Restoration Drama and Ecocriticism

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Denys Van Renen / University of Nebraska at Kearney
contact email: 

CFP for ASECS Panel (Minneapolis –  30 March-2 April 2017)

Restoration Drama and Ecocriticism

This panel will explore a gap in ecocriticism, which jumps from early modern literature to the early eighteenth century (as “proto-Romanticism”).  The stylized characters that shock and enthrall audience can cause us to lose sight of the Restoration’s abiding interest in the physical environment both at home and abroad. Behn’s The City Heiress is perhaps the best example of this blindspot: Tom Wilding cannot see through the eponymous heroine’s disguise as a countrywoman recently arrived to the city even though it enhances rather than conceals what she represents. From John Dryden’s The Indian Queen (1664) and The Indian Emperor (1665) to Aphra Behn’s The Widow Ranter (1689), playwrights consider their surroundings not only as materials that influence the stage and the English imaginary but also as entities that demand new systems of signification to preserve their otherness.

This leaves examinations of ecology, topography, animals, and biota in Restoration drama still largely unexplored. Papers on any aspect of ecocriticism and Restoration drama (1660-1689) will be considered.  A major press has expressed interest in publishing an edited collection based on the panel topic.

Submit 250-word abstract by 15 September 2016 by email to