Abstracts CFP Conferences Conferences

CFPs: IASA – Eastern Region 2019 Conference

CFPs: Environmental Humanities: Theory and Praxis in Australia and India

Indian Association for the Study of Australia, Eastern Region

12-13 January 2019, Astor Hotel, Kolkata

Concept Note

With the publication of Lawrence Buell’s Environmental Imagination in the late 1990s and the consequent debates on the relevance of Environment to humanities disciplines, there emerged a growing consciousness of linkages between humanities and environment. In other words, this critical mode of studying literary/political/historical texts in terms of environmental activism opened up a whole range of interdisciplinary studies. Gradually, Environmental Studies came to open up a new interdisciplinary space which could inflect on environmental issues in terms of history, political science, literature, law, philosophy and so on.

But what led to the development of Environmental Humanities as against Environmental Studies? Ursula K Heise posits a distinctive argument: “…quite a few environmentally oriented humanists and social scientists have felt disgruntled with environmental studies programmes that, for all their pathbreaking interdisciplinary work, have often limited their reach to the natural sciences, civil engineering and a few experts on law and policy” (Introduction: The Routledge COmpanion to Environmental Humanities, 2017)

Under the general rubric of Environmental Studies, a new intersection of critical orientation began to develop. Critics began to distinguish between “nature writing” and ecopoetics”. “Nature writing” seemed to be looked upon as a genre articulating just an imaginative percetpion of nature as it is. But “ecopoetics” began to question the ways how nature has been ravaged and destroyed by mankind. This even gave rise to another sub-genre “ecofeminism” which created a binary between “man” and “nature” (envisaged as woman). In this way, it called for a gendered perception of nature.

It is possible to locate three distinctive phases of the study of environment: Environmental philosophy in 1970s, environmental history in 1980s, ecocriticism as well as ecofeminism in 1990s, thereby negotiating multiple forms of interdisciplinary domains in the context of the study of environment. Such collaborative paradigms gradually led to the development of Environmental Humanism as an interdisciplinary genre.

Critics like Libby Robbins and Rosanne Kennedy of Australian National University, Tom van Doreen and Deborah Bird Rose of University of New South Wales have worked hard on the development of this genre. In India, it is gradually gaining ground. Thus the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) organized an international conference on environmental humanities in India in 2014.

This conference will therefore address, but not limited to, the following issues:

  • Environment, Interdisciplinarity and Paradigm Shift
  • Politics of Environment
  • Environmental History and Imagination
  • Environment and Legal Policy
  • Environment and Aborigines
  • Environmental Textualities
  • Environmental Activism and Humanities Departments in Australia and India


Abstracts (not exceeding 250 words) may be emailed to Professor Deb Narayan Bandyopadhyay:

Secretary, Indian Association for the Study of Australia, Eastern Region

Deadline for sending abstracts: 15 November 2018

Registration Fees:

2000 INR (National)

150 AUD (International)

Though it may not be possible to arrange accommodation, the conference team may provide assistance if contacted beforehand: