Re-Thinking Environment: Literature, Ethics and Praxis

deadline for submissions: 
October 5, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Berhampur University, Odisha, India

Golden Jubilee/UGC International Conference


“Re-Thinking Environment: Literature, Ethics and Praxis”


Dec 28-30, 2016

Post Graduate Department of English

Berhampur University, Odisha, India.



Call for Papers

Conference Director: Dr Shruti Das,    Head, PG Department of English


Environmental well-being has been an important component of Oriental theology. Environmental consciousness gained ground in the West as a part of the Feminist movement in the early 1990s. Ecocriticism has proliferated from the study of Nature writers into a highly diverse and interdisciplinary field encompassing a wide variety of literary genres, cultural and literary theories, while drawing on the social and the natural sciences. Ecocriticism has at its foundation an awareness of ecological systems, and maintains a keen focus on the myriad ways in which systems of human making depend upon, intersect with, or exploit nature, and how humans are as much a part of nature as plants and other animals, i.e., how nature both produces and is produced through a myriad of systems. It focuses on how literature explores the vital relation of people to place and non-human life highlighting environmental ethics and sustainable energy.

            Environmental consciousness and ecocriticism have been slow in catching up in India, particularly Odisha, in spite of the many natural disasters it has faced in the recent past. The need of the hour is to re-examine nature-oriented literature that redirects us from “ego-consciousness” to “eco-consciousness.” Glen Love has urged scholars to rethink pastoralism and to pay greater attention to nature-oriented literature.  Cheryll Glotfelty has advocated a manner of criticism, i.e., ecocriticism as a critical practice of analysing literature that would address the interconnections between human culture and the material world, involving both the the human and the non-human. She has advocated the adaptation of Elaine Showalter’s three developmental stages of feminist criticism as an analogous model for ecocriticism. Thus, sort of homology has been established between feminist criticism and eco-criticism.  The first stage in feminist criticism, the “images of women” stage, is concerned with representations, concentrating on how women are portrayed in literature. Analogous efforts in ecocriticism study how nature is represented in literature- virgin land, Eden, Arcadia, howling wilderness. The second stage, as Showalter distinguishes, is the women’s literary tradition stage which rediscovers, reissues and reconsiders literature by women. In ecocriticism, a similar endeavour is oriented to describing the genre of non-fiction nature writing, and examining ecologically oriented fiction, poetry and drama. Showalter’s third phase is the theoretical phase, which raises fundamental questions about symbolic and linguistic construction of gender and sexuality. Similar work in ecocriticism examines how literary discourse has constructed “nature.”

Western ideology has as its mainstay the binaries that separate men from women, mind from body, and humanity from nature. The conference will investigate the ways in which the interlaced natural and cultural systems influence, and are influenced by, literary works and criticism. It seeks to open to critique the conventional practices and representations in literature as well as grafting trajectories, making sense of the chaotic, or making chaotic that which seems ordered through new paradigms.

Hence our conference on environmentalism--an umbrella term with its diverse topics noted below—is interdisciplinary and will provide the arena for participants to introduce new horizons in environmental consciousness and explore potential areas of sustainable development by engaging with issues such as global warming, deforestation, animal rights, water issues, climate change etc. along with different other aspects of  social ecology.


Berhampur University, situated in South Odisha, has been a victim to Environmental disaster time and again. The conference theme is pertinent to our context, especially in the Golden Jubilee year, in the sense that it will address and discuss the reasons, effects (both physical and psychological), their representations through literature and possible redressals. It will champion the cause of environmental ethics and promotion of sustainable energy. Therefore, the objective of this conference is to contribute, in concrete terms, to formulation of possible solutions concerning the global ecological crisis by engaging the speakers aesthetically with the various sub-themes listed below innovatively, mostly by way of locating areas of concern and developing the means of necessary redressal in the larger interest of humanity as well as the eco-system. We invite research papers in the following themes but do not restrict paper presenters from being more innovative and interdisciplinary in this subject area:

  • Ecopoetics in South Asia and beyond
  • Environmental crisis and climate change: systems of measurement/warning systems, and their literary representation
  • Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Nature, Culture, Power.
  • Writing Nature and Wilderness in Literature
  • Ecocomposition and Rhetoric
  • Ecofeminism
  • Environmental Ethics and Ecology
  • Environmental History
  • Environmental Justice and Activism in Literature
  • Animal Rights
  • Eco Pedagogy and teaching
  • Nature and religion
  • Urban Ecology and Environment
  • Culture, Environment, Indigenous people and reflection in literatures of the world
  • Eco-psychology: Literary representations of ecstasy and dissociative experience, focusing on the cognitive and neuro-phenomenological dimensions of the human encounter with nature.
  • Social ecology, impact of climate change
  • Engineering of Nature
  • Techno-magic and cyberpunk aesthetics: nature and machines.
  • Evolution of  land ethics
  • Community, Land and Commodity



Date of the Conference: 28-30  December, 2016

Last Date of receiving Abstracts (300-500 words) with short bio-note: 5 October 2016

Intimation of acceptance of Papers: 20 October 2016

Full Papers in about 2500 words to be submitted by 1 November 2016

Registration by:  5 November 2016

Registration Fee: Rs. 1500/- or 30 USD or 25 Euros

Registration fees will include Conference Kit, 03 lunches, Tea/Coffee and Snacks

Accommodation: Outstation participants may make their own arrangements or take the help of the organizers.

Regrets: Due to financial constraints No Travel allowance can be given to participants

Contact details: