Friday, August 17, 2018

CFP: Paradise on Fire, UC Davis, June 2019

by J J Cohen

So who would *not* want to submit an inventive panel for a convivial conference that features four amazing women speakers as its plenarists, three of whom are scholar/artists of color? Add to that a timely topic and a welcoming atmosphere and you have "Paradise on Fire" at UC Davis in June 2019, the Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (of which Stacy Alaimo and I are current co-presidents).

The panel can be as creative as you'd like, fully formed or seeking companions. Full details linked below (very easy submission process). PLEASE SHARE. Plenary addresses will be given by Ursula Heise, Cherríe Moraga, Melissa K. Nelson, and Nnedi Okorafor (!!!!!!).

Special shout out to medievalists and early modernists who study race and postcolonialiasm in the CFP as well. We are looking for capacious work that moves shared conversation forward.

"Paradise does not exist, and yet that never seems to stop people from finding it, or building it, or dreaming its contours – often to the detriment of humans and nonhumans on the wrong side of its walls. Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy imagines a walled city with a climate-controlled dome called Paradice where genetic engineers create new forms of life, a bubble breached by human violence and climate catastrophe. In the sixteenth century Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo imagined a place called “California,” an island ruled by a dark skinned Amazonian queen with an Arabic name, Califia (Las Sergas de Esplandián). California was affixed to our maps by conquistadors, eager readers of Montalvo who believed the Earthly Paradise to be nearby. The price of its establishment was the genocide of the land’s indigenous populations. The Greek word for Eden is “Paradise,” a walled garden that bars entrance to most. Yet as Octavia Butler’s dystopian vision of California on fire has shown, walls seldom lead to lasting safety and cannot exclude a turbulent world for long (The Parable of the Sower). If as Rebecca Solnit contends, “paradise arises in hell,” when democratic communities are built from the ground up during times of disaster that leave us “free to live and act another way,” what might life in catastrophic times entail for the environmental humanities? How should we write, teach, protest, live, and act during this era when “paradise” is on fire, figuratively and literally?"

Full CFP here; deadline is SEPT. 1. Get writing!