The Preservation of Place: Regionalism and Ecological Conservation (proposals due by May 15, 2011)

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SAMLA (South Atlantic Modern Language Association) - Special Session at the 2011 SAMLA Convention, November 4-6, 2011
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The Preservation of Place: Regionalism and Ecological Conservation

"We seek the balance between cosmopolitan pluralism and deep local consciousness. We are asking how the whole human race can regain self-determination in place after centuries of having been disenfranchised by hierarchy and/or centralized power" (Gary Snyder, "The Place, the Region, and the Commons").

"And so I look upon the sort of regionalism that I am talking about not just as a recurrent literary phenomenon, but as a necessity of civilization and survival" (Wendell Berry, "The Regional Motive").

This session will explore the importance of regionalism and regional writing in relation to eco-criticism and ecological conservation. In an era of increasing globalization and permeable boarders, how can reading and writing about specific regions affect our understanding of ecological conservation? How can the local and the particular inform global conversations regarding environmental degradation?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, understanding eco-criticism in a regional context; the blending of Continental philosophy and American regionalism; nature and place writings in an age of globalization; the influence of ancient thought on our contemporary ecological condition; aesthetics and regionalist writing; translating a sense of place; intersections of the local and global; and, the interactions between a sense of place and ecocriticism in one or more particular regional authors. Papers should be fifteen minutes long (2100-2400 words). By May 15, 2011, please send a 500-word abstract to Stephen Barnes at

Proposals due: 15 May 2011
SAMLA Convention dates: 4-6 November 2011