Reimagining Ecologies of Time/Place in Postcolonial Fiction (NeMLA 2018)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association

Postcolonialism and ecocriticism have often been at odds with one another for the main reason that postcoloniality typically concerns itself with issues of displacement and diaspora, while ecocritical practice attends to a very specific ethics of place. However, as critics such as David Mazel argue, there exists an ability to interpret the land through the lens of a “poststructuralist ecocriticism” that encompasses “a way of reading environmental literature and canonical landscapes that attends concurrently to the discursive construction of both…environment and subjectivity,” creating an “analysis of the environment as a powerful site for naturalizing constructs of race, class, nationality, and gender” (American Literary Environmentalism, xxi).

This panel invites papers that interrogate the way local landscapes and the environment are presented and represented in the fictional works of postcolonial writers from North America and the global south (including, but not limited to, the Anglophone Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands). In particular, we seek papers that explore the connection generated between the function and import of place with legacies of colonialism and imperialism, processes of decolonization, and the concept of diaspora. “Landscape” in this framing is meant to be interpreted loosely, but should be based on its physical representation, as opposed to metaphorical or ideological iterations. Additionally, we welcome papers that focus on temporal aspects of the above locations and themes, investigating the way that place functions at a particular moment in history, or morphs over time. Successful submissions will focus on the myriad fruitful connections to be made between the spatial and temporal manifestations that intertwine ecology and the natural world with Western imperial enterprise.

All proposals must be submitted through NeMLA portal and should be no more than 300 words. Below is the link for submission:

Proposals are due September 30, 2017. Participants will be notified by Oct 15 as to the status of their proposal.