New books in ‘Ecocritical Theory and Practice’ series

Rowman and Littlefield Ecocriticsm seriesRowman and Littlefield publishers have released a catalogue with new books in their ‘Ecocritical Theory and Practice’ series. Browse their titles in the online catalogue or website.

 

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CHAD WEIDNER ON BURROUGHS AND THE ECOLOGICAL MIND

weidner green ghostFriday 8 July, 15-17u, Utrecht University,
Janskerkhof 15a, room 106

Right before the summer break, BASCE has invited Chad Weidner (University College Roosevelt) to present his most recent research. A leading scholar on the Beat Generation as well as on environmental thought and practice, Weidner has recently published The Green Ghost: William Burroughs and the Ecological Mind (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016). This study argues that we should not simply focus on the sensational aspects of Burroughs’s life and writing but should examine the environmental questions raised by his work, an approach that pushes the boundaries of existing ecocritical research more generally.

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International Conference: Defining European Ecocriticism

affiche-colloqueSince 2014, the EcoLitt project, gathering researchers from the universities of Angers, Le Mans and Nantes, has been studying the relationship between literature and the environment, especially in a non Anglophone, European context. The main goal of the international conference  “Defining European Ecocriticism” is to give a geographical dimension to this framework by investigating national, regional, and local particularities of eco-literature, be it in the guise of fiction, non-fiction, or criticism. For further information, please visit: http://ecolitt.univ-angers.fr/fr/index.html

Complete programme (PDF)

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CFP Landscape: Interpretations, Relations, and Representations

bnsmall_lucasconference2017_22875On 26 and 27 January 2017, the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society will be hosting an international graduate conference entitled ‘Landscape: Interpretations, Relations, and Representations’. A selection of researchers and artists will be invited to participate in panels, in which their 20-minute papers and creative work will be discussed.

Participants should currently be undertaking a PhD. When submitting a proposal for a paper presentation or a work of art, please make sure to include a short biography. Participants are invited to critically explore and reflect on cultural artefacts and practices that project, trace, or confront these processes through the concept, genre, or medium of landscape. By seeking to gather an interdisciplinary and intercultural selection of academic papers and works of art, we aim to encourage an open dialogue among a unique mix of artists and researchers. Please find attached a more detailed conference description, or consult the website: http://hum.leiden.edu/lucas/lucasconference2017/

Two internationally renowned scholars, Professor W.J.T. Mitchell and Professor D.E. Nye will give keynote lectures during the conference.

Please send your proposal (max. 300 words) outlining a 20-minute paper along with a brief bio (max. 150 words) before 1 October, 2016 to lucasconf2017@gmail.com. You will be notified whether or not your paper has been selected by 1 November, 2016. Should you have any question regarding the conference and/or the proposal, please do not hesitate to contact the organising committee at the same email address.

The LUCAS Graduate Conference welcomes papers from all disciplines within the humanities. A selection of papers will be published as conference proceedings in the Journal of the LUCAS Graduate Conference: http://www.hum.leiden.edu/lucas/jlgc/. For those who attend the conference, there will be a registration fee of €50 to cover the costs of lunches, coffee breaks, excursions and other conference materials. Unfortunately, we cannot offer financial support for travel or accommodation expenses.

The organising committee:

Praveen Sewgobind, Lieke Smits, Tecia Vailati and Anna Volkmar

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Cary Wolfe visits Utrecht University

Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor in the Department of English and Founding Director of the 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Rice University. Founding Editor of the series Posthumanities at the University of Minnesota Press.

Sponsors: Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (UvA), Center for the Humanities (UU), Graduate Gender Programme (UU), Institute for Cultural Inquiry (UU), School of Liberal Arts (UU), Society for the Study of Biopolitical Futures (Rice University, Syracuse University).

—Q&A June 8, 3:15 – 5pm Drift 25, room 1.02
Interdisciplinary Animal Studies
Host: Iris van der Tuin (Liberal Arts & Sciences, Utrecht University)
This session is open to students in the School of Liberal Arts (Liberal Arts & Sciences and Language & Culture Studies). Interested students are invited to e-mail the abovementioned host at I.vanderTuin@uu.nl. The session is mandatory for students in the course De denkacademie (Thinking Academy).

