.edu) and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (Jeffrey.J.Cohen@asu.edu).