Environmental Violence

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Elizabeth S. Leet, Franklin & Marshall College
contact email: 

Environmental Violence

IMC Kalamazoo (May 7-10, 2020)

Organizer: Elizabeth S. Leet (eleet@fandm.edu)

Much early ecocriticism focused on natural spaces as complements to human agency. For example, studies of the hortus conclusus in medieval romance emblematize this view of nature as a fecund space mastered by humans. In our time of climate crisis, however, ecocritics seek to complicate anthropocentric views of medieval environments. By studying climates and environments that reject human dominion and endanger human lives, we may examine the violence these environments enact and evaluate the models they offer for human survival and care amidst climate disaster.

This panel seeks papers that incorporate varied perspectives on such environmental violence ranging from environmental studies and art history to literature and the medical humanities. Particularly welcome are papers that:

  • close read texts, images, and documents;
  • link their findings to recent theoretical traditions like ecocriticism, posthumanism, new materialism, and actor-network theory;
  • correlate destructive ecological agency with particular human identities (class, race, gender, ability) to ascertain how climate disaster affects different populations.

Please submit 250-word abstracts for 15-20 min papers along with completed participant information forms (found here: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to eleet@fandm.edu no later than September 15, 2019.