[UPDATE] Ecocriticism and Geocriticism: Overlapping Territories in Environmental and Spatial Literary Studies (Oct. 15, 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Christine Battista and Robert T. Tally Jr.

We invite abstracts or proposals for essays on the relations between ecocriticism and geocriticism, broadly conceived, for a proposed collection of essays, Ecocriticism and Geocriticism: Overlapping Territories in Environmental and Spatial Literary Studies.

The present world-historical moment is marked by an uncertain, fragmented environmental future. As the spatial anxieties of modernity are compounded by ecological crises, space and territory are called into question, and seemingly concrete borders, national boundaries, private land divisions, and properties are threatened by the increasing volatility of both the social and natural worlds (a dubiously maintained distinction, to be sure). This situation reveals the inherently unstable means through which humans have sought to organize the real-and-imagined spaces of the world in pursuit of human development and progress. As Luce Irigaray has observed, "Even as man seeks to rise higher and higher—in his knowledge too—so the ground fractures more and more beneath his feet. 'Nature' is forever dodging his project of representation, of reproduction. And his grasp." Arguably, in its pursuit of geographic and other forms of knowledge, mapping itself has resulted in the perceived alienation from, and within, nature.

In an effort to address the overlapping territories of spatiality and ecology, we invite proposals for essays examining such matters from a geocritical and/or ecocritical perspective. We are particularly interested in work that examines the connections between theories of space and the environment, and we invite proposals that consider this relationship through an examination of literature, culture, film, and theory, as well as from interdisciplinary perspectives. Questions may include the following: What are the relations between geocriticism and ecocriticism? How can critics situate the study of geography around theories of ecology, or vice-versa? Would this challenge the way places, territories, and environments are imagined? How have identities been challenged or negotiated given our recent environmental crisis? What activists, artists, critics, or theorists are writing about or examining these intersections? What are the effects of such interventions?

Please send a 250-word abstract, along with a brief CV (or 100-word biographical statement), to Christine Battista (chrissiebattista@gmail.com) and Robert T. Tally Jr. (robert.tally@txstate.edu) by October 15, 2013. Inquiries are also welcome.