'Dark Ecology' in 19th-century British Lit.

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Kaitlin Mondello, The Graduate Center, CUNY

MLA 2018: New York City, NY, Jan. 4-7, 2018



In The Ecological Thought, Timothy Morton defines his eponymous title as “the thinking of interconnectedness” (1,7), with the recognition that this interconnection also “has a dark side” (EWN 184). This idea of “dark ecology” leads Morton to ask of ecocriticism's bias toward health and optimism, “Where does this leave negativity, introversion, femininity, writing, mediation, ambiguity, darkness, irony, fragmentation and sickness? Are these simply nonecological categories?” (16).

This panel begins with Morton’s theoretical work in order to examine, expand, deepen and/or interrogate the idea of “dark ecology,” specifically in nineteenth-century British literature. Papers should consider some aspect of the environment (broadly conceived) as represented in literature that engages definitions of the human, nonhuman animals, the nonhuman, materiality, nonhuman agency, etc. Possible theoretical intersections include ecocriticism, posthumanism, new materialism, animal studies, as well as trauma, affect, queer, disability, feminist, postcolonial theory, etc. Morton’s work need not be the focus of the paper; it is rather a catalyst for original work.

Send abstracts (250-300 words) and brief bio. to kmondello@gradcenter.cuny.edu by March 15.