Author Archives: Brycchan Carey

Call For Papers: Eco-criticism from the African Perspectives

Call For Papers: Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 28.01

Language, Literature and the Environment: Eco-criticism from the African Perspectives

Guest-edited by

Emmanuel Adeniyi (PhD)
English & Literary Studies, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria

Paul Ayodele Onanuga (PhD)
English & Literary Studies, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria

The oversubscription to anthropocentric cosmology which places humanity at the centre of biosphere and relegates nature to the periphery has been pilloried in many postcolonial eco-critical texts. Furthermore, the injustice, imbalance, and power dialectics that greet human-nature relations in the ecosystem have often agitated the collective consciousness of eco-critical scholars, environmentalists, eco-critical writers, and “nature rights” activists globally. Ecocriticism, in broad terms, is concerned with exploring the diverse ways in which human societies and cultures have lived with ‘nature’. This includes the beneficial, as well as the ecocidal, and it is perhaps no surprise that societies which have achieved more equitable and sustainable relations are those that emphasise reciprocity, entanglement and co-creation, rather than those which assume humanity is separate from, and superior to, nature.

Much like the rest of the world, Africa is not immune to the swirling vortex of environmental degradation threatening both human and non-human existence. This tension may have triggered the interest of critics on the continent to interrogate the deleterious effects of human activities on the environment. Egya (2020) affirms the rising interest in African eco-critical writings, and foregrounds the existence of primordial consciousness in the preservation and sustenance of nature in African religio-cultural epistemologies. Implicit in this is the suggestion that current trends in ecological degradation are outcrops of Euro-American ‘modernity’. What can not be denied are the ecological effects of human abuse of the environment. For instance, in the Nigerian Niger Delta, indiscriminate oil exploration and gas flaring has engendered spoliation of flora and fauna, leaving behind unimaginable trails of environmental degradation and destruction in the oil rich region. Such realities underline the insensitivity of humanity to the environment in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. They similarly validate the interconnectivity between human economic activities and environmental spoliation. These ecological disasters
have led to severe economic displacement for the people of concerned regions in Nigeria, while numerous African societies are equally reaping the consequences of environmental spoliation.

While the bulk of ecological challenges can be adduced to leadership crisis as well as the activities of capitalists and unsavoury reality of endemic poverty, these challenges also index myriad of issues. Some of the underlying concerns include underdevelopment, lack of political will and insincerity on the part of government to implement growth-driven policies, connivance of government with external forces to depredate its people, ecological imperialism, citizen’s rights, insecurity of lives and property, and, above all, the volatility of degraded regions, and the direct effects of such degradation on national economies in Africa. To this end, this journal volume proposes to explore the anthropocentric practices, tensions, anarchy, and consciousness around ecological concerns on the African continent, as portrayed in African creative writings.

More specifically, we seek articles that raise critical and theoretical issues on the crucial role of language and literature in the contexts of eco-criticism. Articles which elucidate the diverse perspectives and contextual realities of ecological challenges from humanistic viewpoints are also welcome. In all, we expect manuscripts that adequately problematize the place of language and literatures in environmentally-conscious discourses.

We are interested in receiving abstracts which address African literature, eco-criticism, and sub-themes which include but are not limited to:

  • The Place of Language in African Eco-criticism
  • African Indigenous Epistemologies/Practices
  • Nature in African Popular Culture
  • Identity Practices/Constructions (gender, national, ethnic, etc.)
  • Digital Context(s)
  • The Socio-politics of Eco-criticism
  • Cross-culturality and Eco-criticism
  • Eco-criticism and Marginalised Communities
  • Eco-musicology
  • The (Post)colonial in Eco-criticism
  • Bio-politics
  • Climate Change

We welcome proposals for articles of 6000-7000 words. Please send abstracts of 500 words to the editors at ayomercy2011@gmail.com and emperornugadellio@yahoo.com by 31st October 2021. Selected contributors will be contacted by the beginning of January 2022 and asked to supply their full article by 1st October 2022 in order to start the double-blind peer review and editorial process. The special issue is scheduled for print publication in early 2024, although articles will be made available on our online journal as soon as they have passed final editorial approval. We especially welcome articles by, or focusing on the work of women, non-binary, LGBT*, Indigenous, disabled and working class writers, and authors of colour.

Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism is the journal of ASLE-UKI (the UK- Ireland branch of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment). It is a peer-reviewed journal published by Routledge and supported by Bath Spa University and the University of Worcester. Green Letters explores interdisciplinary interfaces between humans and the natural and built environment.

ASLE-UKI Online Seminar: ‘Early Modern Ecologies: Green Heritage’, Saturday 19 June 2021, 3pm

ASLE-UKI Online Seminar Series

Early Modern Ecologies: Green Heritage

Convenors: Todd Borlik and Rosie Paice
Date and Time: Saturday 19 June 2021, 3pm – 5pm BST
How to Take Part: Register now via Eventbrite

The third ASLE-UKI Online Seminar offers four talks on early modern literature and the environment. We welcome those who can join us for all or part of this seminar.

