Teaching the End of the World (ASLE roundtable)

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Jamie Bolker / Fordham University
contact email: 

Please consider submitting a proposal for the following roundtable session at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) conference, taking place from June 26-30, 2019 at UC-Davis.  Teaching the End of the World

With some climate scientists calling the year 2035 the “point of no return” for reducing global climate warming, it is our ethical imperative to encourage our students to be thinking about the perils of the environment so that they may potentially take part in solutions. This roundtable session will consider: how are we to teach the end of the world? How do we incorporate our present climate crisis into courses on literature from time periods that may be well before people were thinking about climate change? What strategies can we use in composition and/or media studies courses to analyze the rhetoric of apocalyptic language used in news reports and scientific studies? How can we address the very real possibility of reaching “the point of no return” in the context of the classes we teach? How do we combat apathy toward an unknowable and (not so) distant future? Additionally, what tactics would or do you use in teaching climate fiction? 

Participants in this roundtable session will discuss their strategies, struggles, and questions regarding the incorporation of time-sensitive contemporary environmental issues into literature, composition, and other classes covering various time periods and thematic approaches. This session will be an opportunity to share and learn about the teaching methods—including sample assignments, lectures, readings, etc.—used by scholars from various fields.
Please submit 250-word abstracts through the following link by Dec. 15th: https://asle.submittable.com/submit/126725/teaching-the-end-of-the-worldEmail Jamie Bolker, jbolker1@fordham.edu with questions.