MLA cfp -- panel arranged by ASLE

full name / name of organization: 
Scott Knickerbocker

African American Literature and Environment MLA panel arranged by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment

Proposals are invited for presentations that examine African American literature as environmental literature. bell hooks claims that "black people were first and foremost a people of the land," but for a variety of historical reasons, African American literature has been excluded from the green canon of typical nature writing. How does African American literature, whether an early slave narrative or a contemporary work of
fiction or poetry, complicate traditional ideas about environmental consciousness (including but not limited to the inclusion of environmental justice issues)? How does the history of slavery, Jim Crow segregation and racial violence, and African American migration to northern cities problematize the pastoral as a genre? Despite this historically vexed relationship to rural land, how has African American literature registered ecocentric experience of the nonhuman world? Paper
topics may address these or other questions related to African AmericanLiterature and Environment.

Submit 300-word abstracts by March 22, 2009 to Scott Knickerbocker at Questions are welcome.