CFP: Nature/Culture: Environmental Narratives in the Contemporary World (ACLA)

Deadline for Submissions: September 21, at 9 a.m. EST.

The American Comparative Literature Association is looking for participants in the panel “Nature/Culture: Environmental Narratives in the Contemporary World”

This seminar focuses on the intersection of ecology and environmental studies with literature, film, culture, politics, and religion in the contemporary world. We aim to explore the ways in which writers, cultural producers, thinkers, politicians, and non-governmental institutions produce a wide range of discourses on nature and ecology to formulate and shape ideas about national and religious identities, literary production, and social belonging. The 2015 awarding of
Svetlana Alexievich with the Nobel Prize in Literature brought international attention to the confluence of environmental catastrophe with literary narrative. What is more, the rhetoric of “natural disaster,” and its subsequent genres (sustainability narratives, ecotourism, disaster tourism, studies of climate injustice and climate refugees, etc.) often go hand in hand with both foreign and domestic politics, as well as regional identity building. In his recent study of the oil industry in Perm, Russia, for example, Doug Rogers reveals how the regional politics of the Lukoil corporation have played a key role in the revival of local non-Russian cultural identities (The Depths of Russia: Oil, Power, and Culture after Socialism 2015).

The importance and transformation of the natural world is a well-established theme in post-socialist political discourses. But how are these transformations documented in literary, cinematic, and other cultural forms? Through what theoretical framework might we examine these accounts and products within a non-Western context? How can we approach ecological awareness in a range of texts and films produced by both Western and non-Western societies? What discursive tools do writers, directors, and artists utilize in order to articulate narratives on natural resources and ecology for diverse populations and regions? We encourage proposals that cross boundaries between disciplines and approach the study of nature and natural resources in culture in a variety of narrative and visual forms.

Deadline for abstract submission: Thursday, September 21, at 9 a.m. EST. The website for submitting paper abstracts is here. For questions, please email or