Public lecture June 9, 3:30 – 5pm Janskerkhof 2-3, room 0.13
Host: Kathrin Thiele (Gender Studies, Utrecht University)
This lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture is part of the Doing Gender lecture series. Registration is not compulsory, but highly appreciated: nog@uu.nl or 030 – 253 6001.
(Auto)Immunity, (Bio)Politics, and Posthumanist Social Theory
This lecture sets out from the premise that the immunitary paradigm is the fundamental logic of biopolitical formations—a contention made by Roberto Esposito in his reading of Michel Foucault’s work, a contention that draws on the work of Niklas Luhmann, Jacques Derrida, Donna Haraway, and others. Yet Esposito’s rendering of the relationship between immunity and community is problematic, and evades the very consequences that a more rigorous investigation of the systemic logic of immunity in terms of systems theory reveals. We will explore the consequences of this fact for thinking “the political” within a requisite theory of social complexity, and will explore its relations to theories of “control society” which also share the assumption that human beings are not the constitutive elements of either the social or the political.

Masterclass June 10, 2 – 5pm Drift 6, room 0.07
Convenors: Tom Idema (Comparative Literature, Utrecht University) and Gregg Lambert (Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, Syracuse University; Society for the Study of Biopolitical Futures)
The Animal Turn, Posthumanism, and the Posthumanities
We invite PhD students and early career researchers whose research relates to the animal turn, posthumanism and the posthumanities to submit a one-page research outline and a question for Cary Wolfe before May 15 to Tom Idema T.J.Idema@uu.nl
Your question should engage issues relevant to Cary Wolfe’s work and the wider field of posthumanism and animal studies. During the masterclass, a maximum of six contributors will have the opportunity to present their research project and question in around 5 minutes, followed by a response by Cary Wolfe and general discussion. You can also present your research/question in groups of two or three.

Click here for a PDF version of this announcement.

Workshop: Figuring Animals

figuringanimals

15 – 16 August 2016
Mid-Sweden University, Campus Sundsvall

With the formation of the interdisciplinary field ‘Animal Studies,’ animals are increasingly moving into the purview of literary and cultural studies. In the environmental humanities, an animal oriented perspective is beginning to establish itself as a dynamic and productive sub-field. Greg Garrard, for example, devotes an entire chapter to animals in Ecocriticism (2012). The way humans read animals shapes culture just as much as culture shapes the way we read animals (Baker in Garrard, 153). This mutually constitutive relationship makes ‘animal’ a central trope in environmental thinking and discourse. In this workshop, we want to take a closer look at how Ecocriticism and the theoretical and methodological concerns of Animal Studies can interact productively with each other.

What links Ecocriticism and Animal Studies is the concern with the politics of representation that shape human interactions, material and discursive, with animals. The conceptual separation of the human animal from non-human animals is at the center of most mainstream environmental and philosophical thinking. In continental European thought, human exceptionalism is based on a variety of concepts, such as that of an immortal soul, existential freedom, or symbolic language. With its roots in the Enlightenment tradition, human exceptionalism still informs most scholarly practice in the humanities and underwrites even theoretical approaches that are interested in conceptualizing nonhuman forms of subjectivity, as posthumanist scholar Cary Wolfe points out in his seminal monograph Animal Rites (18).

In this tradition, the ways in which humans relate to animals are predominantly shaped by a presumed hierarchy in which animals rank below humans. From the prevalent utilitarian perspective, animals are regarded primarily as a resource for human use, which finds expression in cultural practices like animal husbandry (esp. raising animals for human consumption) or the display of animals in zoos but also in the ways humans relate to animals through language. During this workshop, the linguistic, textual, and visual expressions of animal imaginaries that illustrate and comment on, and at the same time influence and shape, human-animal-relationships are at the center of our concern. Continue reading

Antennae CFP: Animals and Film

Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture
Edited by Giovanni Aloi and Jonathan Burt

The centrality of animals to the history of film, and the particular powers and properties of the animal image on film require no introduction. For this issue of Antennae entirely dedicated to this subject we welcome proposals of all kinds but would be particularly interested in the following: the role of animals in contemporary and avant-garde film; the perspectives of artists/filmmakers and why they choose animal subject matter (whether centrally or peripherally); how filmmakers conceive of animals both symbolically and in relation to the technical questions they pose (and indeed the extent to which these two are interrelated); different kinds of filmmaking, whether amateur or professional, that work on the cusp between art and science, or art and politics. We would also very much welcome any contributions about or from non-Anglophone contexts, as well as comments on important and as yet untranslated texts such as Raymond Bellour’s Le Corps du Cinéma, for example. It is intended to build up from this an overview of the role of the animal film-image in recent years and to ask whether the proliferation of the literature of animals and culture in the last two decades has had an influence on animal representation in the moving image.

