Pacific Arts and Climate Activism: ASLE 2019
Call for Papers: Paradise Rising: Pacific Arts and Climate Activism
Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Biennial Conference, UC Davis, June 26-30 2019
Proposed Format: Roundtable (5-6 Presenters)
Pacific Islanders have fought against the effects of the deterioration of their environments by capitalism and colonialism for well over two hundred years. These environmental devastations are diverse and many: the loss of arable land and sometimes of entire islands to rising sea levels, more than 300 nuclear tests, the spread of coral bleaching endangering entire ecosystems, the depletion of the maritime biosphere through industrial fishing, increasingly frequent and murderous cyclones—all have already made Pacific islands exceptionally challenging environments. Pacific artists and writers, world leaders in climate activism, have shown for decades that the Pacific is one of the bioregions the most impacted by climate change and military destruction. Yet tropical Pacific imagery, popularized in the West by eighteenth century philosophers in search of humanity’s Golden Age, still shapes what the capitalist tourist industry sells to workers of the world as idyllic “paradise.” In Oceania, in the time of climate change, paradise is not “on fire,” but drowning.
While Pacific societies are at the forefront of climate change activism, indigenous Pacific literature and cultural production remains marginalized in mainstream ecocritical studies. This panel invites papers analyzing how environmental issues caused by Militourism and climate change have shaped postcolonial Pacific literature, embodied performances, and visual arts. We seek provocative interventions exploring this question through literary, visual, historical, or social approaches.
Please submit a 200 words abstract, keeping in mind that panelists must limit their interventions to seven minutes in order to leave time for a productive discussion between participants.