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ASLE 2011 Conference: Species, Space, and the Imagination of the Global
June 21-26, 2011
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN


The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) invites proposals for its Ninth Biennial Conference, to be held June 21-26, 2011, at Indiana University in Bloomington, on the theme of "Species, Space, and the Imagination of the Global." We seek proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, and other public presentations connecting language, nature, and culture. As always, we welcome interdisciplinary approaches; readings of environmentally inflected fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction; and proposals from outside the academic humanities, including submissions from artists, writers, practitioners, activists, and colleagues in the social and natural sciences.

The conference theme seeks to engage with questions of humans' relation to nonhuman species, both plant and animal, and to explore intersections between work on nonhuman species in disciplines such as biology, anthropology, philosophy, neuroscience, literature, and art. Our goal is to do so in a transnational framework that will allow us to reflect on how different historical, geographical and cultural contexts shape our encounters with the natural world and with environmental crises.

The following topics are of particular relevance to the conference theme; we also encourage submissions on other, related issues:

* Visions and theories of globalization in their relationship to the environment, including the resistance to globalization
* Cultural geography in its contributions to environmentalist thought
* Postcolonial ecocriticism and the geopolitical relationships that have shaped different human populations' uses of natural environments in the past and the present
* Environmental justice
* Environmental literature as world literature, including comparative literature, cross-cultural approaches, borderlands writing, and travel writing
* Environmental disasters and their repercussions, including their representations and cultural reactions to them (including both natural and human-caused disasters), in their local, regional and global ramifications
* Environmental diseases,their local, regional and global spread, prevention and countermeasures
* New media for envisioning local and global processes, including GIS, maps, graphs, visualization, databases, and other digital and nondigital media
* Studies of migration, both human and nonhuman
* Wildlife conservation, including the policies and practices of parks, refuges, and assisted migration
* Ethnozoology and ethnobotany
* Critical animal studies, including the question of a "posthuman" turn
* Biotechnology and its transformations of biodiversity
* The politics, cultures and pedagogies of climate change

Paper Formats

Participants are invited to submit paper proposals for 90-minute sessions. ASLE welcomes scholarly panels and creative writing presentations; proposals for hybrid or nontraditional panels should indicate the nature and purpose of the presentations' unique features. As in the past few years, we expect to receive more proposals than we can accommodate; therefore, not all proposals will be accepted. Proposals for fully constituted panels, which provide a thematic unity the program committee cannot always provide, will be given priority over individual paper proposals. We will accept paper and panel proposals in English and in Spanish, and we welcome panels in Spanish at the conference. We invite submissions for the following formats:

* 600-word proposals for 20-minute presentations in a traditional session, three per session, or 15-minute presentations in a traditional session, four per session
* 300-word proposals for informal presentations/position papers in a roundtable organized around a single issue or question, four to twelve per session
* 300-word proposals for 8 minute presentations in a paper jam, six to seven per session

Proposals for pre-formed panels and roundtables should also include a 300-word abstract describing their purpose and the names and contact information of the participants. Accepted abstracts will be posted on the conference web site. For more detailed information on the different formats and for submission guidelines, please visit the conference website:

All proposals must be submitted by Friday, November 5, 2010.
Notifications of accepted and rejected proposals will be e-mailed by February 15, 2011.
Conference Site

Bloomington, Indiana, is a vibrant and friendly college town in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, an hour's drive from the Indianapolis International Airport and four hours from Chicago. The city has a lively arts scene with half a dozen theater companies, a wide range of music performances (including folk punk), colorful murals, and the Bloomington Arts & Entertainment District (BEAD), established in 2006 with lots of galleries, artworks and entertainment opportunities. IU Bloomington is home to the Lilly Rare Books Library, the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, as well as the internationally renowned Jacobs School of Music, which each summer hosts a high-profile classical music festival that attracts thousands of visitors. Plentiful restaurants and the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market highlight the city's investment in locally grown food. Griffy Lake, a 1,200-acre nature preserve, lies just minutes from downtown Bloomington. The region also offers many possibilites for hiking, birdwatching and aquatic adventures. National Geographic recently ranked Bloomington one of America?s "top adventure towns" thanks to the many opportunities for recreation it offers.

Indiana University's campus, which landscape artist Thomas Gaines has called one of the five most beautiful in America, is located near downtown Bloomington. The campus is fully wired and wireless, and all classrooms for concurrent sessions are equipped for computer projection and Internet access. Conference housing will be provided in the university?s newly built residence center offering 2, 3, or 4-bedroom suites. Accommodations will also be available at the Hilton Garden Inn, within easy walking distance from campus ( Downtown Bloomington can be reached via regular shuttle bus service from the newly built Indianapolis International Airport ( Both Indiana University and ASLE are committed to making the conference as accessible for the disabled as possible; the conference website will provide more detail.
Field Sessions and Post-Conference Field Trips

As with past conferences, there will a number of half-day field excursions on Friday afternoon and several post-conference field trips on Sunday. Destinations will include the Lilly Rare Book Room; Goose Pond, one of the largest restored wetland areas in the Midwest; Lake Monroe, a successful bald eagle restoration site; the Stone Age Institute; New Harmony, site of two of America's utopian communities; and the Audubon Museum in Kentucky.

Questions about the program? Email Ursula Heise at
Questions about the conference site and field sessions? Email Christoph Irmscher at
IU Indiana University | IU Bloomington | College of Arts & Sciences | ASLE 2011
Copyright 2010, The Trustees of Indiana University | Copyright Complaints | Last Updated: 19 July 2010

Conference Location: Blooomington, IN, USA
Conference Starts: June 21, 2011
Conference Ends: June 26, 2011

CFP Submission Deadline: November 05, 2010

For more information, contact: Ursula K. Heise