NeMLA Session: Decentering the Anthropocene: Spanish Ecocritical Texts and the Non-Human

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Maryanne Leone/ Assumption College
contact email: 






Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) – Annual Convention

Boston, Massachusetts, 5-8 March, 2020


Session 18152.

Decentering the Anthropocene: Spanish Ecocritical Texts and the Non-Human







Abstracts are sought for a NeMLA seminar entitled Decentering the Anthropocene: Spanish Ecocritical Texts and the Non-Human, which aims to expand critical study of representations of the environment in Spanish culture by exploring specifically the more-than-human. Our purpose is to highlight the central roles that the beyond-human has played in texts from the medieval through the post-crisis periods that counter those political, economic, and social strategies that have led to the current state of ecological devastation.


As conversations about climate change and ecological degradation have become more urgent in the last 10-20 years, Spanish writers, directors, and artists are addressing the environment in their works with ever-increasing frequency. Ecocriticism examines literary and cultural representations of the natural environment and diverse life forms, often in the context of broader political, economic, and social issues and often with an ethical commitment to sustainability and environmental justice. In this context, ecocritical work may interrogate how texts treat anthropocentrism, or the centralization of humans’ perspectives, needs, and experiences over those of other beings.


Alternate beings evoked alongside the normative human may include animals, hybrid animal-humans, plant life, ghosts, spectres, avatars, angels and apparitions, robots, cyborgs, androids, monsters, vampires, witches, and others. Likewise, ecocritical readings of the more-than-human may refer to foci such as land- and seascapes, urban, suburban and non-urban topographies, parks, tourism, waterways, natural resources, and so on.


Ecocritical studies are encouraged of any period and form of Spanish cultural production from general and genre fiction (crime, sci-fi, vampire, graphic, nautical, mystical) to (cyber)poetry, theater, performance art, film, photography, or other art forms. Theoretical approaches may include ecosophy, anotherness, ecofeminisms, animal studies, intersectionality, ecojustice, and others.




NeMLA Seminars require that papers be completed and circulated among participants prior to the convention. Participants will be asked to read all papers and be prepared to contribute to a structured discussion in Boston. Presentation time will be limited to a maximum of 10 minutes, focusing on an overview and/or highlights of the paper. Participants in this session may have the opportunity to contribute to a book that we are co-editing on the same topic.




September 30, 2019

Deadline for interested contributors to submit a 250-word abstract directly to the NeMLA website. Please first create or update your NeMLA account. Contributors should also send abstracts directly to the seminar chairs via email: Maryanne Leone ( and Shanna Lino (


October 15, 2019

Selected participants will be notified by session chairs and NeMLA of their participation in the seminar.


February 18, 2020

Deadline to submit papers to session chairs via email: Maryanne Leone ( and Shanna Lino ( Papers are to be 15-20 pages, typed and double spaced, and should include a works cited list. Please also provide a one-page abstract. Session chairs will circulate papers and abstracts to seminar participants. Panel participants will be responsible for reading all papers and providing at the conference a response paragraph and additional comments within the text to one person as assigned by the chairs.


March 5-8, 2020

Participants will present their 10-minute paper summary, mostly for the benefit of audience members who are not participants in the seminar and will not have read the full papers ahead of time. Chairs will moderate a structured discussion in which participants will contribute with the responses that they have prepared. Audience members may also participate in the discussion.