Tranatlantic Ecologies: Utopia to Zoonomia (May 16-17, 2014)

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The Early Modern Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara
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Transatlantic Ecologies seeks readings of the complex and developing connections between ecological and global thought in the early modern period. When discussing burgeoning forms of early modern ecological awareness, how should we account for the complex networks of knowledge construction in the Atlantic world resulting from the confluence of European, African, and Amerindian cultures? And, how do nonhumans figure into this network? Namely, how do we account for the influence of diverse New World ecologies and changing conceptions of land, space, animal consciousness, and ecological interdependence? Broadly, we seek studies of early modern literature, history, and culture that explore how Atlantic peoples came to view themselves as world citizens through their interactions with nature, and as natural citizens through their interactions with an increasingly but inconsistently networked Atlantic world.

We seek participation from a broad spectrum of disciplines, and scholars studying perspectives from any node in the Atlantic. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-European influences on Enlightenment ecological thought
  • Non-human influences on Enlightenment ecological thought
  • Transatlantic natural history
  • Transatlantic Romanticism
  • Ecological or transatlantic re-readings of canonical early modern authors
  • Collection and exhibition: plant/animal, living/dead
  • Agriculture and national/global identity
  • Human and animal bodies
  • Hunting, by land and by sea
  • Early modern environmental crises
  • Early modern science and medicine

Please send abstracts, 300 words in length, to by January 31, 2014. Feel free to contact the organizing chair, Thomas Doran, at with any questions, or visit the conference website.

Transatlantic Ecologies: Utopia to Zoonomia, the Early Modern Center's thirteenth annual conference, to be held on May 17, 2014, will feature keynote speaker Professor Gordon Sayre (University of Oregon). This year's conference will be held in conjunction with the Literature and Environment Center's Symposium on Disaster on May 16, 2014, with keynote speaker Professor Timothy Morton (Rice University) and others. There will also be two activities linking the conference and symposium: a plenary roundtable on "Temporality and the Anthropocene," and a series of environmental humanities discussion sessions. Conference attendees and presenters are encouraged to attend both Friday's and Saturday's events.