Part 1

3.05 Bonnie Lander Johnson, ‘Trees and iconoclast controversy in Shakespeare and the early modern ballad tradition’
3.25 Jennifer Munroe, ‘Colonial Botany, Knowledge-Making, and Environmental Justice: Mary Somerset’s “innocent diversion of gardening”’

5-minute Break

Part 2

3.50 Claire Eager, ‘Kenilworth and Kilcolman: Spenser’s Landscape Architectures’
4.10 Rosie Paice, ‘Eden versus the Pratolino: Lost Gardens in Life and Art’

4.30 Q & A

Registration is free but please register in advance. Register Now.

ASLE-UKI Online Seminar: ‘Blue Extinction: Biodiversity Loss in Aquatic Environments’. Thursday 27 May 2021

ASLE-UKI Online Seminar Series

Next Seminar: Thursday 27 May 2021

Blue Extinction: Biodiversity Loss in Aquatic Environments

Convenor: Vera Fibisan (University of Sheffield)
Date and Time: Thursday 27 May 2021, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
How to Take Part: free but please register to attend via Eventbrite.

Morning panel, 10.00 am BST (Moderator: Vera Fibisan)

Dr Killian Quigley (The University of Sydney) – ‘The Incredible Refuse of the Sea’: Cemetery Ecologies of the Ocean Floor
Dr Tom Bristow (James Cook University) – ‘nothing but the start of terror’
Dr Maria Beger (University of Leeds) – Title TBC

Afternoon panel, 2.00 pm BST (Moderator: Dr Rachel Murray)

Prof Steve Mentz (St. John’s University) – ‘We Will All Be Marine Mammals Soon’: Oceanic Dislocation and Extinction from Shakespeare to the Left-to-Die Boat
Prof Dolly Jørgensen (University of Stavanger) – ‘Extinction remains: Museum collection practices and the hunt for Caribbean monk seals’
Dr Tom Webb (The University of Sheffield) – ‘Extinction in the sea: what do we know, and what can we expect?’

Registration is free but please register in advance. Register Now.

To find out more about future ASLE-UKI events, please click here.

Our seminars are free to attend, but there are some costs involved in their organisation. If you enjoyed the seminar, please do consider making a small donation to help cover our costs.

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Call for Applications: Co-editor of Green Letters. Deadline 8 February 2021

Co-editor of Green Letters: call for applications 

Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism is looking for a new co-editor! John Parham is stepping down from his role as editor. Although he is obviously irreplaceable, we are looking for a keen new co-editor to join Samantha Walton in running the journal.

Green Letters publishes four editions a year, online and in print. Editions are either themed or unthemed, edited by us or by guest editors. The new co-editor will need to oversee two editions a year. This mainly entails seeing articles through from submission to publication, or commissioning and advising guest editors to do the same. Other tasks include meeting with the publisher to negotiate contracts and page counts; seeking peer reviewers; reporting to ASLE-UKI at conferences; collaborating with our reviews editor, editorial and publishing assistants; and holding editorial board meetings, in person or online. We work on an online system, ScholarOne, so the new editor will need to be confident working with this system, following training.

There are obviously many benefits to taking on this role, chief of which is being able to take a lead in commissioning and supporting new work in ecocriticism. Reflecting the interests and concerns of the membership is a real pleasure, and the finished editions — both online and in print — are beautiful and satisfying things to bring into the world. On a professional level, line managers and promotions committees often look kindly on editorial appointments like this one. More convivially, the work of editing, commissioning, providing editorial feedback and seeking peer reviewers will help you connect with a lively, international community of like-minded scholars.

As is the norm in academic publishing, this role is unpaid. For this reason, we’re really looking for a new editor who holds a permanent (‘tenured’) academic position. While we recognise that this will exclude many ASLE scholars who would otherwise be perfectly suited for the role, we are also conscious that unpaid academic labour is exploitative and that the burden of unpaid work tends to fall unfairly on the most precarious in our academic communities. GL is committed to celebrating and amplifying the work of ECRs and precarious academics through publishing, guest editing and other mentoring opportunities with the journal, but we would rather this position went to someone who is recompensed in some way for their time through their academic position.

If you would like to put yourself forward for the role, we ask that you email Samantha at s.walton@bathspa.ac.uk and John j.parham@worc.ac.uk to introduce yourself and your research specialisms, and to tell us why you’re interested in becoming a co-editor. To help us make a fair decision, we’d be very interested if you could suggest a theme for a future special edition. The deadline for expressions of interest is 8th February 2021, and we’d be very happy to answer informal questions before then.

ASLE-UKI Book Prize 2021

Deadline for Nominations: January 31st, 2021,

We are pleased to announce the inauguration of the biennial ASLE-UKI book prizes. There will be two categories:

  1. the best academic monograph in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities published at any time in 2019 or 2020 (please note this does not include edited collections).
  2. the best work of creative writing in any form or genre with an ecological theme published at any time in 2019 or 2020.

The initial long list will be drawn up from nominations received from members of ASLE-UKI, our international affiliates or from publishers.

Members are welcome to nominate their own books. Nominations will be restricted to one per person (or publisher) for each category.

