Monday, July 20, 2015

Ecocriticism at Kalamazoo

There are a few sessions planned for the May, 2016 International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo that look to be of potential interest for medieval ecocriticism:

The Environmental History Network for the Middle Ages has been allocated space for four sessions organized by Ellen F. Arnold (

Kathryn Vulić ( is organizing a special session on "Wild and Tamed Spaces in Middle English Literature. The organizers for both sessions are open to papers that take ecocritical approaches. 

In addition, Medieval Ecocriticisms ( is organizing a roundtable session on "Why the Middle Ages Matter," seeking explicitly ecocritical brief presentations. Here's the call for papers on that one: 
In their Introduction to Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice, Celia Chazelle, Simon Doubleday, Felice Lifshitz, and Amy G. Remensnyder make the case that an understanding of medieval ideas about power and justice helps to illuminate contemporary political and social issues concerned with power: who has it, who doesn’t, how it operates in contemporary nations and cultures. The essays in the volume address gender and sexuality, dis/ability and deviance, race, class, ethnicity and prisons. The editors acknowledge that an important topic not included in the volume is environmental history. They note that the contraction of economies in the early Middle Ages and the attendant reduction in the volumes of garbage produced in comparison to the late Roman era and suggest that this is a possible model for the reduction of consumption today. 
This round-table seeks short presentations that respond to Chazelle et al.’s call for future work on medieval environmental issues by considering what medieval texts and artifacts can teach us about how individuals and polities of the period conceived of their relationships and responsibilities to the non-human. Papers might address agriculture, wilderness, water, animal studies, urbanization, light and darkness, the relationships of gender, race, religion, and dis/ability to environmental questions and formulations, from the perspective of how such medieval formulations matter to the modern world. Papers are sought from a wide variety of disciplines, including but not limited to archaeology, art history, history, and literary studies. 

The Call for Papers for the Congress is here.

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