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The Australian National University

Environmental Humanities Conference: Affective Habitus: New Environmental Histories of Botany, Zoology and Emotions

The Fifth Biennial Conference of The Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture, Australia and New Zealand (ASLEC-ANZ) – and an Environmental Humanities collaboratory with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, and Minding Animals International

Dates: 19-21 June 2014

Venue: Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra

Convenor: Dr Tom Bristow, Visiting Fellow, HRC

Perceptions, values and representations of our relationship with the physical environment have been read anew in the Anthropocene century through the lens of ecocriticism and affect theory. At present we are witnessing a turn in ecocritical theory to the relevance of empathy, sympathy and concordance, and how these move across flora and fauna; yet ecocriticism has not thoroughly considered whether human and non-human affect are reducible to a theory of the emotions. This conference seeks to refine the turn while articulating the contemporary expansion of the analysis of the humanities.

Invited speakers include Philip Armstrong, Eileen Joy, Tom Griffiths, Michael Marder, John Plotz, Ariel Salleh, Will Steffen and Gillen D’Arcy Wood.

Preliminary schedule is available here and panel details here

Areas for consideration include:

  • Anthropocene aesthetics
  • Archives, encyclopaedias and images of the natural world
  • Colonialism: pre-histories and the present
  • Cultural studies: art, dance, film, literature, music, new media, photography, theatre
  • Ecocriticism and Critical Animal Studies: theory and practice of empathy
  • Ecopsychology
  • Emotions and the environment: learned feelings and historical variability
  • Environmental history: from the Middle Ages to the present
  • Global Ecologies
  • Green pedagogy: agency, senses and the lifeworld
  • Indigenous ecologies
  • Open to others: more-than-human worlds in non-western spaces
  • Seeds and seed banks
  • Studio based inquiry in one of the following fields: (i) climate change; (ii) botany; (iii) fauna – either extinction or migration

Selected conference papers will be published in Animal Studies Journal, and Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology.

UNE Colloquium on Seed Banks and Cultural Interests in Seeds, convened by the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law (UNE), will be held on June 21. Further information about the colloquim is available here.

Online registration available here

This conference immediately follows the workshop:

The Anthroposcene: 
Artists and Writers in Critical Dialogue with Nature and Ecosystems

Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, June 17-18 2014



ASLEC-ANZ membership comprises writers, artists, cinematographers, and musicians as well as academics working in and across several areas of the Environmental/Ecological Humanities, including ecocritical literary and cultural studies, environmental history and the history of science, anthropology and ecophilosophy. 

Updated: 30 May 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Head, HRC / Page Contact:  HRC administration