Dissident Environments: Race and the Underground

full name / name of organization: 
ASLE Conference (6/23-27/15, Moscow, Idaho)

(Abstract deadline 11/24/14; ASLE Conference 6/23-27/15, Moscow, Idaho)

This panel seeks abstracts for papers that bring race into conversation with cultural and material histories of environment in the Americas.

Stimulated by the counter-discursive possibilities suggested by the topic of the 2015 ASLE conference on "Notes from Underground: The Depths of Environmental Arts, Culture and Justice," we seek work investigating race and environments, especially work grounded in the study of site histories and critical geographies.

Though we will consider relevant approaches dealing with any period, we are particularly interested in the ways the study of race problematizes environmental knowledges in the nineteenth through early twentieth centuries. Of particular interest to us is work that reconsiders and complicates traditional associations between racialized resistance and the built environment (think, for example, of the antislavery network known as "the underground railroad" or Ellison's invisible man's basement dwelling) in favor of other more and less metaphorical constructions of the secret, the resistant, and the otherwise subterranean.

Areas of interest include:

*Trajectories of environmental justice in narrative
*Racial undergrounds
*Communities of color and risk
*Sites of embodiment, co-natural spaces; how literature revises spaces of belonging
*Topographies of antislavery resistance
*Work that investigates other implications of the "ground" in antislavery writing
*Considerations of the literally subterranean in writing around slavery and emancipation
*Work that explores the inter-implication of land and justice/ grassroots activism
*Work exploring the importance of natural concealment—swamps, caves, mountains
*Maroon communities and fugitive ecologies
*Bioregions of race; urban environments and circular host neighborhoods

Send abstracts of 300 words to Judith Madera (maderaji@wfu.edu) and Martha Schoolman (mschoolm@fiu.edu) by November 24, 2014. Inquiries welcome.