Permacultural Practices, panel proposed for the ASLE Eleventh Biennial Conference, June 23-27, 2015, University of Idaho
Writing in 1978, founders Bill Mollison and David Holmgren coined the term permaculture—a portmanteau compounding and eliding "permanent agriculture"—to signify a design ethics suitable to an imminently low-energy future. In the intervening years, "permaculture" has become a truly global movement, inspiring home gardeners and farmers, intentional communities and design courses, and artists and activists, coming to refer more broadly to all aspects of culture, and referring as much to an ethics of life and the living as to principles of conscientious and efficient design.
Inspired by this broadening of the concept, this panel (which we envision as a traditional panel or paper jam, depending on response) queries the applicability of permacultural values to the study of art and literature. We welcome proposals for papers that deal directly with examples of permaculture in practice, but we are also interested in the ways in which permaculture might inform our practices as (eco)critics. To what extent might permaculture offer a model for thinking about the slow violence and environmental injustice of contemporary (agri)culture? How might consideration of permaculture's design principles inform our interdisciplinary aspirations? Could permaculture enhance our thinking of peak oil, global warming, deep time, and the anthropocene? Given the "perma" in permaculture, how resonant is it with other contemporary key words, like "resilience"? How might permaculture affect ecocritical pedagogical practices? And, to what extent can art or literature contribute to permaculture on the ground?