Paying the Way: Roads, Rivers, and Railways in Culture and Criticism [10/28/13;2/28/14]

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Natures 2014
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Paving the Way: Roads, Rivers, and Railways in Culture and Criticism

From ancient game trails to winding river routes, from the roads of the Roman empire to the railroads of the British Empire, from the multi-laned freeways of modernity to the internet of the new millennium, humans have marked the earth by pushing against their physical limitations. In a parallel way, people have pushed against the ideologies of their community and forged new paths into and through social consciousness, reflecting, refining, and expanding these revolutionary ideas through cultural and critical expressions.

This conference will explore the ways in which culture has shaped and been shaped by these ever-growing and changing sources of human expansion. Papers should feel free to explore topics ranging from the ways in which setting has impacted cultural content (e.g. gender freedom in the Forest of Arden in As You Like It) or the way in which characters push or are pushed by the environment in which they are placed (e.g. Elizabeth's defiant walks in Pride and Prejudice) .

While the organizers are particularly interested in papers with an environmental focus, submission from any critical perspective and from any field in the humanities are encouraged. Interdisciplinary papers, hybrid criticisms (e.g. ecofeminism), and pre-formed panels are especially welcome.

Dr. Glotfelty, the plenary speaker, rocked the academic world with her dissertation (Cornell University, 1990) and her many subsequent publications, which have all been pivotal to the emergence of ecocriticism as a recognized field of scholarship over the past 20 years.

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit your title and 250 word abstract to our website:

Submission Deadline: October 28, 2013
Conference Date: February 28, 2014

Pre-formed panel submissions should include 3-4 presentations each with titles and 250 word abstracts in addition to a 50 word panel title and abstract.