MMLA Panel at ASLE (6/20-6/24/17 Detroit MI); Deadline Extended

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Midwest MLA / Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment
contact email: 

As an affiliated organization, the Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA) organizes a panel at ASLE’s biennial conference (June 20-24, 2017; Wayne State University, Detroit, MI).

In keeping with the conference theme for ASLE 2017 (“Rust/Resistance: Works of Recovery”) the MMLA-sponsored panel topic is “Rust Belt Resistance.” In the public imagination, the Rust Belt is seldom associated with “resistance,” yet recent events belie the image of this region as passively resigned to decay. Beginning in 2014, outrage over the Flint water crisis spotlighted Michiganders’ resistance to environmental injustice, while toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie sparked similar anger in Ohio. Meanwhile, resistance to alternative energy has flourished across coal country; while activists seek to curb hydraulic fracturing, courts in West Virginia and elsewhere have struck down local fracking bans.

More recently, the U.S. election revealed profound resistance among rural Midwesterners, in particular, to establishment politics. Indeed, by some accounts, Rust Belt “resistance” fundamentally reshaped the U.S. electoral map. What should we make of the many powerful, contradictory, and emotional forms of Rust Belt resistance? How should Rust Belt resistance inform our work as scholars, educators, and activists?

This panel invites papers and creative works that engage with “resistance” of all forms, environmental concerns, and the Rust Belt. Papers focused on all periods and genres are welcome, as are papers on pedagogy and/or activism. Creative pieces will also be considered. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract including paper title to Lisa Ottum at by December 15th. (Deadline extended) Queries welcome.

ASLE Conference Website and CFP: