Searching for Place: Interpretations of the Environment and Landscape

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University of Wyoming
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"It will soon be apparent that even though we gather together and look in the same directions at the same instant, we will not – we cannot – see the same landscape" (Meinig 33). D.W. Meinig's explanation of landscape perceptions demonstrates that a single interpretation of a landscape or environment fails to accommodate the subjective experiences of any group, regardless of the size. For example, Edward Abbey's response to the commodification of a river through damming establishes his view as conflicting with that of developers. Abbey sees the filth of "progress" that overshadows the historical glory of the river: "Where [John Wesley Powell] and his brave men once lined the rapids and glided through silent canyons two thousand feet deep the motorboats now smoke and whine, scumming the water with cigarette butts, beer cans and oil, dragging the water skiers on their endless rounds, clockwise" (174).

The University of Wyoming's 2014 Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, held March 27 - 29, 2014, will focus on the interpretations and arguments surrounding the environment and varying landscapes as observed through the humanities. We are looking for submissions that explore issues concerning eco and environmental criticism and/or submissions that delve into tensions within physical, social, conceptual, and/or political landscapes.
We encourage papers from a variety of disciplines. Please submit an abstract of 250 words and a working title as a Word attachment, along with contact information that includes your name, institutional affiliation, degree level, a brief bio, email address, and phone number with "UW Searching for Place Conference" in the subject, to tetzkorn@uwyo.edu by February 21, 2014. If accepted, we will ask you to complete and return a registration form with a registration fee.