Call for Papers

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)
invites proposals for its Ninth Biennial Conference, to be held June
21-26, 2011, at Indiana University Bloomington, on the theme of
"Species, Space, and the Imagination of the Global." We seek proposals
for papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, and other public
presentations connecting language, nature, and culture. As always, we
welcome interdisciplinary approaches; readings of environmentally
inflected fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction; and proposals from
outside the academic humanities, including submissions from artists,
writers, practitioners, activists, and colleagues in the social and
natural sciences.

The conference theme seeks to engage with questions of humans' relation
to nonhuman species, both plant and animal, and to explore intersections
between work on nonhuman species in disciplines such as biology,
anthropology, philosophy, neuroscience, literature, and art. Our goal is
to do so in a transnational framework that will allow us to reflect on
how different historical, geographical and cultural contexts shape our
encounters with the natural world and with environmental crises.

Plenary Speakers:

Marc Bekoff, Biology, University of Colorado; author of The Emotional
Lives of Animals, Animals Matter and The Animal Manifesto; founder of
Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Una Chaudhuri, English & Drama, New York University; author of Staging
Place: The Geography of Modern Drama and Land/Scape/Theater

Robert Fischman, Law, Indiana University; author of The Meanings of
Biological Integrity, Diversity, and Environmental Health and The
National Wildlife Refuges: Coordinating a Conservation System through Law

Zakes Mda, South Africa, author of The Whale Caller

David Quammen, author of Song of the Dodo and The Reluctant Mr. Darwin

Jennifer Meta Robinson, Communication and Culture, Indiana University,
author of The Farmers' Market Book and Teaching Environmental Literacy

Anacristina Rossi, Costa Rica, author of The Madwoman of Gandoca

Helen Tiffin, Australia, author of The Empire Writes Back, Decolonising
Fictions, and Postcolonial Ecocriticism

Wilderness Plots, performance of a collection of songs and stories by
Scott Russell Sanders, emeritus professor of English at Indiana University

The following topics are of particular relevance to the conference
theme; we also encourage submissions on other, related issues:

  Visions and theories of globalization in their relationship to the
environment, including the resistance to globalization

  Cultural geography in its contributions to environmentalist thought

  Postcolonial ecocriticism and the geopolitical relationships that
have shaped different human populations' uses of natural environments in
the past and the present

  Environmental justice

  Environmental literature as world literature, including comparative
literature, cross-cultural approaches, borderlands writing, and travel

  Environmental disasters and their repercussions, including their
representations and cultural reactions to them (including both natural
and human-caused disasters), in their local, regional and global

  Environmental diseases, their local, regional and global spread,
prevention and countermeasures

  New media for envisioning local and global processes, including GIS,
maps, graphs, visualization, databases, and other digital and nondigital

  Studies of migration, both human and nonhuman

  Wildlife conservation, including the policies and practices of parks,
refuges, and assisted migration

  Ethnozoology and ethnobotany

  Critical animal studies, including the question of a "posthuman" turn

  Biotechnology and its transformations of biodiversity

  The politics, cultures and pedagogies of climate change

Paper Formats

Participants are invited to submit paper proposals for 90-minute
sessions. ASLE welcomes scholarly panels and creative writing
presentations; proposals for hybrid or nontraditional panels should
indicate the nature and purpose of the presentations' unique features.
As in the past few years, we expect to receive more proposals than we
can accommodate; therefore, not all proposals will be accepted.
Proposals for fully constituted panels, with a thematic unity the
program committee cannot always provide, will be given priority over
individual paper proposals. We will accept paper and panel proposals in
English and in Spanish, and we welcome panels in Spanish at the
conference. We invite submissions for the following formats:

  600-word proposals for 20-minute presentations in a traditional
session, three per session, or 15-minute presentations in a traditional
session, four per session

  300-word proposals for informal presentations/position papers in a
roundtable organized around a single issue or question, four to twelve
per session

  300-word proposals for 8-minute presentations in a paper jam, six to
seven per session

Proposals for pre-formed panels and roundtables should also include a
300-word abstract describing their purpose and the names and contact
information of the participants. Accepted abstracts will be posted on
the conference web site. For more detailed information on the different
formats and for submission guidelines, please visit the conference

All proposals must be submitted by Friday, November 5, 2010, on the
conference website.