Academic essays = length 6000-10000 words
(Please submit a 350 words abstract in the first instance)
Artists’ portfolio = 5/6 images along with 1000 words max statement/commentary
Interviews = maximum length 8000 words
Fiction = maximum length 8000 words

http://www.antennae.org.uk

email submissions at antennaeproject@gmail.com

Deadline for abstracts: 1st of July 2016
Finished pieces to be submitted by 1st of February 2017

EASLCE Conference: deadline extension

IMPORTANT: 7th Biennial Conference of the EASLCE: deadline extension till 10 April + confirmation of meeting in Brussels

The EASLCE Board wishes to thank all those of you who submitted proposals to its 7th Biennial Conference in association with BASCE.  Though the response to the CFP has been strong—both qualitatively and quantitatively—the EASLCE also received many requests for a slight extension of the deadline beyond Easter.  To accommodate these, the deadline for submission has now been extended till Sunday, 10 April 2016.  The list of keynotes will also be posted soon after Easter.  Last but not least, the EASLCE Board remains determined to convene the European Association’s next Biennial Conference in Brussels, despite the atrocities inflicted on the city two days ago.  Indeed, these recent events make the motto of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, due to host the event from 27 to 30 October 2016, more relevant than ever: “Scientia Vincere Tenebras.”

FINAL CALL AND NEW EXTENDED SUBMISSION DEADLINE:
SUNDAY, 10 April 2016

“Wildness without Wilderness”: The Poiesis of Energy and Instability

The European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment (EASLCE): 7th Biennial Conference (Brussels, Belgium— from 27 to 30 October 2016)

Hosted by the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and its Department of Languages and Literatures, in association with the Benelux Association for the Study of Art, Culture and the Environment (BASCE)

As Gary Snyder reminds us in “The Etiquette of Freedom” (1990), wilderness—i.e. the expanse of the physical natural world untamed by humans—may have considerably shrunk; by contrast, however, wildness—i.e. the instability of the material world and of its agencies that elude human regulation and control—very much remains a constant in the existence of beings enmeshed with their environments.

Contributing to this ineradicable and enduring wildness and instability, other constants such as energy and creativity inform both the non-human and human worlds of impermanence and indeterminacy (Serpil Opperman & Serenella Iovino, Hubert Zapf, Sidney Dobrin).  Indeed, not only do energy flows and their disruptions remain inseparable from life and living organisms; moreover, energy also proves inseparable from poiesis, understood as a potential for making that combines randomness and design.  With the relational activity leading to transformation that underlies the spontaneous self-organization and patterning of many systems (Fritjof Capra, Herbert Maturana & Francisco Varela), poetic travail is in fact what links the wild artistry and skilful means of nature to those of human production (Jonathan Skinner; Harriet Tarlo).  What the various narratives respectively explored by particle physics, material ecocriticism, the energy humanities, experimental ecopoetics, or ecospiritualities tell us is that the universe is teeming with (eco)compositional forces and responses, with experiential space opening itself up to forms of joint making and unmaking, with temporary montage and collage artistry blending chance and intention through physical and/or mental assemblage, dissipation, and re-arrangement.

The 7th Biennial Meeting of EASLCE, in association with BASCE, will be held in the fluctuating, multilingual urban space of Brussels, a city that has proved home as much to the “ordered wildness” of physics uncovered by Nobel Prize-winning scientists like Ilya Prigogine and François Englert as to the one of the mindscapes revelled in by the Symbolist and Surrealist avant-gardes.

Therefore, from all environmental fields of inquiry and endeavour, from the humanities and natural sciences to the creative arts and public policy/activist spheres, the Organizing Committee invites papers probing into the poiesis of non-human and human systems, and into their interrelated narratives of energy, wildness and travail.  Spanning the spectrum from natural to textual energies, possible perspectives may include—but are not necessarily limited to—some of the following approaches:

