Rust/Resistance: Works of Recovery
Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)
Twelfth Biennial Conference, June 20 – 24, 2017
Wayne State University
In Rust: The Longest War, Jonathan Waldman claims that, for those who “yield to rust, find beauty in rust, capitalize on rust, raise awareness of rust, and teach about rust, work is riddled with scams, lawsuits, turf battles, and unwelcome oversight. Explosions, collisions, arrests, threats, and insults abound.” Rust is the underside of cosmopolis. Rust belts follow industry and its corrosions; the parasitic Rust fungi are enemies of agriculture. And yet there is an irenic side to rust: it inspires contemplation, the search for beauty, and the effort to defend what is threatened. As an agent of time, rust sponsors stories of collapse-and-recovery, evolution-and-extinction, but it also questions them. Narratives of progress that see rust as the enemy are not universal. In Japanese aesthetics, for instance, sabi is the beauty of natural aging and aged materials; what is new is not as lovely as what has weathered. In a time obsessed by environmental apocalypse, rust may reveal other trajectories for cultures of recovery. Resurget Cineribus, “It Will Rise from the Ashes,” is the motto of Detroit—our host city.
Long associated with steel, car culture, and the music of Motown, Detroit is also a site of struggle for racial and environmental justice, against depopulation and “ruin porn,” and for the preservation of artistic heritage. A nexus of encounters between indigenous nations and the French fur trade, it became a locus of the Great Migration, “white flight,” and gentrification. Water-rich on the strait between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, Detroit and its neighbors struggle against corroded infrastructure and government corruption. For all those reasons, Detroit is an ideal place to confer about rust, resistance, and recovery. We invite participants to interpret the conference theme as broadly as possible and to imagine their work in terms of content and form. We particularly encourage non-traditional modes of presentation, including hybrid, performative and collaborative works; panels that minimize formal presentation in favor of engaged emergent discussion; interdisciplinary approaches; environmentally inflected readings of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, film, theatre and other media; and proposals from outside the academic humanities, including submissions from artists, writers, teachers, practitioners, activists and colleagues in the social and natural sciences. Topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:
* The literatures, arts, and cultures of the Rust Belt, the Great Lakes, and Appalachia. Bioregionalism, eco-cosmopolitanism, multinaturalism, (New) historicism, material ecocriticism, posthumanism, queer ecology, postcolonial ecocriticism, new media theory, decolonization theory, geography, and geocriticism as techniques for the analysis of rust-culture.
* Transnational rust: Detroit and its relationship with Ontario; the borderlands of Canada and the United States; nationalist and cosmopolitan rusts; colonial, postcolonial, and decolonial rusts.
* Elemental rust: Rust as an element of nature writing, natural history, agrarian and wilderness literature. The nature of iron and the arts of steel; water as an agent of rust; rust as vitality, materiality, and quintessence; corrosion as hyper-object; mines, foundries, and factories; nuclear rust; rust and oil, coal, and natural gas; Rust as programming language; rust as the essence of the Internet; the Internet of (Rusty) Things; steampunk aesthetics; rust as waste of civilization.
* Labor and rust: Corrosions of justice; the literature and other arts of labor; agricultures of resistance; class as a category of environmental analysis; working class nature writing; environmental infrastructures; precarity and the corrosion of higher education; petrocultures of labor; the work of environmentalism; the energy humanities; environmental catastrophes and the working class; blue collar conservation and restoration; environmentalism and the Old Left; folk, rock, soul, funk, and other forms of music as resistance..
* Aeons of rust: Iron ages: archaic, classical, late antique, medieval, early modern, Renaissance, Victorian, Modernist, and postmodern rust; the aesthetics and poetics of weathering, rhetorics of collapse and recovery; periodization after the “Anthropocene;” narratives of extinction; legends of rust; rust as telos; rust as closure; cosmologies, cosmogonies, and eschatologies of rust.
* The arts and sciences of resistance: Public health and environmental justice; methods derived from climatology, paleontology, geology; changes in the weather reporting; post/industrial ecologies; urban ecology; urban nature/parks/green spaces, urban planning; planned resilience; cities and climate change; ecotopias, urban renaissance, new urbanisms; green architecture.
* Methods of resistance: Recovering conservation, ecofeminism, Deep Ecology, intersectionality, critical race theory, comparatism, formalism, anthropology, folkloristics, social ecology, deconstruction, eco-Marxism, Green anarchism, Writing Studies, rhetoric and composition, and other “rusty” methods for the environmental humanities.
