ASLE 2019 panel--Resisting Futurity: Eco-sexual Relations in Nineteenth-Century Literature

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
ASLE: Association for the Study of Literature and Environment
contact email: 

 Please consider submitting your paper to a panel entitled "Resisting Futurity: Eco-sexual Relations in Nineteenth-Century Literature" at the biennial Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) conference in summer of 2019 (June 26-30, UC Davis). The theme of this year's conference is "Paradise on Fire." Please see the full CFP below.

Format:  Traditional Panel (4 Presenters) 

Despite maintaining different kinds of commitments to futurity, both queer theory and the environmental humanities share an interest in questioning what it is we deem to be “natural.” As Lee Edelman observes, making the child bear the weight of futurity causes queer subjects to be treated as disposable bodies. When we think “seven generations” into the future, we risk privileging sexual reproduction’s place in the perpetuation of cultural and biological communities, foreclosing a range of queer possibilities. On the other hand, critics such as Rob Nixon implore us to think about future generations harmed by the “slow violence” of the Anthropocene. 

This panel seeks to bring these discourses together and apply them to nineteenth-century literature. Thoreau, for instance, imagined spring as a time when new life emerges out of processes that look more like decomposition and transmutation than heterosexual intercourse. And as early eugenicists attempted to “queer” racial others by positing links between the supposed developmental regression of homosexuality and archaism of “primitive societies,” African- and Native-American writers observed and represented natural phenomena to articulate alternative models of generation and kinship. 

Our panel invites papers dealing with ecological alternatives to reproductive futurity and related topics, including (but not limited to):

-Spinster sexuality, reproduction, and kinship

-Decay and renewal

-Disruption, fire ecologies, and succession

-Queer interspecies communication

-Grafts and transplantation

-Asexual or eco-sexual practices and orientations

-Resistance kinship

-Symbiosis, commensualism, parasitism, adaptation, and mutation


Submit an abstract of up to 300 words at

Please direct any questions to panel organizers Rachael DeWitt (UC Davis),, and Ryan McWilliams (UC Berkeley),