NeMLA 2018: Politics of Preservation: Land, Law and Literature

deadline for submissions: 
September 29, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Hande Gurses, UMass Amherst
contact email: 

Earlier this year a river revered by the local Mauri people in New Zealand has been granted legal rights as a living entity. This first incident was then succeeded by a court’s decision in India to grant the rivers Ganges and Yamuna the status of living beings. Not all parts of the earth benefit from such legal protection as evidenced by the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul in 2013 and by the Dakota Pipeline protests more recently.

In the light of these actions, questions of occupation, preservation, belonging and migration have gained more immediacy. What are the politics of preservation? How does language operate in the encounter between law and land? What is the role of literature in preserving and re-inventing landscapes? How does preservation affect the relation between human and landscape? What is the role of indigenous literatures in the creation and preservation of landscapes?

This panel invites papers that deal with issues of preservation, human/nature encounter, the anthropocene, apocalyptic/utopian/dystopian narratives and ecological languages.