full name / name of organization: 
Department of English Philology II (UCM) - Friends of Thoreau (Franklin Institute UAH)

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.

Plenary Speakers

Carmen Flys Junquera (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares)
Bill McKibben (Middlebury College), videoconferencing
María Novo (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia)
Mario Petrucci (British artist and poet)
José B. Ruiz (Wildlife photographer)
Philip Terrie (Bowling Green State University)
Paul Waldau (Harvard University, Yale University, Tufts University)

Possible Topics for Paper Proposals

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 sentient 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
Abstracts must be sent via e-mail before the 30th April 2011 to The Organizing Committee will confirm receiving your abstract via e-mail as soon as possible. The authors will be notified of paper acceptance by the 20th May 2011.
Abstracts may be submitted in English or Spanish.
Papers are expected to be approximately 2500 words (15-20 minutes).

Please visit our website for more information:

After the conference, participants will be invited to send in an extended version of their papers (6,000-8,000 words) for a Reading Nature publication. An official Call For Articles will be launched in January 2012. After evaluation, a selection of the papers submitted will be published in a volume of articles.