"DeLillo and Environments: American Literature Association 2019"

deadline for submissions: 
January 5, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Teddy Hamstra / Don DeLillo Society

The Don DeLillo Society is seeking papers for the upcoming American Literature Assocation conference, which will take place May 23-26, 2019.


Given the recent critical interest in environmental humanities, and their ability to help us view significant authors in new and innovative ways, the Don DeLillo Society is seeking papers that address, broadly, the question of “DeLillo and Environments.” White Noisefamously centers around the Airborne Toxic Event, and this has been the point of entry for many considerations of DeLillo and environmental questions. However, merely focusing on this limits the potential for thinking of DeLillo as a writer of “environments” writ large. Inwhat ways has his work addressed the questions of “environment,” “nature” and “place” in broader terms, particularly virtual, domestic, or otherwise metaphorical environments?


In writing about urban environments, how does DeLillo conceive of the city-as-place? In what ways does DeLillo craft urban spaces that are incomparable to the way traditional nature-writers address “natural spaces”? How does the environment of the city affect the human characters living within? Can examining DeLillo’s writing of the city help to expand the potential of ecocriticism to address literature that may initially seem concerned with “nature.” What is the significance of the desert as an environment in Underworld, Point Omegaor Zero K?


How does DeLillo’s interest in technology relate to environmental concerns? Does this indicate a sense of reality (and therefore nature) being mediatedvia technology, and what are the implications from such an outlook? Does DeLillo’s concern with the surge in information and data coincide with similar concerns from the environmental movement? If DeLillo has recently moved towards writing about “posthumanism” broadly defined, does this also have to do with recent theorizations of “postnature”? DeLillo recently addressed environmental catastrophes in Zero K, and the threat of environmental disaster caused by nuclear war has loomed over his entire career. While many writers have addressed such catastrophic themes, has DeLillo written about them in a particularly distinctive way?


Please submit a 250-300 word abstract, as well as a short biography, to Teddy Hamstra, theodor.hamstra@colorado.edu , by Jan. 5 2019