Pastoral Artifice - MMLA/November, 2013
Recent publication of The Arcadia Project, an anthology of "North American postmodern pastoral," highlights the interest of contemporary writers in pastoral artifice. In highly original compositions, these writers repurpose and self-consciously misuse pastoral conventions to evoke simulations of pastoral in the contemporary world. Paradoxically, these simulations are more real than the pastoral fantasies on which they are based. For example, the pastoral simulation called suburbia continues to expand in unsustainable ways, and to degrade our environment.
This special session asks contributors to consider how contemporary authors write and represent pastoral simulations. How do their techniques stem out of past writers and works? What is the relationship between pastoral artifice in literature and environmental activism? How can we conceptualize of pastoral artifice with reference to postmodernism, or even to the "post-pastoral," as theorized by Terry Gifford?
Please send 250-word abstracts by June 21st, 2013 to Peter Monacell, firstname.lastname@example.org