Friday October 8th, 2021
Université Paul Valéry-Montpellier 3 (France)
This one-day conference will focus on the relationship between war and nature in literature in English from the 19th century onwards. The ecological footprint of modern warfare and the reverse impact of the environment on conflict as they are recorded in war writings, both fictional and nonfictional, will be analyzed through the lens of war studies, ecocriticism and new materialism. War will be envisaged not so much geopolitically as in its earthly, materialdimension. Careful attention will be paid to the complex entanglements between the human and the non-human with a view to challenging the traditionally anthropocentric view of war studies, as well as the established distinctions between nature and culture, life and matter, agency and passivity. Recent research in the domain of ecocriticism and new materialism has destabilized the dichotomy between man and his environment, raising the possibility of reconfiguring the traditional categories of ethics and ontology and of extending the concept of otherness to the non-human. The domains of interest are the following, but not limited to: British and American war writing, Commonwealth literature and war writing, etc.
Papers addressing the following issues will be welcome:
•Soldiers, technology and the environment
•At war with(in) nature: nature as friend and/or foe
•Using, controlling and altering the environment
•War and ecology. The traces of war in the environment: waste, debris, corpses
•The soldier’s perception of the environment
•The impact of the environment on bodies
•The interrelatedness of nature and health, both bodily and mental •Adaptation and survival in an environment at war
•Naming, representing and reconfiguring the landscape
Proposals (no longer than 500 words) along with a short bio should be sent to Sylvain Belluc (firstname.lastname@example.org), Isabelle Brasme (email@example.com) and Guillaume Tanguy (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 8th, 2021. Presentations will be in English.