Ron Rash and the Natural World

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Ron Rash Society
contact email: 


Ron Rash Panel       


American Literature Association

Boston, MA

May 25-28 2017


Ron Rash and The Natural World

In an important early interview, Ron Rash called the natural world “the most universal of languages.” Rash has garnered much praise for his lyrical depictions of a beautiful Appalachian world but also a landscape written in blood and violence. One of Rash’s enduring themes—in poetry, short story, or novel—revolves around the mysteries of the natural world; how humans interact with it; how nature shapes human culture and belief systems; how nature is both ever changing but ever stagnant as well. “Landscape as destiny,” as one character puts it. For this panel, writers might wish to examine any of Rash’s work from any genre with a focus on Rash’s representation of the natural world. What types of natural spaces does Rash tend to use and for what reasons?  How do characters respond to “nature,” “post-nature,” and/or variants of “wilderness,” and how do these types of natural spaces affect human life and narrative? What types of philosophical positions does this interaction embody (Transcendental? Religious? Romantic? Postmodern? Wilderness? Ecological sublime? etc.). We are open to all approaches but are particularly interested in essays that engage with current environmental and nonhuman theory. Some topics of interest are animal studies, posthumanism, bioregionalism, land mis/management, ecofeminism, deep and shallow ecologies, country and city, rural/urban spaces, The Anthropocene, and other creative approaches. Please send a 1-2 page abstract of your proposed paper to Randall Wilhelm and to Mae Miller Claxton by December 15, 2016.