Roots of Ecocritical Praxis: 19th-century Anglophone

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Dewey W. Hall/Northeast MLA Conference
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Conference: Northeast MLA Conference March 17-20, 2016 at Hartford, Connecticut

Panel: Roots of Ecocritical Praxis: 19th-century Anglophone
Abstract Deadline: September 30, 2015

Chair: Dewey W. Hall, Professor of English
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Contemporary ecocritical praxis often yokes the literary with the ecological. That is, literary texts are often examined with an ecocritical perspective to yield readings that consider the value of place and space (as opposed to race, gender, and class distinctions). In so doing, the literary texts are not examined necessarily for the structure or the absence of structure; rather, literature as an object of study becomes the means by which ecocritics can discuss the significance of bioregions, biomes, and substrata embedded within the natural signifiers: a thorn and moss, a ravine at the base of a mountain, a nightingale perched on a tree, daffodils dancing along the lakeside, etc.

The panel will feature the confluence of science and the literary in the Romantic and Victorian era. The papers will focus upon important relationships that once existed between scientists and literary figures, which shaped the current interdisciplinary practice of ecocriticism: William Wordsworth and Adam Sedgwick, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Humphry Davy, Percy Shelley and William Lawrence, William Blake and Erasmus Darwin, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Charles Lyell, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Michael Faraday, etc. The aim is not to embed the literary within the scientific. Instead, the attempt is to demonstrate that both disciplines can be interdependent rather than mutually exclusive.

The website for abstract submission is:

New users need to create an account. Or, the abstract can be sent to Dewey Hall at and Jude Frodyma at