* Genres of resistance: Natural histories of resistance; the poetry of witness; testimony, autoethnography, virality as modes of activism; slam and avant-garde ecopoetry; folklore; the visual arts of resistance; post/industrial photography; survivance as a resistant mode; “cli-fi”; sentimental literature as resistance; Naturalism; the proletarian novel; prison literature; resistant memoir; investigative theater; viral video; the politics of video games; the museum as target or agent of resistance; video installations.
* Recovering ecological citizenship: Rhetorics of citizenship; the public sphere in the age of climate change; globalization and the “global citizen”; social media as an activist tool; traditions of direct action; democratic environments; green populism; civic environmentalism; activist pedagogies.
* Recovering lost lands: Narratives of drowned cities and lost homelands (Atlantis, Tuvalu, Aztlan, Doggerland, Oz); the literature of hurricanes and floods; Katrina, Sandy, and the media; water rights; state seizures of local resources and governance; the environment of ethnic neighborhoods; refuges and refugia; sanctuaries; ecological sovereignty; ecological reparations; eco-cultural nationalisms: First Nations activism, gay and lesbian lands/queer territories, postcolonial recoveries; cosmopolitan alliances.
* Recovering past and future: Ends of environmental history; paradises born in hell; the place of the Roman and other empires in declensionist narratives; linguistic recoveries; neo-medievalisms; fantasy fiction as imagined past; science fiction as extrapolation; queer futurities; archaeology and anthropology in the environmental humanities; the corrosion and recovery of literary history.
Panel and Paper Submission:
For additional information and to submit a pre-formed panel or individual presentation, please visit the conference website at http://asle2017.clas.wayne.edu
All proposals must be submitted by December 12, 2016. We will evaluate your proposal carefully and notify you of its final status by February 15, 2017.
Deadline (9/1): “Gender and the Cultural Preoccupations of the American West” (Studies in the Novel)
Call For Papers – Studies in the Novel
Special Issue: “Gender and the Cultural Preoccupations of the American West”
Deadline for submissions: 9/1/2016
Studies in the Novel is currently seeking submissions for a special issue on “Gender and the Cultural Preoccupations of the American West,” guest edited by Sigrid Anderson Cordell (University of Michigan) and Carrie Johnston (Bucknell University), which will be published in fall 2017.
This special issue examines the novel as a tool of political engagement through which women writers have challenged prevalent notions of the American West as masculine, antimodern, and untouched. Even thirty years after Annette Kolodny’s foundational study The Land Before Her, recent work by Nina Baym and Krista Comer has shown there is considerable work to be done to account for women writers’ engagement with the West as an imaginative and political space. Likewise, new directions in gender studies, border theory, settler colonialism, and critical regionalism have made new conversations about the Western as a literary genre increasingly urgent.
We invite contributions that examine the ways that women novelists have located themselves in the West—both imaginatively and geographically—asking how these narratives have engaged cultural “preoccupations” with the West as an extension of the predominantly white, masculine public sphere. Examining these narratives, contributors will also evaluate gendered representations of the longstanding contested nature of the “occupation” of western territories and, more recently, US borders.
Possible topics include:
- Women’s writing and borderlands
- Gender and settler colonialism
- Intersections of post-feminism, the post-western, and the post-racial
- Novels about the West as spaces for debate
- New readings of canonical western women writers like Willa Cather and Mary Austin
- Ways that the critical landscape shifts by paying attention to neglected texts
- New readings of under-read women writers
- Women writers and the post-West or post-regionalism
- Globalization and the novel
- Visualities in women’s novels about the West
- The Western novel as a gendered genre
- The gendering of anthropology in narratives about the West
Submissions should be sent in MS Word, devoid of personal identifying information. Manuscripts should be 8,000-10,000 words in length, inclusive of endnotes and Works Cited, have standard formatting (1” margins, double-spaced throughout, etc.), and conform to the latest edition of the MLA Style Manual. Endnotes should be as brief and as limited in number as possible. Illustrations may accompany articles; high-resolution digital files (JPEGs preferred) must be provided upon article acceptance. All copyright permissions must be obtained by the author prior to publication.
Questions and submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2016.
Gender Studies in the Library: Case Studies, Programming, Outreach
Book Publisher: McFarland
Carol Smallwood, co-editor. Library’s Role in Supporting Financial Literacy for Patrons (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016); public library administrator, special, school librarian.
Lura Sanborn, co-editor. Women, Work, and the Web, contributor, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015); public, academic, school librarian.
One or two chapters sought from U.S. practicing academic, public, school, special librarians, LIS faculty, sharing practical know-how about what works for Women/ Men/LGBTIQ to meet patron gender information. Chapters sought useful to public, school, special librarians, LIS faculty: proven, creative, case studies, how-to chapters based on experience to help colleagues with innovative workshops, outreach, grants, resources.
