ACLA Seminar on Ecocritical Adaptations: Feminist and Queer Interventions

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Sylvie Bissonnette / Fei Shi
contact email: 

This is a call for papers for the ACLA seminar titled "Ecocritical Adaptations: Feminist and Queer Interventions" organized by Dr. Fei Shi and Dr. Sylvie Bissonnette. The ACLA conference will take place at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montreal, March 14–17, 2024 (https://www.acla.org/annual-meeting).

Seminar Proposal

As Geal (2023) notes, “ecocriticism has recently experienced its own turn towards [...] key political concerns of contemporary adaptation studies [including] race, gender, sexuality, class.” Similarly, Adaptation Studies experiences its ecocritical turn in this era of climate change and ecological disasters. Playing with the double meaning of “adaptation,” which suggests an evolutionary process and a form of literary, artistic, and cultural retelling, this seminar aspires to bring ecocriticism and Adaptation Studies into dialogue with different ethical methods and critical approaches from minority positions, including, but not limited to, feminism, queer theory, critical race studies, disability studies, indigenous and first nations studies, and postcolonial studies. It will open this inquiry to a wide range of transmedia adaptations, including literature, film, performance, visual arts, installations, and animation.

Ecofeminist insights on adaptations featuring the interrelations between gender and nature have shifted the traditional debate around fidelity and continuity towards critiquing androcentric notions of land devastation and deforestation, thereby compelling us to adopt alternative subject positions (Andrianova 2021). Queer ecology encourages us to challenge heteronormative perceptions of nature and to pay attention to the “unfit”, the non-reproductive, and the “failures” (Halberstam 2011). Bruhn and Hart (2020) identify “multispecies perspective of the ‘weird’ storytelling that de-centers the human.” To foresee what these practices may look like, we can find inspiration in what Morton and Boyer (2021) call hyposubjects. Mashing, hacking, and modding can suggest the searches for new significations from the “scraps and remains” (2021) in unveiling intersectional oppressions and the ability to play, care, and adapt. Adapting from the non-anthropocentric edge may also mean recycling and reusing bits of text, pieces of celluloid, or excerpts from non-exceptional stories.

We welcome papers that address ecocritical adaptations that are textual, visual, embodied, spiritual, and performative. What are feminist, queer, and trans interventions of ecocritical adaptation? How do indigenous and First Nations studies intersect with ecocritical retelling? What are the gendered and racialized notions of eco-remaking, adjusting, and coping? What forms of rewriting are intentionally ecocritical and transmedial? How do interspecies and multispecies narratives subvert anthropocentric modes of adaptation? What could be alternative ways of adapting that would attend to ecological and sustainable practices? What art genres are open to non-anthropocentric interventions and tactics? What are the types of narratives and the medium-specific patterns and tropes of ecological adaptation? Do ideas have ecological agencies to reproduce and adapt in the age of AI? These are some of the questions that this seminar hopes to workshop with the participants.

Submission Information:

If you would like to participate in this seminar, please submit your paper proposal through the paper submission portal (https://www.acla.org/ecocritical-adaptations-feminist-and-queer-interven...). The paper proposal includes a title, an abstract (1500 characters, including spaces), and a short bio (500 characters, including spaces). You will first need to login or register to submit your paper abstract (https://www.acla.org/user?destination=/ecocritical-adaptations-feminist-...).

Once your participation is confirmed (both your paper proposal and the seminar are accepted), to be able to attend the conference, you will need to become member of ACLA by 9 a.m. EST on March 14, 2024.

Important Dates:

- Paper Proposal Submission Deadline: September 30, 2023
- Notification of Acceptance for your paper proposal: October 11, 2023
- Notification of Acceptance for the seminar: November 3, 2023

Each seminar meets multiple times (usually 3) to allow for continuous and substantive engagement among the panelists. For instance, a seminar meeting over 3 days may have up to 12 panelists total, three to four participants presenting 20-minute papers in each session with discussion afterward.

For more information, please visit acla.org/annual-meeting.