The Nature of Irish Studies, M/MLA, Nov. 8-11, Cincinnati

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Midwest Modern Language Association
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How are Irish novels, poems, and plays indebted to nature? From Joyce's Ulysses to Heaney's "Flaggy Shore," Irish authors have privileged the nature motif in their works. Literary critics have historically aligned Irish literature with the urban and commercial growth of the industrial era, even though many authors—such as Beckett and Yeats—created symbolic literary ecologies. This panel will explore the influence of the nature motif in Irish novels, poems, and plays. We will begin by querying how Ireland's literary heritage is indebted to nature. Panelists will explore how the motifs of sky, soil, sea operate as nature topography in texts, as well as how vital and frivolous features of the material earth amplify textual themes. Panelists will consider both pastoral and aesthetic decay motifs, artistic movements, as well as the operation of ancient and modern ecosystems. We will ask: how do these aesthetic encounters of nature provide new textual readings? In what ways do Irish texts juxtapose industrialization with the preservation of nature? How does the concept of "transnational natures" operate in Irish texts?

This panel examines how Irish authors privilege nature motifs in their works. Panel participants should examine through theoretical lenses canonic or non-canonic Irish novels, poems, or plays. 500 word abstract/CV by May 25th to Sophie Lavin: