Shifting Territories: modern and contemporary poetics of place - Abstracts deadline 4 March, 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Oxford Brookes University in association with the Institute of English Studies, London, UK

Deadline for abstracts 4 March, 2013
Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher conference
22nd and 23rd May, 2013 - Institute of English Studies, London, UK

'Shifting Territories' will consider the recent wave of new nature writing and poetry which goes beyond traditional representations of landscape to venture into borderlands, edgelands and urban environments: a development which has been addressed in texts like Granta 102: The New Nature Writing (Summer, 2008), Tim Dee's 'Nature Writing' essay in Archipelago 5 (Winter, 2010-11) and Poetry Review 102: The Poetry of Place (Spring, 2012). The conference aims to determine if this current poetic and critical interest in poetry of place is a direct response to environmental crises or whether it is merely a refashioning of what poetry has always taken as its subject. By creating a space for dialogue about modern and contemporary poets' use of place, we seek to address the development of this subject in the 20th and 21st centuries. The conference will examine the ways in which poets use language to negotiate the relentlessly shifting concepts of identity and place and how particular locations, or states of flux, have shaped their aesthetic.

Topics for papers might include, but are not limited to:
-- Poetry derived from a locality / region
-- Belonging versus rootlessness
-- Challenging sentimentality, nostalgia and pastoral idylls
-- Uncertainty and unfixity in place and language
-- Outsiders and occupiers of non-place
-- Built environments and urban landscapes
-- Ecocritical approaches to place
-- Contested territories / postcolonial perspectives on landscape
-- Dialogues and distinctions between modern and contemporary poets' use of place

The conference will feature poetry readings and will also include a postgraduate and ECR training workshop on publishing research related to modern and contemporary poetry.

Abstracts of 300 words for papers of no more than twenty minutes should be submitted by 4 March, 2013 to


Anna Hewitt -
Niall Munro -
Nissa Parmar -