Looking through the Anthropocene: Exploring Climate Change and Global Uncertainties

deadline for submissions: 
February 3, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Department of English 16th Annual Graduate Student Conference, University of Ottawa

Looking through the Anthropocene: Exploring Climate Change and Global Uncertainties
Date: 10-12 March 2023

Since the industrial revolution, the advancement of human technology has facilitated the exponential exploitation of nature. The ramifications of this exploitation have prompted researchers to define the current epoch as “The Anthropocene,” where “humans act as a main determinant of the environment of the planet” (Chakrabarty 209). Humanity's new role as “geological agents” has created uncertainties and induced fears and anxieties about the future of terrestrial life, particularly for minority and marginalized people who are disproportionately affected by climate change (207). In Rehearsals for Living, Robyn Maynard insists that “it would require a deliberate obfuscation to view the racially uneven distribution of harms that the climate collapse engenders as accidental" (9).

While ecological scientists warn of an inevitable environmental catastrophe, climate change activists have begun to raise awareness and call for constructive action to mitigate the concerning situation. The results of the continued efforts of climate scientists and activists encourage us to find communal solutions and build global solidarity—to go beyond narratives of resilience and create narratives of hope.

Our three-day bimodal conference seeks abstracts for creative writings and academic papers that offer insightful and innovative perspectives on climate change and the Anthropocene. Through interdisciplinary and literary perspectives, we aim to create discussions about the global uncertainties that are posed by climate change and cultivate outlooks of hope.
Papers can cover a range of literary and interdisciplinary categories, including but not limited to:

  • Climate activism and literature
  • 18th-19th century criticism of pastoral environment and industrialization
  • Ecocritical discourse
  • Climate anxieties and complacencies
  • Forced displacement and the climate diaspora
  • Formation and alteration of identities due to climate change
  • Relationship between war and climate change
  • In/visibility of minorities in environmental action
  • Decolonisation, climate justice and climate action
  • Climate change and Indigenous practices
  • Sustainability and literature
  • Climate change: doom and/or hope perspectives in literature

Please submit a 250 to 300-word abstract and a separate 100-word (maximum) author’s biography including institutional affiliation to uottawa.conference@gmail.com by 3rd February 2023. Please remove all personal identifying markers in the document containing your abstract to facilitate the blind review of all submitted abstracts. Selected papers from the conference will be published in the Graduate Students’ academic journal. Send all enquiries to the Conference Communications Coordinator via uottawa.conference@gmail.com.

Works Cited
Chakrabarty, Dipesh. “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Critical Inquiry, vol. 35, no. 2, Jan. 2009, pp. 197–222.
Maynard, Robyn, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. Rehearsals for Living. Penguin Random House Canada, 2022, p. 9.