CFP: Natural History in the Americas (11/30/06; ACLA, 4/19/07-4/22/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Aaron Shackelford
contact email: 

Natural History & the Fabrication of Facts
ACLA Annual Conference, Puebla, Mexico, April 19-22, 2007

Deadline for proposal submissions: November 30, 2006

In her recent examination of natural history in colonial America,
Susan Scott Parish notes the way "complex, interwoven movements of
knowledge and biota made America, not a naked continent awaiting
European cloth - as many promoters of colonization represented it -
but a place for the fabrication of facts that traveled eastward to
avid consumers." This seminar seeks to expand Parish's thesis by
exploring the ways writers have confronted the natural history of the
Americas. How have colonial expectations, cultural norms, and societal
preconceptions influenced the ways scientific, literary, and
journalistic texts reflect and convey conceptions of the plants and
animals of the western hemisphere? In what ways do these conceptions
still inflect our perceptions and understandings of the natural
history of the Americas today?

Papers across a wide historical and geographic spectrum are
encouraged. How do we approach the role of plants and animals in early
cross-cultural contact in the Caribbean? What are ways to read
contemporary environmental or pharmaceutical rhetoric on the promise
and importance of today's tropical rainforests? When have specific
genres played a greater or lesser role in these discourses? This
seminar will strive for both historical and theoretical models for
ways we may read and interpret the "fabrication of facts" crafted and
inspired by the plants and animals of the Americas.

Papers will be presented in 15-20 minute seminar format
All proposals must be submitted through the ACLA conference website:
Please specify "Natural History & the Fabrication of Facts" as the seminar title

For more information, contact Aaron Shackelford (

--Aaron ShackelfordDepartment of EnglishCB# 3520The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, NC ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Thu Oct 05 2006 - 01:55:16 EDT