The Nature of Things: Ecology, Philosophy, and Poetics
What does it mean to write and think about nature? Do language, thought, and mimesis ultimately have the capacity to impact (and possibly cultivate) our natural environments, and do these environments in turn have the capacity to impact (and possibly cultivate) our words and ideas? Taking such questions as a starting point, this panel aims to explore how the relationship between the human community and the environment has occupied a central space within literature and thought across various epochs and epistemological arenas.
Rather than operating as a “framework” for potential contributions, this intentionally broad series of themes and questions is instead intended as an invitation into an interdisciplinary conversation that might go in a number of directions. As such, the panel hopes to address issues and themes of critical urgency within our current moment of environmental crisis, but to do so by way of timeless topics, writers, and texts. Proposals (of roughly 300 words, accompanied by a short vita) from all cultural and literary traditions are welcome, and the final composition of the panel will strive for balance in this respect. Possible topics could include, but are by no means limited to, areas of inquiry such as:
o New interpretive approaches to nature writing, nature poetry, or eco-poetics more generally;
o The role of the natural environment as an object of philosophical and/or phenomenological study;
o Interventions in past and/or ongoing ecocritical debates;
o Considerations of the relationship between literary, artistic, philosophical, or scientific modes of representing the natural world.
Please submit abstracts and vitae by September 30th 2022 via the following link: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/CFP