A Place into Parts: Disaster, Decolonization, and Eco-critique in the Pacific Northwest

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Association of Canadian College & University Teachers of English

Member-organized panel at ACCUTE 2017

Organizers: Christina Turner (University of Toronto) and Evangeline Holtz (University of Toronto)

Ecological degradation—and its more pronounced correlate, environmental apocalypse—in the Pacific Northwest is a significant theme in several recent works of fiction and poetry, including Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (2014), Thomas King’s The Back of the Turtle (2014), Rita Wong’s Forage (2008) and the collaboratively-authored poetry project The Enpipe Line (2012). Such texts register this region in a state of becoming contaminated and/or polluted, evoking political discourse and activism around proposed pipelines, resource extraction, and impending climate change. Simultaneously, the ecocritical turn in Canadian literary studies has been recently signaled by the publication of the collection Greening the Maple: Canadian Ecocriticism in Context (2013), and in work by Travis Mason, Catriona Sandilands, Rita Wong, among others. We invite papers that address the topic of environmental threats in the Pacific Northwest through an ecocritical lens. Possible foci and questions include:


-       Is the Pacific Northwest perceived as a bioregion particularly attuned to environmental apocalypse and/or renewal?

-       Can settler and Indigenous approaches to the environment be reconciled? In what ways do Indigenous works of literature and Indigenous epistemologies challenge the established paradigms of ecocriticism?

-       How are established literary genres, such as postmodernism and Romanticism, deconstructed by ecocritical approaches and/or the presence of environmental disasters?

-       How does environmental racism exemplify and/or disrupt regionalist ecocritque?

-       In what ways do literature and poetry of the Pacific Northwest challenge anthropocentrism?

-       How is eco-disaster imagined beyond the literary, i.e. protest, visual and performance art?


Please send the following to christina.turner@mail.utoronto.ca and evangeline.holtz@mail.utoronto.ca: A file containing a 300 to 500-word paper proposal, without personal identifying marks; A file containing a 100-word abstract and a 50-word biographical statement; the 2017 Proposal Info Sheet available on the ACCUTE website.