  • The impact of concepts such as energy and poiesis, instability and creativity on current ecocritical thinking/theorizing, on ecoliteracy, ecolinguistics, eco-narratology, ecosophy, and eco-ethics.
  • Patterns of assemblage, proliferation and travail in both non-human and human texts, procedures and organisms; systemic readings of energetic patterns of dissipation and collapse.
  • Representations of chaos, wildness, autopoiesis, and complexity in literature, film, the arts, linguistics, philosophy, science, and digital environments.
  • Ecopoetics and the poiesis of energy and instability: entropy and “ordered wildness” in textual environments and texts-as-environments; elusive energies, assemblage and fragmentation in recombinant and procedural eco-aesthetics; humans as ecocompositional and eco-aesthetic animals.
  • Energetic travails under and above ground: the poiesis of fuel and fuel extraction; the chaos, wildness and complexity informing petrocultures; cultural and literary responses to the environmental practices and addictions of “Homo Energeticus.”
  • “Wildness without wilderness” in cities: urban collapse, mutation and apocalypse vs. urban renaturing, sustainability and ecological resilience; cities as “living eco-labs,” urban entanglements in the web of the bioeconomy; urban eco-design; the city as ecological palimpsest and travail.
  • Transmutations of energies in the interlocking of mental and physical ecologies; ecospiritual and ecopsychological readings of the poiesis of matter and consciousness in interaction.
  • Energy exchange and instability in the travail between physical and social ecologies; the dynamics of channeling and dissipating psychic and social energy around ecological crises; the travail of mapping out the (geo)politics of energy.
  • Energetic labour and travail: the poiesis of the elements and natural forces (water, the weather, tectonics, etc.); the formation of “counter-imaginaries” to energetic mischanneling and depletion; the poiesis of decomposition, recycling and composting.
  • Embodied “wildness without wilderness”: randomness, design and energy exchange in animals and plants; shifting energies and relationalities between human and non-human bodies/forms of “creatureliness”; the poiesis of the feral; zoopoetics.
  • Randomness and design in nature as sources of ecophobia and ecophilia; the gaps between the artistry of nature and human creativity as fuel for ecophobic and ecophilic narratives and texts.
  • The poiesis of energy and instability at work in human and non-human environments as fuel for “Une écopoétique francophone?”, “Eine deutschsprachige Ökopoetik?”, etc.?

The primary conference languages will be English, French, German, and Dutch/Flemish.

We welcome both scholarly and creative proposals.  The submission formats are either for individual scholarly papers of 20 mins/individual creative contributions/performances of 20 minutes, or for pre-made panels of 3 twenty-minute scholarly papers/creative contributions.

The format for submissions is as follows:

  • individual proposals: title + 300-500 word abstract + biosketch of 5-10 lines + IT requirement + full contact details.
  • preformed panels: 500 word abstract for the panel comprising general topic and format outline + participants’ biosketches and full contact details + IT requirements, supplemented by individual 300 word abstracts for each contribution on the panel.

ON BEHALF OF THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE, ALL PROPOSALS SHOULD PLEASE BE SUBMITTED TO

Dr. Franca Bellarsi <fbellars@ulb.ac.be> by 10 April 2016.

All submissions will be internationally peer-reviewed BY EASLCE AND BASCE.

BASCE Event: Criticism and Culture in the Anthropocene

Friday 15 April 20169781472506702

15.00-17.00

Utrecht University

Ravensteijnzaal, Kromme Nieuwe Gracht 80
In his recent book Ecocriticism on the Edge. Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept (2015), Timothy Clark argues for a revision of ecocriticism that requires other ways of grasping the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene, he argues, requires us to revise our interpretations of historical texts and artefacts, as well as those of our present since it “entails a chastening recognition of the limits of cultural representation as a force of change in human affairs”.

During this event organized by the Benelux Association for the Study of Art, Culture and Environment, we will discuss Ecocriticism on the Edge together, following an introduction by Astrid Bracke and a response by Tom Idema. We will explore the issues raised by the book, especially the ways in which the Anthropocene requires a reconception of our critical methods, our readings and our cultural artefacts – and whether culture and criticism can ever adequately respond to it.

 

 

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CFP EASLCE Biennial Conference

“Wildness without Wilderness”: The Poiesis of Energy and Instability

 The European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment (EASLCE): 7th Biennial Conference (Brussels, Belgium— from 27 to 30 October 2016)

Hosted by the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and its Department of Languages and Literatures, in association with the Benelux Association for the Study of Art, Culture and the Environment (BASCE)

 As Gary Snyder reminds us in “The Etiquette of Freedom” (1990), wilderness—i.e. the expanse of the physical natural world untamed by humans—may have considerably shrunk; by contrast, however, wildness—i.e. the instability of the material world and of its agencies that elude human regulation and control—very much remains a constant in the existence of beings enmeshed with their environments.

