Wasting Away: Literature and Corrosive Environments.

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Vivek Freitas, Tufts University
contact email: 

Wasting Away:  Literature and Corrosive Environments.


In keeping with this year’s ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment) Biennial Conference keyword “rust,” this panel seeks papers that look at “corrosive environments” in the broad sense.  Rust can be understood both as a sign and an agent of corrosion.  Given sufficient time, rust will cause damage to metal or other materials through a chemical process that results in the damaging or breaking down of matter.  Taking literary representations of “corrosive environments” as our focal point, the panel will be particularly attentive to the processes of disintegration and decay in “built environments.”  How do literary texts present/understand the causes of corrosion and how do we see and read the elements of decomposition?  What are the systematic and deliberate configurations—spatial, social, cultural—that corrode everyday life?


Analyzing decomposition not as a purely biological process but one that can be causally linked to economic, political, and cultural ideologies, what ethical questions might we raise about this “chemical reaction”?


Please submit a 250 word abstract and a short bio to Modhumita Roy modhumita.roy@tufts.edu and Vivek Freitas vivek.freitas@tufts.edu by December 15, 2016.


The Twelfth ASLE Biennial Conference, Rust/Resistance: Works of Recovery, will be held June 20-24, 2017 at Wayne State University, Detroit MI. For more information on the conference please follow this link: http://www.asle.org/conference/biennial-conference/