ASLE 2013 - Ecocriticism and Geocriticism

full name / name of organization: 
Christine Battista and Robert T. Tally

"Ecocriticism and Geocriticism: Overlapping Territories and Cross-Border Migrations"

ASLE Biennial Conference, Lawrence, Kansas (May 28–June 1, 2013)

We invite proposals on the relations between ecocriticism and geocriticism, broadly conceived, for a panel of the ASLE Biennial Conference, May 28 – June 1, 2013. (Please visit for more information about the conference.) Additionally, we plan to publish a peer-reviewed, edited collection of essays on the subject, so we welcome proposals and queries from those interested in this topic, even if they will be unable to attended the ASLE.

Our current world-historical moment is typified by an uncertain, fragmented environmental future. With the advent of climate change, the integrity of our global ecosystems have become vulnerable, susceptible to erratic, potentially irreversible changes. Unpredictable weather and increased pressure on our global resources continually exacerbate the division between humans and the natural world, thus prompting an even more compulsory drive to territorialize land and claim dwindling resources.

Amid such environmental crises, space and territory are called into question, as seemingly concrete borders, national boundaries, private land divisions, and properties are threatened by an increasingly volatile natural world. This situation reveals the inherently unstable means through which humans have sought to organize the natural world in pursuit of human development and progress. As Luce Irigaray has observed, "Even as man seeks to rise higher and higher—in his knowledge too—so the ground fractures more and more beneath his feet. 'Nature' is forever dodging his project of representation, of reproduction. And his grasp." Arguably, in the pursuit of geographic and other forms of knowledge, mapping itself has resulted in the continued alienation from the natural world.

In an effort to address the overlapping territories of space and ecology, we invite papers examining such matters from a geocritical or ecocritical perspective. We are particularly interested in papers that examine the connections between theories of space and of the environment, and we invite papers that consider this relationship through an examination of literature, culture, film, and theory. Questions for this panel may include: What are the relations between geocriticism and ecocriticism? How can we situate our study of geography around theories of ecology, or vice-versa? Would this challenge the way places, territories, and environments are imagined? How have identities been challenged or negotiated given our recent environmental crisis? What activists, critics, or theorists are writing about or examining these intersections?

Please send a 250-word abstract, along with a brief, 100-word biographical statement, to Christine Battista ( and Robert T. Tally Jr. ( by November 1, 2012. In addition to the papers chosen for this ASLE panel, the organizers expect that selected papers may be included in a planned collection of essays on the topic.