Deadline Extended--Cultivating Dynamic Environments (Hybrid Graduate Conference)

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Duquesne University English Graduate Organization
contact email: 

Duquesne University English Graduate Organization’s Hybrid Graduate Conference: 

Cultivating Dynamic Environments, April 8-9th, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA

Deadline for submissions: January 31st, 2022                    Contact email:


As our natural environments become increasingly vulnerable to the realities of climate change, so too do our personal and communal environments experience strain. In thinking about conversations of potential irreversible climate collapse, we don’t always ruminate on the ways in which our social, economic, political, cultural, creative, and academic environments are increasingly impacted by looming devastation. Thus, the varying environments of our lives do not remain isolated from each other as their pitfalls and triumphs reverberate across the dynamics of culture, manifesting in our policy, lifestyles, art, literature, and criticism to leave profound impressions on the historical record.

Considering ongoing conversations in the wake of climate crises, how might we examine the concept of the “dynamic environment” as an opportunity and space for imagination and praxis to forge ahead in developing discourse? For Amitav Ghosh, “the Anthropocene presents a challenge not only to the arts and humanities, but also our commonsense understandings and beyond that to contemporary culture in general” (The Great Derangement 9). Part of the problem, as he diagnoses it, resides in the Anthropocene’s resistance to language and narrativity. When confronting manifestations of language, we must also contemplate the visceral consequences and effects of our altering environments on social, racial, economic, and physical bodies where such interrogations are also often gendered. 

Sprouting from these recent queries, criticism, and meditations on the impacts of climate change, the English Graduate Organization at Duquesne University invites a wide range of proposals from all disciplines that consider, interpret, imagine, respond to the implications and necessity for cultivating dynamic environments in our contemporary era. We also encourage broader interpretations of the conference theme.

We will have a Keynote address by Dr. Chelsea Mikael Frazier. She specializes in ecocriticism and black feminist theory. The conference will also collaborate with City of Asylum, the writing community and bookshop space nearby to campus, where we will hold readings and events relating to the themes of the conference.


Topics may include but are certainly not limited to:

-       Depictions and Impressions put forth in art and media

-       Experimental perspectives on specific literary excerpts that develop critical arguments

-       Literary and cultural perspectives or responsibilities 

-       Poetic’s relation with, or responding to climate

-       Climate-engaged pedagogy

-       Eco-criticism and the Environmental Humanities

-       Philosophical and Theological ethics

-       Capitalocene, Chthulucene, Anthropocene

-       Unthinkability and representations of the unthinkable

-       Intersectionality across spaces and culture

-       Representations of race and culture through food and/or relationships to agriculture/ land

-       New Collectives

-       Gentrification and access to lived and livable environments

-       Displacement and the consequences of non-critical sustainability discourse

-       Access to/organization of physical spaces and resources in healthcare

-       Geopolitics and globalized responses to and management of climate realities

-       Counterinsurgency, nativism, hoarding, and uneven distribution of resources and care

-       Resisting Eco-Fascism


Scholars can submit their proposals to specifying in subject: “Cultivating Dynamic Environments Conference.” Proposals in pdf or word format must include the participation modality (onsite or online), and a bionote (100 words, including contact details, institutional affiliation, research interests).


PRE-CONSTITUTED PAPER PANELS: These panels allow three short (15 minute) presentations, leaving 30-45 minutes for questions and discussion. Panels should have a chair/moderator. Proposals must include the title of the panel; the name, title affiliation, and contact information of the panel organizer; the names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses of all panelists and chair and/or discussant; a description of the panel's topic (<300 words); and abstracts for each presentation (<150 words).

INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Individuals may submit a proposal to present a 15-minute paper. Selected papers will be combined into panels. Proposals must include: the title of the paper; the name, affiliation, and email address of the author; and an abstract of the paper (<300 words).
ROUNDTABLES: Roundtables allow a group of participants to convene with the goal of generating discussion around a shared concern. Roundtables typically involve shorter position or dialogue statements (5-10 minutes) in response to questions distributed in advance by the organizer. The majority of roundtable sessions should be devoted to discussion. Proposals must include: the title of the roundtable; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the roundtable organizer; the names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses of the proposed roundtable participants; and a description of the position statements, questions, or debates that will be under discussion (<400 words).
PRAXIS SESSIONS: Praxis sessions allow a facilitator or facilitating team to set an agenda, pose opening questions, and/or organize hands-on participant activities, collaborations, or skill-shares. Successful praxis sessions will be organized around a specific objective. Sessions organized around the development of ongoing creative, artistic, and activist projects are highly encouraged. Proposals must include: the title of the session; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information the facilitators; a brief statement explaining the session’s connection to the conference theme and describing the activities to be undertaken (<500 words) and a short description of the session (<150 words) to appear in the conference program. 
CULTIVATION SESSIONS: Cultivation Session are a space for the collaborative and praxis-driven portions of scholarship – making space for art, making space for political activism, making space for new modes of knowledge exchange. It is our goal that this space will be created for those that have been historically and systemically left out of these conversations in the academy: artists, activists, poets, and other cultural critics. We welcome proposals for exhibits, performances, workshops, skill shares, storytelling, and other ways of meaning-making and art-making in the world. We especially encourage submissions from individuals working beyond the boundaries of the university: artists, activists, independent scholars, professionals, community organizers.