Notifications of accepted and rejected proposals will be e-mailed by
February 15, 2011.

Pre-conference Workshops and Seminars on Tuesday, June 21

ASLE will once again offer a number of pre-conference workshops and
seminars led by prominent environmental writers and critics:

1) Graduate Student Workshop - Tom J. Hillard

2) Early Modern Literature & Ecocriticism Seminar - Simon Estok

3) Ecological Media & Ecocriticism Seminar - Sid Dobrin and Salma Monani

4) Place-Based Pedagogy Workshop - Jennifer Kobylecky, Aldo Leopold

5) Human Natures: Approaches to Teaching EcoLiterature & Human Groups
(seminar) - Kimberly Ruffin

6) Global Indigeneity, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism Seminar -
Joni Adamson and John Gamber

Each workshop and seminar will last for three hours on the afternoon of
June 21 and will be limited to 15 participants. Advance registration is
required and will begin October 15 and close March 15 (or when full,
whichever is earlier). Some pre-conference preparation will be required
for seminars, including short position papers. Because titles of
position papers will be listed in the conference program, we encourage
(but will not require) seminar participants to consider attending the
seminar in lieu of presenting at the conference itself (rather than
doing both). For further information or to pre-register for
pre-conference workshops and seminars, please contact Greta Gaard:
[log in to unmask]

Conference Site

Bloomington, Indiana is a vibrant and friendly college town in the
rolling hills of southern Indiana, an hour's drive from the Indianapolis
International Airport and four hours from Chicago. The city has a lively
arts scene with half a dozen theater companies, a wide range of music
performances (including folk punk), colorful murals, and the Bloomington
Arts & Entertainment District (BEAD), established in 2006 with lots of
galleries, artworks and entertainment opportunities. IU Bloomington is
home to the Lilly Rare Books Library, the Kinsey Institute for Research
in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, as well as the internationally renowned
Jacobs School of Music, which each summer hosts a high-profile classical
music festival that attracts thousands of visitors.  Plentiful
restaurants and the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market highlight the
city's investment in locally grown food. Griffy Lake, a 1,200-acre
nature preserve, lies just minutes from downtown Bloomington. The region
also offers many possibilites for hiking, birdwatching and aquatic
adventures. National Geographic recently ranked Bloomington one of
Americas "top adventure towns" thanks to the many opportunities for
recreation it offers.

Indiana University Bloomington's campus, which landscape artist Thomas
Gaines has called one of the five most beautiful in America, is located
near downtown Bloomington. The campus is fully wired and wireless, and
all classrooms for concurrent sessions are equipped for computer
projection and Internet access. Conference housing will be provided in
the universitys newly built residence center offering 2, 3, or
4-bedroom suites. Accommodations will also be available at the Hilton
Garden Inn (, within easy walking
distance from campus. Downtown Bloomington can be reached via regular
shuttle bus service from the newly built Indianapolis International
Airport ( Both Indiana University
and ASLE are committed to making the conference as accessible for the
disabled as possible; the conference website will provide more detail.

Field Sessions and Post-Conference Field Trips

As with past conferences, there will a number of half-day field
excursions on Friday afternoon and several post-conference field trips
on Sunday. Destinations will include the Lilly Rare Book Room; Goose
Pond, one of the largest restored wetland areas in the Midwest; Lake
Monroe, a successful bald eagle restoration site; the Stone Age
Institute; New Harmony, site of two of America's utopian communities;
and the Audubon Museum in Kentucky.

Questions about the program? Email Ursula Heise at [log in to unmask]

Questions about the conference site and field sessions? Email Christoph
Irmscher at [log in to unmask]

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