ASLE-UKI Locating Ecocriticism: Systems, Methodologies, Contexts conference at UCD, Dublin

Cathy_Fitz-UCDJuly2014 At the end of this month I am delighted to be able to present my artful eco forest research-in-progress at the 2014  ASLE-UKI  (United Kingdom and Ireland) Postgraduate Conference, 30-31 July 2014, at University College, Dublin. It will be a great opportunity to meet more Irish and UK workers in this emerging research field too.

ASLE-UKI is a sister branch of the US Association for Literary and the Environment  – ASLE (www.asle.org). This global organisation for the last 20 years has pioneered the field of ecocriticism (predominantly in the Literature theory field but in recent years it has encouraged analysis of other creative forms, such as cinema and visual culture). I am a committee member of the Australia-New Zealand branch; I presented my early doctoral work in Melbourne in 2012 and last year I participated in a great webinar lead by co-founder of ASLE, US based Prof. Greta Gaard, and organised by the European group EASCLE on “Where is Feminism in the Environmental Humanities?”

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Ecocriticism of cultural works is one of the fields, along with ecofeminism, feminism, eco-philosophy, new materialism, ecology, etc., that are contributing to the larger umbrella-like EcoHumanities (also called the Environmental Humanities) field.  For creative practitioners, ecocriticism is extremely helpful in uncovering outworn ideas and conventions in cultural practices that may obscure or perpetuate damaging perceptions of the earth, other human and non-human communities.

The call for papers for this conference was as follows:

How does one define a system? Be it an ecosystem, world-system, literary system, colonial system, the term itself, despite implying order, exudes chaos in its infinite iterability. This conference will investigate how thinking about systems, and thinking systemically, might impact upon green readings of literature. It seeks to open to critique conventional practices and representations in literature as well as grafting trajectories, making sense of the chaotic, or making chaotic that which seems ordered through new paradigms.

From seeing the draft programme I am one of the very few who will be presenting from an arts practice perspective. Much research in ecocriticism still looks at analysis of individual books and texts so some in the arts might wonder about the value of listening/reading literary and cinema ecocriticism. However I have found that some of most robust and even most radical cultural thinking about ecological concerns is happening in the ecocriticism field.

Further details can be found here: (final programme details will be published shortly).

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Following my attendance at a previous ASLE event I was invited to contribute to a blog for post-graduate and post-doctoral researchers – “Ecocritical Connections”  – they welcome scholarly articles, observations, reviews, poetry, musings and short essays.

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