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MSA 18: Modernity as a Culture of Environmental Risk

CFP for MSA 18: Nov. 17-20, 2016, Pasadena, California

In his 1992 work Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, Ulrich Beck argues that "€œin advanced modernity, society with all its subsystems of the economy, politics, cultures and the family can no longer be understood as autonomous of nature. Environmental problems are not problems of our surroundings, but in their origins and through their consequences€“ are thoroughly social problems, problems of people" (Beck). While the idea of environmental damage resulting from human action has of course gained credence since Beck'€™s original publication, ecocritics have yet to explore fully what a sociological approach to environmental problems means for the field of environmental literature. While it is beyond well established that human action has dramatically shaped the natural world, the ways in which the natural world shaped the course of modernity are still being determined. Understanding that modernity and ecological fallout are perpetually intertwined challenges not only the traditional interpretations of nature writing/environmental literature, but also traditional notions of the relationship between nature and culture under modernization. Accepting the premise that modernity has created a culture of ecological or environmental risk, ecocritics now must grapple with how this risk culture affects the interpretation and production of texts about the natural world.

This panel invites proposals for individual papers interested in the relationship between modernity and ecological risk or modernity and natural disaster, the impact of modernization on constructions of nature, and the broad relationship between modernity and the environment. Please send abstracts no longer than 250 words to Rachel Carr at rmca222@g.uky.edu no later than April 5th.


Conference Location: Pasadena, California , USA
Conference Starts: November 17, 2016
Conference Ends: November 20, 2016

CFP Submission Deadline: April 05, 2016

For more information, contact: Rachel Carr

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