Flows & Floods: Changing Environments and Cultures

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Nora Castle, Amul Gyawali, Harry Pitt Scott | English & Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
contact email: 

Flows & Floods:
Changing Environments and Cultures

22nd February, 2020|University of Warwick 

Keynote Address: Profs. Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe (Rice University)

This conference examines the relationship between cultural production and environmental change through the rubric of two related critical terms: flows and floods. A flow – a steady current or stream – is perhaps the defining metaphor of the contemporary world; academic and popular discourse alike is replete with references to the flow of goods, money, energy, information, wealth, resources, and cultures. These flows connect and shape people and places, states and societies, in uneven and unequal fashion. In the current Anthropocene era – where human activity has had significant geological and environmental impact – the stability of these flows is increasingly called into question. The world’s enmeshed currents of wealth, resources and biophysical processes over-flow into destructive literal and metaphorical floods. In times of crisis, flows of energy, people, commodities, and climate become oil spills, ‘tidal waves’ of migrants, flooded markets, and storms. Our conference, therefore, looks to generate discussions of the variety of ways literal and metaphorical flows and floods are represented, registered, and imagined in various forms of cultural production.

We are particularly interested in proposals that engage with the fields of environmental humanities, energy humanities, ecocriticism and/or postcolonial studies, as well as new and emergent interdisciplinary methodologies. Papers may include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Flows and floods in world-literature
  • The anthropocene, capitalocene, and world-ecology
  • Petroculture, extractivism, and energy crisis
  • Foodways, food systems, and food imaginaries
  • The shaping and limiting of flows in state-building and environment-making
  • Migration, borders, and boundaries
  • Environmental, energy, and cultural transitions 
  • Green imperialism, sacrifice zones, and vernacular/indigenous environmentalism
  • Cultural geographies and histories of rivers, dams, pipelines, shipping networks, etc.
  • Financial flows, capital flight, and enclave zones
  • Oceanic studies and hydrocultures 
  • Circulation, exchanges, and flows of culture and religion

We invite individual proposals for 20-minute presentations. Please submit 300-word abstracts, a list of up to five keywords, and a short biographical note (50-100 words) by November 1st, 2019 to flowsandfloods@gmail.com.We welcome queries about paper fit or any other questions.

For more information, please visit:https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/hrc/confs/ff/

Organising Committee:
Nora Castle, Amul Gyawali, Harry Pitt Scott
Dept. of English & Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick