NeMLA 2022 Panel: Queer Ecologies in Victorian Literature

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Shun Kiang / University of Central Oklahoma and Jacob Crystal / University of Tulsa
contact email: 

In Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination (2013), Nicole Seymour writes, “In the past few years, queer ecology has emerged as a burgeoning area of interdisciplinary study,” (21) which traces and builds upon a host of “empathetic, ethical interrelationships between the queer and the non-human” (23). In a similar vein, Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson state in “A Genealogy of Queer Ecologies” that “the task of a queer ecology is to probe the intersections of sex and nature with an eye to developing a sexual politics that more clearly includes considerations of the natural world and its biosocial constitution” (161). Taking cues from Mortimer-Sandilands, Erickson, and Seymour, our panel will take up key features of “an environmental politics that demonstrates . . . the ways in which sexual relations organize and influence both the material world of nature and our perceptions, experiences, and constitutions of that world” (Mortimer-Sandilands and Erickson 161). Among other things, this panel seeks to bring into dialogue queerness and eco-criticism to explain the importance of extending the study of queerness to literary representations of ecology and eco-critical thought (e.g., reclaiming “nature” as a queer potential), and to demonstrate some ways in which the Victorian novel represents queer ecology as a site of alterity, possibility, and nonconformity, one that confounds normative expressions of gender and sexuality, and the ways that they police individuals and intimate relationships.

Please submit abstracts to NeMLA by September 30th. Questions and inquiries can be sent to panel co-chairs: Jake Crystal at jac3565@utulsa.edu and to Shun Kiang at skiang@uco.edu.