Unsettled and Unsettling Nature: The Ecogothic in American Literature Before 1900 (NeMLA 2021)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (52nd annual conference)
contact email: 

Dawn Keetley and Matthew Wynn Sivils note that “the dominant American relationship with nature . . . has always been unsettling” with the Gothic “sewn into the very warp and woof of American literature." This panel seeks to coalesce a body of work which investigates the Ecogothic in American literature before 1900: letters, slave narratives, novels, and travel journals which foreground nature as protagonist. The panel aims to investigate how writers of early America invoked the Gothic to describe their wild environs as well as the natural spaces becoming trampled by progress and exploration. Papers that explore the land, gardens, and forests of America haunted by the “ghosts” of colonialism and slavery are encouraged, as are those that examine nature’s revenge on humankind through foiled westward and northern land and sea explorations.

Next year's NeMLA conference will take place in Philadelphia from March 11-14, 2021.

Submission guidelines:

Submit your abstract (250 words max) here: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/18569. Only abstracts received through the NEMLA website may be considered.


Timeline and deadlines:

  • June 15: The abstract submission interface opens.
  • September 30: Deadline to submit abstracts.
  • October 15: Final notification on the acceptance status of submitted abstracts.
  • December 9: Deadline for membership and registration fee.
  • March 11-14: Conference


 **NEMLA will have a hybrid/virtual platform this year