The next Medieval Workshop: Medieval and Renaissance Oecologies
Call for papers (CFP) deadline: 1 February 2014
Workshop dates: 7-9 November 2014
The Œcologies Project, along with the Committee for Medieval Studies at the University of British Columbia, solicits contributors for the 42nd annual UBC workshop, to be held from 7-9 November 2014 at Green College, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Medieval and Renaissance Œcologies seeks to interrogate premodern understandings of the natural world and ecological thinking. A prevailing attitude within modern Western culture has imagined the natural world as “out there,” a distinct realm upon which humans import subjective meaning. More recently, ecocritics and theorists of the new materialism(s) have challenged this conception of nature. This workshop takes up these challenges by investigating the idea of “œcology,” an older and defamiliarizing spelling of the modern concept “ecology.” The spelling is retained in an effort to rethink “ecology” through the study of premodern natural history, taxonomy, hierarchy, and categorization, and to ask what conceptual or metaphorical resources might help us – as located moderns – reorient our perceptions about the premodern past and our present and future moments. In an effort to define complex terms such as “environment,” “landscape,” and “ecology,” we ask where do these terms come from? What came before them? What do they mean here and now? What did conceptions of Nature and “œcology” look like in the Medieval and Renaissance periods and how did different discourse communities define their meanings?
We welcome papers from any discipline, and especially encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Please send paper proposals, questions, and / or expressions of interest to: Vin Nardizzi or Robert Rouse by 1 February 2014.
Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds is a research cluster that gathers scholars from the humanities living and working along the North American Pacific coast to investigate the idea of “oecology,” an older spelling of the modern concept “ecology.” We retain this defamiliarizing spelling because our research asks how we might rethink “ecology” through the study of premodern natural history, taxonomy, hierarchy, and categorization. By exploring an array of discourses about “oecology,” our research asks what conceptual or metaphorical resources might help us – as located moderns – reorient our perceptions about the premodern past and our present and future moments. Among other matters, our research will discuss the relations among terms such as N/nature, landscape, ecology, economy, environment, and technology, and will ask how our regionally and temporally specific conceptions draw / differ from premodern inhabitations of the world.
Vin Nardizzi (Associate Professor, English, University of British Columbia) teaches Renaissance literature, ecocriticism, and queer and disability studies.
Tiffany Werth (Associate Professor, English, Simon Fraser University) teaches the English Reformations, romance in all its forms, and is currently researching early modern habits of taxonomy and all things mineral.
Patricia Badir (Professor, English, University of British Columbia) teaches Renaissance literature, and is currently working on playmaking and the perils of mimesis on Shakespeare’s stage.
Robert Rouse (Associate Professor, English, University of British Columbia) teaches Medieval literature. His research has been primarily concerned with medieval romance and culture.