Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Elemental Ecocriticism in Tuscaloosa

vibrant matter, Boloco, Boston
by J J Cohen

Elemental Ecocriticism, the follow up to Ecomateriality,* will unfold in Tuscaloosa Alabama over the next three days, mainly through the kindness and organizational relentlessness of Sharon O'Dair. The elements and elemental interstices were assigned at random during the BABEL conference in Boston. Jane Bennett, the presiding spirit of the postmedieval special issue, agreed to pick the slips of paper with the designations from an empty burrito bowl (we were having lunch at the time in a classy little spot that happened to serve its FreshMex in plastic bowls). Destiny speaks through unexpected vessels.

Here's how it turned out:
  • Anne Harris: Fire
  • Valerie Allen: Air
  • Julian Yates: Water
  • Lowell Duckert: Earth
  • Chris Barrett: Ether
  • Karl Steel: Spontaneous Generation
  • Sharon O'Dair: Mud
  • Steve Mentz: Phlogiston
  • Jeffrey Cohen: The Sea Above
The symposium is the first step towards an edited collection. Stacy Alaimo, Tim Morton and Cary Wolfe have agreed to compose responses essays (which we have give the Empedoclean designation "Love and Strife"). I hope to make an announcement about a publisher very soon.

Steve Mentz and Karl Steel have already offered tastes of their projects. I'll post something as well, in time. Meanwhile ... off to Alabama.

*Remember: postmedieval is free to download for 6 more days!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Roll Tide!

Which might have been, actually, another elemental assignation.