Topics could include but are not limited to: getting boys to use the library; showcasing GBLTIQ voices; programming, successful examples, intentions and outcomes; acquisitions, to support, showcase, represent; wage gaps; women’s studies librarianship. No previously published, simultaneously submitted material. One, two, or three authors per chapter; each chapter by the same author(s). Compensation: one complimentary copy per 3,000-4,000 word chapter accepted no matter how many co-authors or if one or two chapters: author discount on more.
Please e-mail titles of proposed chapters each described in a few sentences by September 20, 2016, brief bio on each author; place GEN, Your Name on subject line: email@example.com
“Where and When: Evolving Concepts of Place, Space, and Time
in the Writings of Sedgwick and Her Contemporaries”
Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Sedgwick’s death in 1867
and The 20th Anniversary of the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society
June 7-10, 2017 — The Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
From her first novel, A New-England Tale; or Sketches of New-England Character and Manners (1822) to her last, Married or Single? (1857), much of Catharine Sedgwick’s writing, like the writing of many of her contemporaries, is geographically and historically specific. While a significant body of criticism has treated the elements of history and locality in Sedgwick’s works, far less scholarship has explored the ways in which her depictions of settings reflect changing ideas about both place and time over the course of her career. How did Sedgwick’s understanding of her native Berkshires, the larger region of New England, and the nation as a whole evolve as her physical and personal life, her professional career, and the United States advanced and matured? How did her perception of the passage of time, of cultural change, and of history itself evolve as political expansion, economic development, and technological innovation rapidly changed the look, the breadth, and the pace of American life from the 1820s to the Civil War?
Commemorating the 150th anniversary of Sedgwick’s death and the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society, the Society will return to Sedgwick’s home town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to convene its 8th symposium from June 7-10, 2017. The Society is thrilled to have renowned scholar Dr. Mary C. Kelley, the Ruth Bordin Collegiate Professor of History, American Culture, and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, as our keynote speaker. She has published extensively on Sedgwick and other 19th-century American Women Writers and her works include such notable books as Private Woman, Public Stage: Literary Domesticity in Nineteenth-Century America and The Power of Her Sympathy: The Autobiography and Journal of Catharine Maria Sedgwick.
The Society invites proposals that consider Sedgwick’s legacy—how it grew over the course of her career and how it has evolved in the century and a half since her death—as well as the work of Sedgwick (or one of her male or female contemporaries with links to Sedgwick) through the lenses of place, space, and time broadly construed—including studies of setting and historicity as well as more contemporary theoretical approaches to time, space, and the environment. Papers might:
- Explore evolving ways of reading/representing the landscape in works by Sedgwick and her contemporaries
- Make connections between new technological developments, such as railroads and telegraphs, and changing perceptions of space and time in literature
- Explore the state of the union as reflected in evolving depictions of place
- Discuss the role of historic sites, cemeteries, place names in fiction and in national identity
- Rethink the “transcendental” movement in terms of space and time
- Elucidate cultural histories or popular culture representations of iconic New England scenes, such as the Concord Bridge, Ice Glen, Sacrifice Rock/Laurel Hill, Mount Holyoke, or Monument Mountain
- Envision new roles for Sedgwick’s works in the classroom or interpret ways in which the teaching of Sedgwick and her contemporaries has evolved over nearly fifty years of recovery scholarship
- Demonstrate ways in which digital humanities and online archives impact scholarly research on Sedgwick and her contemporaries
- Theorize changing perceptions of domestic life, familial relationships, and the meaning of “home”: how might the “domestic” be reframed in terms of space, place and time?
- Focus on the material distribution of texts (letters, periodicals, transatlantic republishing) in Sedgwick’s time and how these distribution methods relate to space, place and time
- Explore ways in which considerations of geographic and/or historic specificity support, reiterate, and/or challenge larger theoretical notions of geography and/or history
- Elucidate the life cycle or developmental paradigm of nonhuman entities: plants, landscapes, mountains, art, nations, communities
- Construct or deconstruct conceptual boundaries and binaries, such as country/city; past/present; colony/metropole; village/nation
- Demonstrate how places that are geographically distant become connected through narrative
- Describe ways in which concepts of space, place and/or time are constrained or distorted by gender, race, age, ethnicity or other factors
- Track a specific place or moment in time across a variety of texts by different writers
- Examine indirect experiences of geographic places or historic moments through the use of art, storytelling, monuments, news, or other forms of representation
These are among the many possibilities—as usual, all Sedgwick-related topics are welcome!
Please e-mail proposals of approximately 200-400 words by November 30, 2016, to Lisa West, CMSS Second Vice-President for Programs: firstname.lastname@example.org
To register for the symposium or get more information about the conference program or outings in the Stockbridge area, visit the CMSS website at http://cmsedgwicksociety.org