CFP: [American] Modernist Ecologies (4/30/08; MSA X, 11/13/08-11/16/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Anne Raine
contact email: 

Douglas Mao has argued that modernism is “foundationally ecological” in
its concern with the material object as a “synecdoche of endangered
nature.” In recent years, a number of scholars have begun to examine
modernist writers’ complex engagements with nature, environment, the
animal, or the object-world. Yet modernism’s ecologies, like its
politics, are embedded in the contradictions of its time in complex ways
that have yet to be fully explored; and the importance of ecology in
literary modernism has yet to be fully recognizedâ€"as indicated by the
absence of a chapter on the subject in handbooks like the recent
Cambridge Companion to American Modernism.
This panel seeks to deepen our understanding of modernist “ecology” and
its relationship to the forms of ecological thinking practiced by
scientists, environmentalists, or environmental scholars (historians,
philosophers, theorists, ecocritics) during the modernist period and/or
in our current moment. How do modernist texts corroborate, complicate, or
challenge scientific or popular ecological thinking, and vice versa? How
can environmental history and green cultural theory enrich our
understanding or sharpen our critique of modernist cultural production?
Can one generalize about modernist ecology, or do different regional,
national, or transnational modernisms offer different ecological
perspectives? Given that technological modernism has contributed to what
one recent book calls a “globalization of environmental crisis,” what
value do modernist ecologies have for environmentalism now?

Please send a one-page abstract and brief (100-word) author bio to Anne
Raine ( by April 30th, 2008.

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Received on Fri Mar 28 2008 - 21:32:30 EST