The judging panel will be drawn from the current ASLE-UKI committee. Plese note, we will not be considering edited collections for the inaugural prize, but may introduce additional categories in future years.

The winners will be announced in Autumn 2021 and each will receive a cash prize of £100.

Please send nominations to the following members of the committee by January 31st, 2021, stating whether you are nominating as an ASLE-UKI member, a member of one of our affiliates or as a publisher:

 

Call for Entries: The 2020 ASLE-UKI/INSPIRE Public Lecture on Literature and Sustainability at the Hay Festival. Deadline for entries 28 February 2020.

The competition for the 2020 ASLE-UKI/INSPIRE Public Lecture on Literature and Sustainability at the Hay Festival is now open. The winning lecture will be delivered at the 2020 Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, 28 May 2020

Sustainability is a matter of culture as much as politics or environmental science. The stories we tell, the poems we compose, the dramas we enact—all provide spaces for inspiration, imagination, and debate over what it means to live sustainably. This competition invites submissions that explore how literature, in any of its forms, responds to the past, present, or future environment or to environmental concerns, be it through engagements with nature, place, and landscape, with the life sciences, ecology, or environmental science, or in the context of debates around sustainability, energy use, or climate change.

Entrants should submit the text of a half-hour public lecture appropriate for a broad public audience which may include school children, interested lay-people, activists, literary critics, and sustainability practitioners. Lectures should be lively and accessible, avoid academic jargon or complex theorisation, and should aim to be both thought-provoking and entertaining. Unrevised academic papers will not be considered.

The competition is jointly organised by the Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE) at the University of Wales, Trinity St. David (www.uwtsd.ac.uk/inspire), and the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK and Ireland (ASLE-UKI; www.asle.org.uk).

The winner of the competition will be invited to deliver her/his submission as ‘The 2020 INSPIRE Lecture on Literature and Sustainability’ at the 2020 Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts (Hay-on-Wye, 21–31 May 2020). The lecture will take place on Thursday 28 May and is followed by a public discussion between the competition winner and Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE and former Welsh Government Minister for Sustainability, and Brycchan Carey, Vice-President of ASLE-UKI. ASLE-UKI will pay one night’s accommodation and reasonable travel expenses to Hay within the UK.

Entry to the competition is free. Only one entry per person is permitted. Please submit the text of your lecture, any accompanying power point presentation, and include a brief (50 words) biography as well as your contact details.

Entries should be submitted by email to the Competition Chair and Vice-President of ASLE-UKI, Professor Brycchan Carey: brycchan.carey@northumbria.ac.uk

The closing date for entries is Friday 28 February 2020.

CFP: ASLE-UKI Postgraduate Conference 2020, University of Sheffield, 4-6 September 2020. Proposal deadline 31 March 2020

The biennial ASLE-UKI Postgraduate Conference 2020 will take place at the University of Sheffield from the 2nd-4th of September 2020. The theme is ‘Out of the Blue’. Proposals are invited for presentations and panels from postgraduate and early-career researchers working in the field of environmental humanities and related areas. The deadline for proposals is 31 March 2020. For more details, download the full ASLE-UKI 2020 CFP

CFP: STREAMS – Transformative Environmental Humanities, Stockholm, 5-8 August 2020. Proposal deadline 15 Oct /30 Nov 2019

The KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory invites ASLE-UKI members to participate in the upcoming conference STREAMS: Transformative Environmental Humanities in Stockholm 5–8 August 2020. You can submit various contributions, e.g. proposals for streams or films, individual papers, panels, debates, experimental sessions, and artistic interventions.
Deadline for streams or films: 15 October 2019
Deadline for individual papers, panels, debates, experimental sessions, and artistic interventions: 30 November 2019
Details at:  https://www.kth.se/en/abe/inst/philhist/historia/ehl/ehl-events/shaping-the-environm/the-call-1.910679

CFP: Flows – Environmental History Workshop, 13 Sept 2019, Northumbria Univ., Newcastle. Proposals due 18 March.

The world around us today is shaped by a multitude of flows. Flows know no nation and create a transnational world. The way in which humans, animals, money, commodities, and natural resources have moved around our landscapes, and the way in which these movements have been managed, has left its mark on today’s world. This one day event hosted by Northumbria University will bring together academics, early career researchers and PhD students for the Second Annual Environmental History Workshop, which aims to continue the work begun at the 2018 inaugural workshop, providing space and stimulus for dialogue between UK-based environmental historians. Full details HERE

CFP: Reworking Georgic, Univ. of Leeds, 9-10 Sept 2019. Proposals due 30 April 2019

The influence and spirit of ‘georgic’ can be seen across western art and culture – writers and artists have the mode to explore a broad range of significant themes, including nationhood and empire, industry, the experience of war, the cultivation of the self, and humans’ relationships with the natural world. The importance and richness of georgic as a genre or mode is increasingly recognised by researchers, but it is difficult to define something that has been reworked in so many ways: does georgic have to be didactic? does it have to be about labour, about nature, about agriculture? how is it different from pastoral? This conference will bring together researchers working across periods and disciplines to analyse how and why georgic has been worked and reworked so extensively, and to develop and celebrate this growing field of study. Full details HERE