CFP: [Theory] Theorizing Ecocriticism (MLA 2008 ASLE-sponsored; deadline March 1)

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah E. McFarland
contact email: 

Theorizing Ecocriticism

MLA 2008 in San Francisco
Panel sponsored by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment

Since its origins a few short decades ago, a number of scholars have
challenged ecocriticism as being under-theorized. For instance, Dana
Phillips has called for greater theoretical sophistication in environmental
studies and ecocriticism, demanding that they become truly
interdisciplinary and less reverential; Simon C. Estok insists that
ecocritics should define the field of inquiry and take on theory instead of
turning from it.

In an effort to construct an ecocritical theoretical perspective, Serpil
Opperman proposes that literary ecocriticism has been too focused on
realism and that a reconstructive postmodern theory, rooted in principles
of heterogeneity, is more consistent with ecological principles. Louise
Westling suggests that ecocriticism can locate promising new theoretical
possibilities in what she calls Animot Posthumanism, which strives to
challenge Cartesian dualisms by turning to philosophers and posthumanist
theorists who explore our human entanglement within the larger web of the
world. These are just two examples of the ways that scholars are struggling
to answer the question of how to best theorize ecocriticism.

What theoretical framework can help ecocriticism enter a new age? Proposals
are invited that theorize methods of ecocritical practice; this panel hopes
to assemble scholars whose work does so from a variety of perspectives,
thereby creating productive discussion that cuts across genre and discipline.

500-word proposals should be emailed to Sarah E. McFarland at by March 1, 2008. Questions are welcome!

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Tue Jan 01 2008 - 23:52:38 EST