Environment and Culture in the Anthropocene
Berhampur, Odisha, India, 760007
NAAC Accredited with “A”
Post Graduate Department of English, Berhampur University, Odisha
International Conference and Poetry festival
In collaboration with the
Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics (GIEWEC)
Environment and Culture in the Anthropocene
1 & 2 December 2019
“The most important function of literature today is to redirect human consciousness to a full consideration of its place in a threatened natural world.”
Glen A. Love “Revaluing Nature”
Homo sapiens peopled the earth thousands of years ago, spreading from Africa into the other continents, fighting with other human species, annihilating them and establishing hegemony, thus, making a permanent impact on the earth and the biosphere. Scientists have traced the beginnings of climate engineering to those early days, in fact to the times of excessive agriculture, hunting and forest clearing by Homo sapiens millennia ago. Extreme weather phenomena have been noted to have possibly started from 1945 onwards (Elsner et.al. 2008) due to the ‘Great Acceleration’ of climate change resulting from human activity. Concerned with human impact on the biosphere the biologist Eugene S. Stoermer and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Paul Crutzen, revoked and popularized the term The Anthropocene to specify the new geological epoch humans on earth find themselves in. The pervasive and destructive human activities have been interfering with the great forces of nature trying to school them , which may result in annihilation of all species and rendering the earth “terra incognita”. The term Anthropocene caught the attention of social scientists, anthropologists, economists, political scientists, biologists, environmentalists, psychologists, poets, writers and policy makers to name a few, and thus broke out of its confines in the geological contexts to embrace a wider relevance and become an umbrella term for human induced climate crisis involving nature and culture.
The world today, and more so the Indian sub-continent over the past few decades is seized in fear by the uncanny cyclones, tsunamis, earth quakes, flash floods, droughts, extreme heat and cold conditions and unknown mutated diseases which can only be attributed to human activities over the years. The non-West and the subaltern classes are the most affected by the climate crisis which is addressed by prominent postcolonial voices like Dipesh Chakrabarty, Amitav Ghosh, Lawrence Buell and others. These thinkers and writers insist that the climate crisis requires humanity as a species to confront its shared responsibility for and vulnerability to the crisis. In this context we may recall Buell’s argument in his 1995 essay, The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture that if, “as environmental philosophers contend, western metaphysics and ethics needs revision before we can address today’s environmental problems, then environmental crisis involves a crisis of imagination the amelioration of which depends on finding better ways of imagining nature and humanity’s relations to it.” (2) In the same vein, Oriental/Indian metaphysics and ethics need revision. Diverse spiritual practices, religio-cultural beliefs and ideology that seem to be professing symbiotic relationship with nature are in reality ‘othering’ nature and problematising this relationship.
Imagination, especially literary imagination, needs to wake up and address this issue of ecological damage and disaster that the earth faces today. Art and literature have a definitive place in culture and can help in waking the masses to reality provoking ecological thought through non-fiction, fiction, myth, religious texts and poetry. Debates and deliberations on this crucial issue may bring about changes in the cultural imaginary and mode of production and save the Earth yet.
Therefore the objective of this Conference is to address some of the issues relating to the human nature interaction in the anthropocene through interdisciplinary discussions and debates. We invite papers/posters that analyse/showcase literary texts (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama et al.), culture and society, environment and climate change and suggest sustainability locating areas of concern and developing the means of necessary arguments and solutions in the larger interest of the Earth, the eco-system and humanity.
We invite research papers in the following themes but do not restrict paper/poster presenters from being more innovative and interdisciplinary in this subject area:
- Critical Green theory
- Anthropocene Universalism
- Literature and theory in/of the anthropocene
- Politics and economy in/of the anthropocene
- Botanical/Zoological sexism
- Affect in the anthropocene
- Climate history and literary studies
- Indigenous culture and the environment
- Religion and ecology
- History, ruptures and continuities in culture-nature interactions
- Ecofeminism and sustainability
- Ecological damage and future prediction in literary studies
- Urban Ecology and Environment
- Culture, Environment, Indigenous people and reflection in literatures of the world
- Eco-psychology: Literary representations of ecstasy and dissociative experience, focusing on the cognitive and neuro-phenomenological dimensions of the human encounter with nature.
- Social ecology and impact of Climate change in representations
- Engineering of Nature
- Techno-magic and cyberpunk aesthetics in Literature: nature and machines.
- Evolution of land ethics
- Community, Land and Commodity
- Consumption, nature, ecology.
Last date for receiving abstracts within 250-300 words with 4-5 keywords: 25th September 2019
Information about acceptance of abstracts: 26th Sept 2019
Last Date for Full Papers: 25th October 2019
Participants are requested to send their original and unpublished articles, strictly following the MLA Style Book-8th Edition for preparing their papers.
All co-authors and poets should register as delegates.
Registration: 26th September 2019- 30 th October 2019
Registration Fee: 2000 INR
( Registration fee includes access to all the sessions of the conference, 2 Lunches, tea and Conference Kit and Certificates
Registration form and payment details will be sent at the time of acceptance of Abstracts. No registration will be entertained after the last date for registration. Registration fee once paid will not be refunded. Participants will have to manage their own accommodation. No TA/DA will be provided.)
Send one poem only to be presented at the festival. Only peer reviewed Papers and Poems will be published in the Conference Proceedings.
ü FOR ENTRY INTO BYOTKESH TRIPATHY AWARD FOR THE BEST SEMINAR PAPER, SUBMIT FULL PAPER BY 25th OCTOBER, 2019
Kindly send abstracts to and seek information from:
Conference Convenor: Dr Shruti Das
Co-Convenor: Dr Balabhadra Tripathy
Coordinators: Dr T. Eswar Rao & Anil K. Tiriya
Secretary GIEWEC: Prof. K V Dominic