2022 Biennial Conference – Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 2022 ASLE-UKI Biennial Conference.

The following registration fees will apply. There is an ‘early bird’ rate for those registering before 22 July.

  • Full Delegate Rate: £150.00
  • Early Bird Rate (before 22 July): £125.00
  • Concessionary Rate (students, unwaged/low waged): £95.00
  • Early Bird Concessionary Rate (before 22 July): £75.00

To register, please go to the Northumbria University registration page (now closed). As well as registration, you will be given an option to select one or two tickets to the conference dinner (you are welcome to bring a guest who is not attending the conference) and you will also be able to reserve a place on your preferred excursion (or none). Numbers are limited on excursions, and are first come, first served. If an excursion is no longer showing, then it is fully booked. You will not be charged for excursions at this stage as they are either free, or pay on the day.


For more information about the conference, including details of the dinner and excursions, travel, locations, and the outline programme, please visit the main conference page.


ASLE-UKI 2021 Book Prize Announcement

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 ASLE-UKI Book Prize. ASLE-UKI offers two prizes: one for the best work in ecocriticism and the other for the best work of creative writing with an environmental theme.

The winner of this year’s critical prize is Evelyn O’Malley for Weathering Shakespeare.

The winner of this year’s creative prize is Ben Smith for Doggerland.

Evelyn O’Malley, Weathering Shakespeare (Bloomsbury)
Informed by the latest developments in ecocritical theory and extensive fieldwork at outdoor theatres throughout the UK, Weathering Shakespeare offers a hard-headed appraisal of open-air Shakespeare as a forum for ecological advocacy. Recognizing that the outdoor/indoor binary is as complex and tenuous as the nature/culture divide, O’Malley is rightly wary of apple-eyed assumptions that al fresco Shakespeare is intrinsically eco-conscious by mere virtue of its setting. Instead this book advances the provocative argument that much outdoor theatre enacts anthropocentricism in its blithe disregard for the non-human surroundings. Chardonnay-sipping audiences soak up an enchanting atmosphere that has little to do with ecological re-enchantment or enlightenment. This commendable scepticism means that the hard-earned efforts to discern moments of genuine consciousness-raising are all the more compelling.
More information about Weathering Shakespeare

Ben Smith, Doggerland (Fourth Estate) 
The judges were impressed by this remarkable first novel by a young British writer. Doggerland gives us a bleak but wryly presented future, further on in the Anthropocene. The setting is a lonely decaying windfarm in the North Sea. A boy and an old man live there, responsible for keeping the windmills turning. Their relationship is tense and teasing and then unexpectedly tender. Similarly, the bleakness of the whole setting occasionally lets in a bright shaft of beauty. A disturbing, depleted world of wreckage and endless, possibly futile effort is pierced sometimes, overwhelmingly, by humour and brightness. Beckett meets The Road with touches of Pincher Martin and Steptoe and Son – all in a brutal ecological scenario that makes us desperate for any sign of renewal.

We congratulate this year’s winners on their excellent books!

ASLE-UKI Online Seminar: ‘Victorian Ecologies’

Next ASLE-UKI Online Seminar
26 May 2022

Victorian Ecologies

Convenor: Sophia Jochem
Date and Time: 26 May 2022, 5.00 pm
How to Take Part: Register via www.eventbrite.co.uk

Join us on 26 May 2022, 17:00 BST, for a free online ASLE UKI seminar on ecocritical approaches to Victorians and their relationship to the world around them.

Confirmed Speakers and Titles:

  • Mary Bowden (University of Delaware)
  • Megan Kuster (University College Dublin)
  • Francesca Mackenney (University of Leeds)
  • Joan Passey (University of Bristol)

Please register online via www.eventbrite.co.uk. Registration is free but please register in advance. If you enjoyed the seminar, please do consider making a small donation to help cover costs.

CFP: ASLE-UKI Biennial Conference 2022

Call for Papers

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK and Ireland, Biennial Conference 2022

‘Epochs, Ages, and Cycles: Time and the Environment’

6–8 September 2022, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne

Plenary Speakers include:

Samantha Walton (Bath Spa University)
Elizabeth-Jane Burnett (Northumbria University)

Northumbria University is delighted to host the 2022 Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK and Ireland ‘in person’ on 6 to 8 September 2022. While papers on any aspect of literature, culture, and environment are welcome, this conference in particular invites contributions that address the theme of ‘Epochs, Ages, and Cycles: Time and the Environment’.

Read the full call for papers and Submit a Proposal…

Please submit proposals for 20-minute papers, preformed panels of three, or exceptionally four, papers, and round table discussion panels with three to five participants, by Monday 6 June 2022.

ASLE-UKI Book Prize 2021: Shortlist Announcement

The ASLE-UKI committee is delighted to announce the shortlists for the ASLE-UKI Book Prize 2021. Congratulations to all those listed for making it this far in what was — for both categories — a very competitive field.

We would also like to thank all those who nominated books for providing us with some really fabulous reading and making coming up with these shortlists very difficult indeed!

Shortlisted titles for the Best Academic Monograph in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities

Hannah Boast, Hydrofictions: Water, Power and Politics in Israeli and Palestinian Literature. Edinburgh University Press, 2020.
Heather Houser, Infowhelm. Columbia University Press, 2020.
Evelyn O’Malley, Weathering Shakespeare: Audiences and Open-air Performance. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
Samantha Walton, The Living World: Nan Shepherd and Environmental Thought. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
Laura A. White, Ecospectrality: Haunting and Environmental Justice in Contemporary Anglophone Novels. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.

Shortlisted titles for the Best Work of Creative Writing in any form or genre with an ecological theme

Kazim Ali, Northern Light. Milkweed Editions. (Environmental memoir)
Kerri Arsenault, Mill Town. Macmillan. (Memoir)
Catherine Bush, Blaze Island. Quill & Quire. (Novel)
Marisol Cortez, Luz at Midnight. Flowesong Press. (Novel)
Jorie Graham, Runaway. Carcanet. (Poetry)
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Dub. Duke University Press. (Poetry)
Julian Hoffman, Irreplaceable. Penguin. (Non-fiction)
Paul Huebener, Nature’s Broken Clocks. University of Regina Press. (Non-fiction)
Craig Santos Perez, Habitat Threshold. Omnidawn Publishing. (Poetry)
Ben Smith, Doggerland. Fourth Estate. (Novel)
Alice Tarbuck, A Spell in the Wild. Two Roads. (Non-fiction)

ASLE-UKI Online Seminar: ‘Farming, Literature, and Environment’, 18 November 2021

Farming, Literature, and Environment
An ASLE-UKI Online Seminar

Convenor: Pippa Marland (University of Bristol)
Date and Time: Thursday 18 November 2021, 2.30-5.00 pm
How to Take Part: Register Here


  • 2.30-3.45 pm: a panel on ‘Rewilding, wilding, and the new georgic’ with Ewan Allinson, Terry Gifford, and Pippa Marland
  • 4.00-5.00 pm: a round-table discussion on ‘Farming and writing / writing and farming in the 21st century’ with Patrick Laurie (farmer and author of Native) and Lynn Cassells (crofter and co-author of Our Wild Farming Life: Adventures on a Scottish Highland Croft). Interlocutor: Sophie Yeo (editor of the Inkcap Journal).

Registration is free but please register in advance.

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.

Donate Now via PayPal

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.