Fragile Ecologies and Discontinuous Modernities

Rupsa Banerjee Announcement

In cosmogonical texts like the Navajo Myth, the search for an ecology of inter-species relations is threatened by the meeting of the horizons of the sky and the earth which unhinges the stable cosmos. In narratives of climate dystopias like Bruno Arpaia's Something Out There (2016) and ecological parables like Wu Ming-Yi's The Man with Compound Eyes (2011), the threats of expulsions from habitable places and the severing of human relationships are explored within apocalyptic frameworks of planetary harm. The commonly-held perceptions of climate change as a hyper-object and the human body as a technologized zone, in the post-industrial context, transform the role of ecocriticism in varied ways.  Ecocriticism starts to encompass unraveling the entanglements of race, ethnicity, sexuality and religion with the environment and establishing networks of readership which momentarily recover ameliorative zones of contact with plural linguistic and cultural worlds. This panel is interested in exploring texts which locate alternate modernities, within Eurocentric literary histories and otherwise, and examine the bonds of trust that language establishes with its readerly communities, especially when categories of the queer, the normative, the postcolonial, the maturing body and the theistic are constantly devolving and reconstituting themselves in light of new reliances on and departures from the environment.

Timothy Morton's theorizations of "dark ecology" and "ambient poetics," Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erikson's evocation of queer ecologies for aligning deviant non-human biotic communities with the lives of sexually and culturally marginalized individuals, and Ellen Meloy's statement on biophilia and the intersectional zones of rhizome proliferation and individual freedom can all offer ways of reading texts which refer to hybrid cutural identities, threatened places of cultural and creative belongings, and theistic settings that are present at the overlapping boundaries of nature and civilizational disrepair. Rob Nixon's accounts of "slow violence" on the environment find a corresponding formal equivalent in "slow poetics," bringing together imbalances in the climate and uprootings of the self. In a similar fashion, the category of "petrofiction," which reads literature's dependence on extractions of fuel resources, becomes diversified when considering literature's close engagement with the individual's relation to the land as characterized by funerary rites and rituals. Topics fordiscussion

.) niche non-heteronormative literary communities and dependencies on nature

.) alienation and ageing within literatures of the diasporas and real and imagined landscapes

.) immigrant identities and descriptions of warzones

.) theistic poetic settings and economy-controlled relations to the land

.) indigenous voices and peripheral claims on natural resources

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