NeMLA Panel: Contemporary Environmental Writing and Literary Traditions

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association 54th Annual Convention
contact email: 

Please consider submitting to our panel, 'Contemporary Environmental Writing and Literary Traditions', taking place at NeMLA's 54th Annual Convention, Niagara Falls, New York, 23-26 March 2023.

As recent works by Elizabeth Kolbert (Under a White Sky) and Susan Orlean (On Animals) continue to augment the discourse on environmental change for readers of contemporary nonfiction, it becomes increasingly meaningful to place current conversations on ecological matters within historical and cultural contexts as a means to propagate generative new ideas regarding our relationships with the natural world. We propose in this panel to organize presentations that assess the links between today’s environmentally-minded nonfiction and the literary past of the global Anglosphere. In addition to the two papers that we shall present individually (one focusing on Kolbert and one on Orlean), we seek contributions that explore literary fiction in English and its influence—whether for better or worse—on twenty-first-century nonfiction of all genres (memoir and autobiography, journalism, film documentary, and the like). As well, we seek work that investigates the ways in which today’s nature writing creates a lens through which we may reread the literary past. Ideally, this panel will spark fresh insights into the historicity of notions and perspectives that speak actively to worldwide crises in an effort to ameliorate what may seem hopelessly beyond our control.

Presentations drawing connections between contemporary environmentalist thought and literary traditions in the United States, the United Kingdom, or any part of the Anglosphere are welcome. Please direct abstracts and inquiries to and or submit on the convention website: