Literature and Environmental Conservation: Responsibilities
2-4th September 2011
The “Literature and Environmental Conservation: Responsibilities” conference will be a two day event, bringing together speakers interested in exploring the intersections between literature and conservation. How does literature alter the way in which we perceive our environment? How does literature provide us with a sense of responsibility toward this environment? A theme that lends itself to multiple fields, this conference will promote interdisciplinary collaborations between the humanities, visual arts, and sciences, engaging points of overlap as well as lines of divergence.
The conference will take place over three days, with the plenary speaker on the Friday evening. Saturday will be a full day of panels followed by a round table discussion concerning the role literature (and on a larger scale, the arts) plays in terms of conservation policy and planning. On Sunday, there will be an optional hiking trip in the Wicklow mountains.
Paper are encouraged on (but not limited to) the following topics:
- Postcolonial ecocriticism
- Cultural geography
- Environmental disasters
- Parks and wildlife conservation
- Children’s literature
- Conservation & literary movements
- Literature of “place” (regional/national literatures)
Our plenary speaker will be John Elder, Emeritus Professor of English and Environmental Studies at
Middlebury College ( ). John Elder is the author of one of the most formative ecocritical texts, Imagining the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature (1986. He has also edited the Norton anthology Nature Writing: The Tradition in English. In recent years, he has been engaged in service-learning and community-based education, through courses related to residents' sense of place in the town of Middlebury, VT Starksboro, VT and to the challenges and hopes of eleven , farmers. His three most recent books -- Reading the Mountains of Home, The Frog Run, and Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa -- have each combined discussion of literature, description of Addison County, VT 's landscape and natural history, and personal memoir. His interests have also recently been leading him to Vermont , and he was asked to write the introduction for Cork University Press’s new collection of essays, Out of the Earth: Ecocrtitical Readings of Irish Texts (2010). Ireland
Abstracts should be 200-250 words and should be sent to the conference organizers no later than 15 April 2011.