American Environmetal Literature Before 1900 (American Literature I, Pre-1900)
Since the publication of Lawrence Buell's The Environmental Literature, there has been increasing awareness that the environment has played a significant role in the shaping of American literature since its beginnings but especially in the nineteenth century. This panel welcomes papers focused on the environment in American literature written before 1900, particularly those focused on topics dealing with the conference theme of sustainability. Following is a list of possible topics, but any papers related to the overall theme of the "environmental imagination" in American literature before 1900 will be considered.
- Reconsiderations of canonical and non-canonical literary texts that address nature and the environment in the United States or elsewhere in the Americas
- Ecological understandings of the human relation to the nonhuman natural world
- Respect for environmental cycles, bioregionalism, and local or global ecosystems
- Attempts to minimize human destruction of the natural environment, including the birth of state parks and other preservationist movements that preceded the national parks system of the twentieth-century
- The space of the natural environment as an alternative to oppressive national ideologies or as an impetus for imaginative engagement with the world
- Tensions between competing understandings of or interactions with the American landscape: sublime, beautiful, natural and supernatural, industrial, technological,etc.
- The development of an aesthetics of nature and/or environmental awareness in literary representations of nature
By June 1, please submit a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Steven Petersheim, Indiana University East, at email@example.com