Opportunities > Literary Walks in times of Pandemics and Climate Change | call for conference papers
01 Oct 2020

Literary Walks in times of Pandemics and Climate Change | call for conference papers

A New Poetics of Space: Literary Walks in times of Pandemics and Climate Change - call for papers for an online conference organised by Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden on 7 December 2020.

The one-day event aims to reflect the various ways in which walking, in its manifold possibilities and contexts, informs our understanding of the ways in which our experience of confinement has impacted our understanding of society and reading of literature.

Deadline for submissions: 1st October 2020

As we have become more mindful of our day-to-day comings and goings, our engagement with literature that either extolls the virtues of walking or warns against the perils of the journey has both heightened and changed. Furthermore, as our experience of confinement and self-isolation has reshaped our everyday lives, we may recontextualise our examination of literature in relation to a politics of space and place. This online conference will explore what the act of walking stands for and what it signifies today in various textual forms.

With this in mind, we would like to take stock of the scholarship concerning walking and interrogate how our new politicised landscape is reshaping our understanding of literary landscapes across a range of genres and periods. We aim to explore: what narratives of walking reveal about our understanding of the politics of space, health, and the environment (both urban and rural); and, more broadly, how people are responding creatively to the question of space and confinement today. The event seeks to re-evaluate how we respond to and understand the tradition of the literary walk in light of the twenty-first century’s technological developments, societal shifts, environmental challenges, and political situation.

We are keen to investigate the concept of walking in fictive and non-fictive texts and accounts. Any chosen critical, theoretical, methodological, or disciplinary perspective is therefore welcome. We hope that this conference will provide researchers interested in interdisciplinary (especially environment, health, politics) approaches to literature with rigorous and engaging discussions concerning creative and/or theoretical approaches to the theme of walking. 

We warmly welcome postgraduates, ECRs, and senior academics interested in how the global climate and epidemiological challenges we currently face inform our understanding of literature that engages with ecocritical issues and notions of confinement.

Please send abstracts (200-250 words), including a title and short bio (100 words) to lucy.jeffery@miun.se by 1 October 2020. Papers must be between 15 – 20 minutes in length. We aim to respond to all applicants with a decision on their submission by 9 October 2020.

Please note that as this conference will take place online, there is no conference fee.