III. SELGyC Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers Conference: "Ecocriticism"
The Spanish Comparative Literature Association (SELGyC) is pleased to announce the III. SELGyC POSTGRADUATE AND EARLY CAREER RESEARCHERS CONFERENCE, to be held at the University of Alcalá on November 21 and 22, 2019. The conference aims mainly, but not exclusively, to bring together postgraduate and early career researchers who are currently working in the various fields of Comparative Literature, and to provide a forum for debate and dissemination of their work in progress. In this vein, postgraduate and early career researchers of all nationalities who have not yet defended their Ph.D. dissertation, as well as doctoral researchers who have defended their dissertations in the last two academic years are invited to submit original contributions for consideration. Those who wish to present a paper must complete and send their proposal using the corresponding template available on the Conference’s website before September 15, 2019. The Scientific Committee will review and select the submitted abstracts, and authors will be notified of the results before September 30. The final program will be announced on October 15. Presentations will be delivered over a number of sessions and should not exceed 15 minutes. At the end of every session, a discussion of 10 minutes will be held. Papers can be submitted in either Spanish, English or French.
Lorand Gaspar, the French doctor and poet of Hungarian origin, describes in his work Feuilles d’observation the artificiality of a separation between human beings and nature: we exploit the latter as if it were something outside of us, just as if we could ever exist beyond it*. This idea is at the core of the concept of ecocriticism, that is to say, the study of those relationships between literature and the environment that Cheryll Glotfelty underscored in the introduction of the seminal work of the discipline. According to her, “all ecological criticism shares the fundamental premise that human culture is connected to the physical world, affecting it and affected by it” (The Ecocriticism Reader, 1996, xix). After witnessing the disasters caused by the breach between human beings and their environment, we are now increasingly aware of the importance of taking a critical eye and attitude towards ecology that should also permeate literary studies. The III SELGyC CONFERENCE seeks to underscore this need by bringing together young researchers who are concerned about the environment and interested in Comparative Literature.
Ecocriticism has been part of North American literary criticism since the 90s. From the prism of environmental awareness, this movement explores the presence (and absence) of nature imagery in past and present works. Ecocriticism is, consequently, inextricable from ethics and advocates that literature can play a role in raising people’s awareness and modifying the prevailing discourse and cultural attitudes (Carmen Flys, “Literatura, crítica y justicia medioambiental”, in Ecocríticas, 2010, p. 103).
Given its transversal nature, its scope has been extended over the years until encompassing different theories. Consequently, ecocriticism has become a meeting point for several disciplines such as literature, pure, social and political sciences, education, and other arts. In this vein, it now spans a wide variety of topics, such as the study of literature from a scientific perspective, the existing analogies between oppressed minorities and the exploitation of nature (e.g., ecofeminism), the role of environmental education in literature, or the ecological concern present in films or the plastic arts.
The III SELGyC CONFERENCE seeks to reflect this diversity; therefore, it welcomes proposals related to any aspect of ecocriticism. The following is a non-exclusive list of topics authors may want to explore:
- Theoretical aspects of ecocriticism
- Nature writing
- Literature and sciences
- Forerunners of ecology in literature
- Environmental education and literature
- Ecocriticism and other arts
- Utopias and dystopias
- Nature and/versus the city
- Ecocriticism and youth literature
- Ecocriticism and travel literature among others
* “Curieuses ces idées de rompre, de nous dresser contre la nature sur terre, de la soumettre, de l'exploiter comme une chose extérieure à nous, comme si nous pouvions être jamais au-dehors” (Gaspar, Feuilles d’observation, 1986, p. 59).