(MLA 2020) "Unsilencing the Anthropocene: Archiving Love and Queer Survival"

deadline for submissions: 
March 8, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Panel Proposal for MLA 2020 Conference on “Being Human”

January 9-12, 2020 in Seattle WA




Panel Title: Unsilencing the Anthropocene: Archiving Love and Queer Survival

This panel examines 20th- and 21st-century circumatlantic literary and artistic texts responding to disaster narratives of the anthropocene, a geological designation that often reinscribes static, linear colonial temporalities. In contrast to rigid constructions of time and space that perpetuate the silencing of studies in resilience and queer communities, this panel holds anthropocene time as queer time, where affect is archived alongside geopolitical understandings of humans as a species. By reflecting on the roles of the humanities, literature, and debates about human nature in our ever-changing world, these papers are concerned with the potentialities of impossible futures in the face of disaster and multiscalar disorientation.

Questions and topics papers may investigate include:

  • How are contemporary writers and scholars persistently questioning how stories are told and investigated in an era of anthropogenic climate change?

  • What results in examining the intersections between anthropocene and queer studies, as both fields aim to avoid reinscribing colonial traditions of narratives of progress?

  • Critiques of geological methods center on the identification of Global Stratigraphic Section and Points (“golden spikes”), a methodology which depends on a legible geological archive. Instead, how does the disorientation of Anthropocene time challenge previous conceptions of archival evidence and work?

  • What does it mean to apply a pedagogical model as a means with which to survive the anthropocene?

  • How do we index climatic affect, and how do we move from knowledge to meaningful action and response?

  • What does it mean to archive feeling as a means with which to explore multiscalar temporalities of the anthropocene?



In a single-spaced Word document, include your paper title, brief biography, and 250-word abstract. Email to Jocelyn E. Marshall, jm225@buffalo.edu, and Caitlin McIntyre, camcinty@buffalo.edu, with the subject “MLA 2020 Panel” by no later than March 8, 2019.