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Representing Empire in British Modernism—A Crisis of Environmental Aesthetics

Social histories of our contemporary climate crisis increasingly emerge alongside the geologic. Though a global phenomenon, recent conversations among historians of Britain have suggested that English culture and history may play a special role in the emergence of the Anthropocene era which we currently inhabit - both as the birth place of the industrial revolution, and because of the British empire’s global natural resource extraction networks and the culture and policies which maintained them at home in England.

This panel asks how the dominant literary trend of Modernism, which emerges in the decades leading up to the great acceleration of environmental change in the mid-twentieth century, engages with, responds to, perpetuates, resists, constitutes, or otherwise represents community(ies) in response to environmental disaster or devastation in the British empire.

The panel hopes to pay particular attention to works by authors from territories other than England proper – those authored by colonial British subjects during the early twentieth century. Four presentations will explore questions related but not limited to: the environmental devastation of the period’s colonial and world wars; representations of the changing landscapes and natural spaces of the British empire; the use of environmental aesthetics to mediate and respond to the myriad social, political, and economic upheaval; direct representations of environmental crisis.

The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2018. You will be notified whether or not your submission has been accepted to the panel no later than January 10, 2019. The panel is an already approved session in the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, to be held June 26-30, 2019, at the University of California, Davis. Submit here: Please send any inquiries to Molly Volanth Hall

Conference Location: Davis, CA, USA
Conference Starts: June 26, 2019
Conference Ends: June 30, 2019

CFP Submission Deadline: December 15, 2018

For more information, contact: Molly Volanth Hall