UPDATE: [Renaissance] "Before Environmentalism" Conference at UCSB

full name / name of organization: 
Catherine Zusky
contact email: 

The Early Modern Center of the University of California at Santa Barbara
invites paper proposals for our 2009 Winter Conference, "Before
Environmentalism." The conference will take place on Friday, March 6,
2009 at UCSB.

In recent years, scholars have looked to the Renaissance and eighteenth
century in order to better understand both the origins of our
contemporary environmental crisis, as well as the emergence of modern
environmental thinking. Works such as Robert Watson's Back to Nature: The
Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance and Gabriel Egan's Green
Shakespeare: From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism, have brought early modern
literary studies into current ecocritical debate. As these and other
works make clear, environmental issues such as air pollution, toxic
waste, increased urbanization, deforestation, wetland loss, and radical
changes in land use were surprisingly timely in Renaissance England,
routinely making their appearance in the literature of the day. Indeed,
by the time Milton was writing Paradise Lost it was already known that
respiratory illness from urban air pollution was second only to the
Plague as the leading cause of death in London. The EMC's one-day
interdisciplinary conference will provide a forum to explore early modern
literary and cultural responses to the environmental issues that
preceded, and indeed gave shape to, modern environmentalism.

The conference will consist of panel discussions, as well as keynote
talks by Carolyn Merchant (Professor of Environmental History,
Philosophy, and Ethics, UC Berkeley) and Jill Casid (Associate Professor
of Art History and Director of the Visual Culture Studies Program,
University of Wisconsin).

We invite proposals for papers that will add to our understanding of the
historical, cultural and political dialogues about the environment and
the natural world that came "Before Environmentalism." We hope to
include papers from a range of critical and disciplinary contexts, and we
plan to incorporate investigations of literature and culture from the
years 1500 to 1800. Possible paper topics may include, but are not
limited to, the following: pastoral, urban pastoral, country house poems,
natural description, landscape, maps and map making, enclosure laws,
herbals, botany, prodigies and natural disasters, technology as mediator
between humans and their environment, almanacs and the nature world,
farming practices, and emerging science.

Please send abstracts, 300-500 words in length, to
EMCConference_at_gmail.com by December 9, 2008. Please direct any questions
to this EMC Conference website, or contact Cat Zusky at
zusky_at_umail.ucsb.edu or Pax Hehmeyer at hehmeyer_at_umail.ucsb.edu.

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Received on Thu Oct 16 2008 - 19:14:50 EDT