C19: Climate

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
contact email: 



C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists


Hosted by the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, March 22-25, 2018

C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists seeks paper, panel and roundtable submissions for its fifth biennial conference, which will take place March 22-25, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We invite individual paper or group proposals on U.S. literary culture—broadly conceived—during the long nineteenth century.

The fifth biennial C19 conference welcomes readings of the capacious meanings of "Climate," from meteorology to metaphor, ecocriticism to racial justice. Thinking about climate within the context of the long nineteenth century might allow for new modes of approach to such issues as the human, nonhuman, or posthuman; ethnicity; gender; sexuality; race; class; colonialism; land use; labor; aging; religion; enclosure; agriculture; food; subject/object relations; geological or deep time; energy; extinction; or institutions.

The nineteenth century witnessed the coinage of such terms as “ecology” and “climatology,” and it grappled with questions of agency and environment by asking whether human behavior had a collective impact on climate, or whether climate shaped human temperament and culture. For some, climate possessed an explanatory power to justify racial difference as well as differences in character and nationality. Climate could also go beyond the environmental to refer to a general aesthetic sense of atmosphere, mood, and opinion. To what extent is the term a euphemism for culture? How and when has the term been used to think against or beyond culture? Was climate invoked to articulate national and regional distinctions within a comparative framework or did it offer ways to think beyond the nation- state toward a transnational model? "Climate" has a special urgency in our present moment of anthropogenic climate change and resource depletion, crises producing monumental political and social uncertainties. The late-eighteenth-century advent of industrialization is one proposed marker of the beginning of the anthropocene (or the epoch of measurable human geological impact on the earth), and thus the urgency of "Climate" today is simultaneously a nineteenth-century topic, as well.

The conference theme of “Climate” invites us to explore the term’s various layers of signification from its meteorological relation to weather, atmosphere, and storms to its metaphoric association with mood, variability, and time. In our own highly contested political climate when environmental, social, economic and racial justice represents an ongoing struggle, what does it mean to explore the climates of the nineteenth century?


C19 welcomes proposals for roundtables, workshops, dialogues, and novel presentation formats, as well as traditional panels and individual paper submissions. We are especially interested in proposals that reflect a diversity of institutional affiliation, academic rank, and disciplinary background. Please include at least four presenters on a panel, one of whom might be a respondent. All group proposals must leave time for discussion (each session is 90 minutes long). Individuals seeking potential collaborators may wish to use the C19 listserv, the discussion board on C19’s Facebook page, or via Twitter using the #C19Am hashtag or by tagging @C19Americanists.

C19: 2018 will once again feature a series of seminars, which were introduced at the 2014 conference in Chapel Hill. Seminars will provide participants the opportunity for a collaborative conversation around a particular topic. Each seminar will be capped at 15 participants and will be run by leaders with expertise in the topic. Each participant will submit a five-page position paper before the conference to be read in advance by the other participants; time in the seminar itself will be reserved for discussion. Seminar participants will be listed in the program. Participation as both a presenter and seminar participant will be allowed only as space permits. Topics and seminar leaders are available on the conference website under the “Seminar” tab: http://c19conference.org/.

Conference participants are limited to one appearance on the program in a substantive role (presenter, roundtable participant, or respondent), and one appearance as a session organizer, chair, seminar participant, or speaker/facilitator on a professional support session. Please submit only one proposal for a substantive role. 

The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2017.

Queries about the Conference Program should be addressed to Program Chair, Carrie Tirado Bramen: bramen@buffalo.edu.