Ethics of Life Reconsidered: Coexistence in a Chronic Emergency

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
ELLAK (English Language and Literature Association of Korea)

deadline for submissions: June 30, 2022 full name / name of organization: ELLAK (English Language and Literature Association of Korea) contact email: 

The English Language and Literature Association of Korea (ELLAK) presents its annual conference to be held virtually from Thursday, December 15 to Saturday, December 17, 2022. 


The theme for ELLAK 2022 is the ethics of life. We take as our point of departure the incommensurable value of life; our premise is that recognizing the primacy of life will help us rethink the principles and spaces we share. Concerned with the study of human society and culture, the humanities have always specialized in understanding the challenges of sustainable coexistence. If anything can check the ruthless economic imperatives that render human life disposable, it is humanistic inquiry. Our theme, which returns to essential questions about the ethics of living in a crisis, is thus at once classic and timely. We hope that this annual conference will serve as an occasion to reconsider the fragility of our interconnections as well as the power of culture to furnish a sense of communal purpose.


We invite our members to join us for original engagements with the question of reconceiving life in a chronic emergency. On the one hand, we’ve seen a spike in social antagonisms that fracture along gender, class, and color lines; on the other hand, zoonotic spillovers, global pandemics, and natural disasters threaten humanity with unprecedented frequency and force. The problems we confront today—climate change, labor precarity, global inequality, and refugee crises—require critical thinking and cooperative action in and beyond the academy. Could a renewed attention to the intrinsic worth of life alter our understandings of present conflicts? How might our academic work help us imagine new and sustainable forms of coexistence among humans or human and non-human entities? Can humanistic inquiry or literary studies offer new approaches to, or ways out of, crises?


Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following subjects: the problem of sharing the planet responsibly with both human and non-human entities; cultural and natural orders; philosophical and theoretical engagements with life and death; living with and after trauma; the ethics and politics of care work; literary representations of communities; the humanities, global warming, and global sickening; theories of the Anthropocene and Capitalocene; fossil economies; animal studies; social movements and collective action; life after capitalism; transnationalism, postcolonialism, and world literature; labor contingency and the precariat; gender theory and queer theory; affect and politics; language and community; the role of academic institutions in a crisis.


Each presentation will be limited to twenty minutes, followed by discussions and Q&A sessions. Graduate students are welcome to submit proposals and to participate in the conference.


Please submit an abstract (of no more than 250 words), a brief CV, and a short bio to the organizing committee at by June 30th.

Acceptance notices will be sent out by July 31st.

For further inquiry, please feel free to contact the organizing committee.