Call for Papers: Ecocriticism and Globalization

Posted at March 8, 2013 | By : | Categories : Call For Papers,Conference Proceedings: Call for Papers,Conferences,News

Call for Papers

Workshop “Ecocriticism and Globalization”

June 21-22, 2013, Frankfurt a. M.

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The first ELC workshop thematically focuses on “ecocriticism and globalization”. In a panel discussion and a reading session we want to explore the ways in which disciplinary paradigms of ‘ecocriticism’ change through its contact with globalization theories.

We would like to close in on concepts that try to move beyond the opposition of the ‘local’ as site of environmental affect and attachment and ‘the global’ as site of deterritorialized detachment. Efforts to interpret human environmental experiences with respect to their embeddedness in ecological, economic and political networks of global reach have given rise to eco-global concepts that transcend local determination, such as Ursula Heise’s “eco-cosmopolitanism” (2008) or Joni Adamson’s “eco-global perspectives” characteristic of “third wave ecocriticism” (2010). We are interested in ways in which an engagement with these terms can be made fruitful for literary and cultural studies.

This shift towards a ‘planetary’ perspective in ecocriticism registers contemporary processes, conditions, and consequences of globalization. Amongst those belong issues of environmental in/justice, global environmental risk, and postcolonial perspectives on environmental issues. Furthermore, this shift of focus also means to engage with the representational challenges of thinking in unfamiliar scales of space and time. The slow violence of environmental injustice, for instance, very often lacks the dramatic spectacle that would be necessary to grip public attention in the fast-paced globalized world (Nixon 2011). We plan to take such considerations as a starting point for our discussions of how literary texts and other forms of cultural production manage to negotiate the experience of globalization processes in creative and imaginative ways. In order to do so, we will collectively discuss theoretical texts, thesis projects or parts and chapters of dissertations that deal with topics related to ‘ecocriticism and globalization’.

Some of the key questions to guide our discussion might be:

· How do the disciplinary paradigms of ‘ecocriticism’ change through its contact

with globalization theories?

· How does the discipline itself become globalized? Is ecocriticism eventually

moving away from its US-bias?

Doktorandenforum “Environment, Literature, Culture”

· In how far does a more global perspective force us to re-think terms such as ‘the

global’, ‘globality’, ‘planetarity’ in ecocritical discourse? And what other

terminology might be useful to discuss environmental literature from an ecoglobal


· How are concepts of place, space and locality transformed by globalizing


· How do temporal conceptions change (e.g. in concepts like space-timecompression,

global risk and slow violence)?

· In which ways is ecocriticism increasingly concerned with topics of global

relevance (e.g. climate change)?

· Which (new?) narrative strategies are used to imagine notions of the global/

globality? Are we witnessing the engendering of new genres?

· How are categories of difference, such as identity, ethnicity, human and nonhuman,

gender, or class reshaped and what kind of new power constellations and

knowledge systems are being formed?

· How does migration change the experience of the environment?

Of course, this list is not exhaustive and contributions for discussion do not have to be limited to these topics.

Workshop Format and Program

The workshop will open with a panel discussion on Friday afternoon. The panel debate, to which three renowned scholars have been invited, serves as an introduction to the workshop’s topics and aims to explore the transformation of ecocriticism as a discipline in its encounter with globalization theories. Following the panel discussion, there will be a reception with snacks and drinks during which doctoral candidates (max. 6) will have the opportunity to get peer-feedback on their dissertation (or a chapter of it) during a poster session.

On Saturday, we will have time to discuss a total of 6 texts in two text sessions. The texts for discussion will be made available to and should be read by all participants in advance. Those who suggested a text will be asked to briefly introduce it in a short input presentation before the discussion. Please bear in mind that we do not want to discuss thesis projects in their early stages during this text session (if you want to present your whole project, please apply for the poster session). Chapters or excerpts of your thesis are, however, as welcome as are theoretical secondary texts that you find challenging or just useful with respect to the workshop’s topic.

To round off our workshop, we will have a session in which we are able to exchange our experiences in Germany’s academic landscape and talk about professional opportunities and problems of career-planning. Since we hope to establish the docforum ELC as a regular platform for discussion and to stimulate a long-lasting exchange amongst young scholars in the field of ecocriticism, we would like the participants to contribute with ideas for the workshop in 2014.

If you are interested in participating, please send us an email until March 31st, 2013. We’d be happy if you could include a short biographical note and let us know what the topic of your current project is. If you want to actively contribute to the workshop, please send us either a text or a chapter of your dissertation (max. 30 pages, including bibliography!) or poster until May 19th (poster templates are available on request).

Please note: In order to finalize our preparations in time, we need to receive a final and binding registration by May 15th, 2013. Workshop space will be limited to 15 participants.

We try to keep costs for all participants as low as possible, and we hope to be able to contribute towards your travel expenses, this applies in particular for participants without university or third-party funding.

Contact us:


• Antonia Mehnert, Rachel Carson Center, LMU München
• Hanna Straß, LMU München
• Karsten Levihn-Kutzler, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
• Landmail correspondence:
• Karsten Levihn-Kutzler

c/o Abteilung Neue Englischsprachige Literaturen und Kulturen
Institut für England- und Amerikastudien
Grüneburgplatz 1
D-60629 Frankfurt am Main

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