Ecopoetics and Environmental Aesthetics

Ecopoetics and Environmental Aesthetics

A hybrid conference organised by
London Arts-Based Research Centre

Kew Gardens, London
July 17-18, 2023

Call for Papers

I think of the shimmer of oil
              from yet another spill in the Niger Basin
              and the nightmare of a psyche so dry it is resistant to rain
              the water falls straight through
              like a love you never noticed
              as if all you’re life the thing you have been longing for
              was the thing you were pushing away
                                                                 Ruth Padel, from “Deep River” in Watershed

The London Arts-Based Research Centre is delighted to announce the upcoming Eco-Poetics and Environmental Aesthetics hybrid conference in London, taking place at Kew Gardens on July 17, 2023 (as well as July 18 for online participation). We are deeply honoured to announce that our keynote speaker for this conference is the renowned poet and writer, Ruth Padel, an advocate for environmental causes and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Professor Padel will also read and discuss some poems from her newest collection, Watershed.

This conference aims to explore the intersections between creativity, ecology, and environmental activism. Environmental aesthetics in different art forms such as poetry, writing, painting, photography, fashion and fabrics, sculpture, drama, dance, film and music play significant roles in shaping our aesthetic appreciation of the natural world around and within us. We seek to bring together scholars, creatives, and arts-based researchers to discuss a wide array of topics on ecopoetics and various kinds of eco-aesthetics while looking at recent trends and innovations in the creative field, as well as the future directions of eco-creativity.

Ecopoetics, as well as other types of environmental aesthetics, attempts to locate us—humans—in the world, with the intention of focusing on ecology (from Greek oikos, or “home” and logos, or “reason”). So environmental aesthetics contemplate the way we exist within this oikos and how this “home” is perceived; they also navigate the borders between human and non-human nature, and how images, places, spaces and memories assist our desire to explore the self in the world. Ecopoetry and environmental aesthetics in general, therefore, view humanity’s relationship with the planet, instead of merely focusing on the unfolding scenes of nature through different modes of art; thus, they highlight the complexities of our interrelationships within and our responsibilities toward our environment.

We welcome proposals from scholars, poets, activists and creatives from diverse backgrounds and disciplines (including literary studies, cultural studies, philosophy, environmental studies, and creative writing) whose work engages with ecological themes and environmental concerns in creative expression. We invite proposals no longer than 300 words for papers, presentations, and creative works that engage with the following topics:

  • Arts-based research projects and methods in environmental studies
  • Ecological imagination and poetic language
  • Poetry and environmental justice
  • The role of poetry and other forms of art in environmental activism
  • The representation of nature and the non-human in creativity
  • Ecopoetry and the Anthropocene
  • Ecofeminism and poetry
  • Eco-poetics and eco-criticism
  • Environmental ethics and poetic practice
  • The symbolism of water in creative works and/or religion
  • Environmental symbolism in myths and folktales
  • Creative depictions of nature as sacred
  • Nature and photography
  • Wildlife in docuseries and film
  • Sustainable fashion and innovations in synthetic material
  • Future directions in environmental aesthetics
  • Ecopoetics and language
  • Ecofeminist perspectives in the visual and performing arts
  • Utopian/dystopian depictions of nature in literature and film
  • Environmentalism in music
  • Environmental photography
  • The impact of the environment on creative thinking
  • Creative technology for environmental art (eg: astrophotography, fashion, digital art)
  • Environment-friendly innovations in the culinary arts
  • Modernist and post-modernist ecology in literature and visual art

The registration fees are:
£170 (in-person)
£90 (online)

In-person attendees will be offered lunch, tea/coffee, refreshments, as well as access to the gardens.

Conference organiser:
Dr. Roula-Maria Dib

Kindly fill out the abstract form by June 05, 2023. We aim to notify participants of their accepted proposals within a week from the proposal deadline. For any queries, don’t hesitate to contact us on info@labrc.co.uk.

2 responses to “Ecopoetics and Environmental Aesthetics”

  1. Will the abstracts of the conference be available to students and researchers who cannot attend the proceedings in person or online?

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