Contributing to this ineradicable and enduring wildness and instability, other constants such as energy and creativity inform both the non-human and human worlds of impermanence and indeterminacy (Serpil Opperman & Serenella Iovino, Hubert Zapf, Sidney Dobrin).  Indeed, not only do energy flows and their disruptions remain inseparable from life and living organisms; moreover, energy also proves inseparable from poiesis, understood as a potential for making that combines randomness and design.  With the relational activity leading to transformation that underlies the spontaneous self-organization and patterning of many systems (Fritjof Capra, Herbert Maturana & Francisco Varela), poetic travail is in fact what links the wild artistry and skilful means of nature to those of human production (Jonathan Skinner; Harriet Tarlo).  What the various narratives respectively explored by particle physics, material ecocriticism, the energy humanities, experimental ecopoetics, or ecospiritualities tell us is that the universe is teeming with (eco)compositional forces and responses, with experiential space opening itself up to forms of joint making and unmaking, with temporary montage and collage artistry blending chance and intention through physical and/or mental assemblage, dissipation, and re-arrangement.

The 7th Biennial Meeting of EASLCE, in association with BASCE, will be held in the fluctuating, multilingual urban space of Brussels, a city that has proved home as much to the “ordered wildness” of physics uncovered by Nobel Prize-winning scientists like Ilya Prigogine and François Englert as to the one of the mindscapes revelled in by the Symbolist and Surrealist avant-gardes.

Therefore, from all environmental fields of inquiry and endeavour, from the humanities and natural sciences to the creative arts and public policy/activist spheres, the Organizing Committee invites papers probing into the poiesis of non-human and human systems, and into their interrelated narratives of energy, wildness and travail.  Spanning the spectrum from natural to textual energies, possible perspectives may include—but are not necessarily limited to—some of the following approaches:

 

  • The impact of concepts such as energy and poiesis, instability and creativity on current ecocritical thinking/theorizing, on ecoliteracy, ecolinguistics, eco-narratology, ecosophy, and eco-ethics.
  • Patterns of assemblage, proliferation and travail in both non-human and human texts, procedures and organisms; systemic readings of energetic patterns of dissipation and collapse.
  • Representations of chaos, wildness, autopoiesis, and complexity in literature, film, the arts, linguistics, philosophy, science, and digital environments.
  • Ecopoetics and the poiesis of energy and instability: entropy and “ordered wildness” in textual environments and texts-as-environments; elusive energies, assemblage and fragmentation in recombinant and procedural eco-aesthetics; humans as ecocompositional and eco-aesthetic animals.
  • Energetic travails under and above ground: the poiesis of fuel and fuel extraction; the chaos, wildness and complexity informing petrocultures; cultural and literary responses to the environmental practices and addictions of “Homo Energeticus.”
  • “Wildness without wilderness” in cities: urban collapse, mutation and apocalypse vs. urban renaturing, sustainability and ecological resilience; cities as “living eco-labs,” urban entanglements in the web of the bioeconomy; urban eco-design; the city as ecological palimpsest and travail.
  • Transmutations of energies in the interlocking of mental and physical ecologies; ecospiritual and ecopsychological readings of the poiesis of matter and consciousness in interaction.
  • Energy exchange and instability in the travail between physical and social ecologies; the dynamics of channeling and dissipating psychic and social energy around ecological crises; the travail of mapping out the (geo)politics of energy.
  • Energetic labour and travail: the poiesis of the elements and natural forces (water, the weather, tectonics, etc.); the formation of “counter-imaginaries” to energetic mischanneling and depletion; the poiesis of decomposition, recycling and composting.
  • Embodied “wildness without wilderness”: randomness, design and energy exchange in animals and plants; shifting energies and relationalities between human and non-human bodies/forms of “creatureliness”; the poiesis of the feral; zoopoetics.
  • Randomness and design in nature as sources of ecophobia and ecophilia; the gaps between the artistry of nature and human creativity as fuel for ecophobic and ecophilic narratives and texts.
  • The poiesis of energy and instability at work in human and non-human environments as fuel for “Une écopoétique francophone?”, “Eine deutschsprachige Ökopoetik?”, etc.?

The primary conference languages will be English, French, German, and Dutch/Flemish.

We welcome both scholarly and creative proposals.  The submission formats are either for individual scholarly papers of 20 mins/individual creative contributions/performances of 20 minutes, or for pre-made panels of 3 twenty-minute scholarly papers/creative contributions.

The format for submissions is as follows:

  • individual proposals: title + 300-500 word abstract + biosketch of 5-10 lines + IT requirement + full contact details.
  • preformed panels: 500 word abstract for the panel comprising general topic and format outline + participants’ biosketches and full contact details + IT requirements, supplemented by individual 300 word abstracts for each contribution on the panel.

ON BEHALF OF THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE, ALL PROPOSALS SHOULD PLEASE BE SUBMITTED TO

Dr. Franca Bellarsi <fbellars@ulb.ac.be> by 15 March 2016.

All submissions will be internationally peer-reviewed BY EASLCE AND BASCE