Nature and the Long Nineteenth Century, Postgraduate Conference, 6 February 2010

full name / name of organization: 
University of Edinburgh
contact email: 
natureconference@ed.ac.uk

Call for papers: Nature and the long nineteenth century

A one-day interdisciplinary postgraduate conference exploring intersections of the natural world with nineteenth-century literature and culture at the University of Edinburgh, Saturday, 6 February 2010.

Keynote speakers: Dr Martin Willis, University of Glamorgan, Dr Christine Ferguson, University of Glasgow, Professor Nick Daly, University College Dublin

In the twenty-first century, environmentalism and the impacts of climate change form a nexus of intense debates about relationship between human culture and the natural world. However, the centrality of the natural world to the nineteenth century imagination has long been acknowledged by scholars, way-marked by Lynn Merrill's The Romance of Victorian Natural History (1989) for example, while Mike Davis's Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World (2002) demonstrates the relevance of nineteenth-century research to the modern world.

This conference probes the significance of nature to the long nineteenth century and to our study of its literature, history, science, art, and other media. How did the natural world influence people in the nineteenth century—and how did nineteenth-century culture shape attitudes to the natural world? Have twenty-first century questions over nature, climate, and the environment changed the way we view and study the cultural products of the nineteenth century, or offered new avenues for research, especially interdisciplinary research?

Postgraduate and early-career researchers are invited to submit 300 word proposals for 20 minute papers or proposals for panels to natureconference@ed.ac.uk by 16 November 2009. See also: www.englit.ed.ac.uk/other/NatureConference/landingpage.htm.

Possible topics could include but are not limited to:
Representations of nature in history, literature, drama, poetry, art, theatre
Representations of, or human relationships with: oceans and the seaside, mountains and the countryside, rivers, lakes, gardens, working animals, pets
Natural history, specimens, collecting, displaying
Science and human or animal nature: hybridity, husbandry, eugenics; Darwinism and biology; Lyell and geology
Climate change, environmentalism, eco-criticism, the ecotopia
The natural world in romance, Gothic, the fantastic
Natural horror, biological monstrosity and the limits of the human
The (un)natural city, machine, media
The (super)natural world: ghosts, spiritualism, Gothic
Theoretical approaches to human and animal nature or the representation of nature.

Organisers: Claire McKechnie, University of Edinburgh and Dr Emily Alder, Edinburgh Napier University. Contact us at natureconference@ed.ac.uk.

We are grateful for the support of the British Association for Victorian Studies, the British Society for Literature and Science, and the Centre for Literature and Writing at Edinburgh Napier University.

cfp categories: 
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
general_announcements
graduate_conferences
science_and_culture
victorian