ASLE 2017 panel or roundtable: “Nuclear Waste(lands)”

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Biennial Conference
contact email: 

Seeking panelists or participants for ASLE panel/roundtable: “Nuclear Waste(lands)”

Decades after the fall of the Soviet Union and end of the arms race, the nuclear bomb and its attendant Cold War anxieties seem already deeply buried in the past. While the weapons themselves remain housed in storage facilities and silos across the globe, much of the cultural and even political thinking about nuclear weapons is outdated, malformed and covered, as it were, in rust. And yet the technologies remain relevant today, and recent world events have brought nuclear technologies back to the fore—the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, the Iran nuclear deal and even Donald Trump’s alleged remark, “If we have [nukes], why can’t we use them?”

The implications of nuclear war and disaster have long been taken up by writers and scholars alike, but perhaps the shifting thinking about and relevance of nuclear technologies demands different texts, fresh comparisons or new interpretations. In keeping with the 2017 ASLE theme of “Rust/Resistance,” this panel seeks to examine nuclear technologies, wastes and wastelands from across the globe. By focusing on the physical, spatial and environmental aspects of nuclear bombs, energy and waste, we endeavor to peel away what Jacques Derrida famously called the “fabulously textual” quality of the nuclear bomb. Rather than looking to the future, with nuclear destruction always speculative and immense, we seek instead to examine its by-products, its physical properties, and the wastelands it creates and that create it.

Conference will take place:

Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

June 20-24, 2017


Please send inquiries or proposals to