Border/lands: An Interdisciplinary Ecocritical Conference

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University of Idaho, Department of English (Graduate Students)
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The Graduate Students in the Department of English at the University of Idaho invite submissions for an interdisciplinary conference focusing on ecocritical issues relating to boundaries and the body. The conference will take place April 13th, 2013 and will feature a roundtable discussion with Dr. Scott Slovic, Dr. Erin James, and Dr. Anna Banks. The discussion will address the state of contemporary ecocriticism.

Responding to the recent "material turn" in ecocriticism and other fields, this conference will examine how boundaries are structured and how bodies are explained and interpreted from an ecocritical perspective. Contemporary environmental concerns make these timely issues to explore, but there is a deeper need for an intervention in this discussion in terms of how modern society thinks about space and environment. Integral boundaries have become practically invisible to the everyday functions of society, and simultaneously bodies have become identifiable based only on their position as hyper-consumers.

The conference welcomes interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary papers or panels, comparative analyses of literary and cultural texts, and innovative methodologies. We encourage submissions from a wide array of perspectives. Submissions may include, but are definitely not limited to, an exploration of the following:

•How might we think about the physical, ontological, and theoretical boundaries between humanity and nature? Between human and nonhuman animals?

•What are the points of collision/connection between modern environments and the narrative frameworks we use to classify those environments—narratives like the frontier, wilderness, the sublime, and the pastoral?

•What rhetorics function to create or disrupt boundaries in a particular text, culture, discipline, or community?

•How do fictions structure reality and therefore contest, challenge, or uphold various kinds of species, environmental, political, or ideological boundaries?

Please email your proposal, including a 300 word abstract (with title), contact information, and audiovisual needs, if any, to Johanna Heloise Abtahi or Megan Dodd, University of Idaho, by Friday, January 25th, 2013.