Reading Nature: Cultural Perspectives on Environmental Imagery (Dec, 14-16 - 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
Universidad Complutense de Madrid - Friends of Thoreau / Universidad de Alcalá de Henares

Dear colleagues,

Complutense University of Madrid and Friends of Thoreau Research Group UAH are pleased to announce the international conference Reading Nature, which will take place in Madrid, Spain, on December 14-16, 2011.

Environmental disciplines have recently gained prominence due to the potentially devastating consequences of climate change: increasing natural disasters, the greenhouse effect, temperature variations, changing sea levels, etc. Such issues have raised awareness on the necessity for a drastic change in thinking. Ecocriticism—along with other green disciplines dealing with the relationship between society and the environment—places nature as the center of the intellectual debate. As Kate Rigby states, "culture constructs the prism through which we know nature." Reading Nature Conference aims to explore from a critical perspective how such a prism is constructed. International reputed experts, along with young scholars will examine the way in which different notions on nature and the environment are conveyed in cultural manifestations.
Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Bill Mckibben (videoconferencing) (Middlebury College)
Paul Waldau (Harvard University, Yale University, Tufts University)
Phillip Terrie (Bowling Green State University)
Mario Petrucci (Artist and Poet)
Carmen Flys (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares)
María Novo (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia)

We invite proposals for papers on the following topics:

Ecopoetics: the rhetoric of environmentalism
Sense of place and identity
Reassessing ecocriticism: race, gender, sexuality and the environment
Transcending ecocriticism: ecofeminism and feminine geographies; ecotheology; postcolonial/transnational ecocriticism and global ecologies
Animal studies: literary, visual and cultural representations of animals in history and in contemporary society. Figuring animals as sentimental beings.
Indigenous environmental aesthetics
Representations of 'wilderness' in Anglo-American culture; mythologizing and demythologizing nature in literature and the arts
Genre fiction and environmental representation: sciencie-fiction, gothic fiction, utopia, dystopia, narratives of apocalypse in all media
Disaster narratives and environmental concerns in current narrative discuourses: literature, media, and the arts
Writing/Representing climate change; popular perceptions of climate change
Ecology and Literary studies: methodological tools and theoretical perspectives
Other related topics
For full details, see our call for papers ( on our website (

Please feel free to forward this announcement to whoever may be interested.