The Wild City - 2025 MLA Special Session (New Orleans, LA - Jan. 9-12)

deadline for submissions: 
March 10, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Lambert
contact email: 

In his essay “Walking,” Henry David Thoreau proclaims, “…in wildness is the preservation of the world.”  As the world continues to urbanize, it’s as important as ever to identify the diverse ways that humans interact with wildness in cities and reflect on how these interactions inform our understanding of, relationship to, and impact on nature.  This special session seeks papers that consider encounters of wildness in urban landscapes as depicted in literature, film, photography, music, video games, and other cultural texts from all periods and regions.  Though abstract on all relevant topics are welcome, special consideration will be given to proposals that interrogate how urban encounters of wildness:


  • contribute to our understanding of “wildness” and its importance
  • inform our relationship to the many diverse species that inhabit cities
  • challenge boundaries between the human and natural world
  • emphasize the intersection of human and environmental rights
  • help us better understand or address major environmental issues, including (but not limited to) climate change
  • influence urban culture, traditions, and practices


Please submit a 250-word abstract and brief bio (a few sentences) to by March 10, 2024.  The MLA convention will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 9-12, 2025.