CFP: Ecocritical Readings of Irish Texts (2/28/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Christine L Cusick
contact email: 

A Call for Papers:

“Murmurs that Come out of the Earth”:
Ecocritical Readings of Irish Texts, a Collection

Long before there was a theoretical movement that defined and
categorized literary readings of nature, scholars of Irish literature
have understood the importance of the natural world to an Irish
cultural sensibility. An emphasis on place not only pervades Irish
writing of the twentieth century but is also rooted in ancient
traditions of Celtic mythology and place-lore. While critical
assessments of Irish place writing are numerous, few address such
representations of the natural world as politically and culturally
informed and scripted texts. Even fewer address the ecological
implications embedded in these ways of knowing place. Globalization,
the expanding European economy, technological growth--all of which
have turned a famine-ridden colonized nation in the
“tiger” of Europe-- necessitate a consideration of place
that is committed to its ecological materiality.

This project will explore the natural world as a record of, and
participant in, the experiences of a place called Ireland. The
theoretical foundations of the project are rooted in critical
assumptions that have more frequently been linked to American studies.
 Careful and trenchant work within the field of ecocriticism has
effectively articulated the implicit fallibility of any attempt to
isolate nature from culture. Through a study of the cultural forces
that shape and construct an environmental ethic in Ireland, this
project is a gesture to wed the critical impetus of ecocriticism to
environmental concerns in Ireland.

This collection will be grounded in the long tradition of place
studies that carry us through very recent critical contributions, most
notably Oona Frawley’s study Irish Pastoral: Nostalgia and
Twentieth Century Irish Literature (2005). The defining
characteristic of this new endeavor will be its contribution to not
only the conceptual manifestation of place and landscape in Irish
texts, but also to the complex and concrete reality of the wellness
and sustenance of Ireland’s natural resources. This will be an
interdisciplinary collection; thus, the “text” in this
study will be broadly defined. Critical studies of film, photography,
and/or such social phenomenon as ecotourism in Ireland, are welcomed.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to, studies that consider
the following influences upon the conceptualization and treatment of
the natural world in Ireland:

traditional Irish music
Celtic mythology
rural despoliation

Inquiries should be sent to Christine Cusick at

Established scholars in both Irish and Ecocritical Studies have
already agreed to contribute to this collection; however, engaging
work from both established and new scholars alike is welcomed.
All submissions should conform to the MLA Style Sheet.

Please send completed essay length submissions to:

Dr. Christine Cusick
Department of English
110 Leonard Hall
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA 15705

Deadline for submissions: February 28, 2006

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Tue Nov 08 2005 - 17:15:00 EST