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Green Britain, NAES, OVSC | The Scrivener

By January 31, 2016 No Comments

Greetings! Thanks for reading The Scrivener @ TSS. We have a number of new calls for papers and conferences this week, so let’s get to it!

Green Britain

The Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies at the University of Birmingham is seeking participants for a conference on Nationhood and the Environment, 1500-1700. Per the announcement:

During the early modern period, national identity was increasingly defined by the dynamic between people and the environment they populated. While many still longed for the pastoral ideal of Britain as the ‘Eden of Europe’, the looming threat of pollution, natural disaster, resource depletion, and urbanisation beset the thoughts of contemporary writers, theologians, and politicians.From changes in agricultural land use and poor forestry management, to the increasing reliance on the smog-inducing ‘sea-coal’ for fuel, many feared adverse effects on the minds, bodies, and souls of British citizens. Against this backdrop of environmental degradation, Britons were also forced to contend with the harshest decades of the so-called ‘Little Ice Age’ and a series of extreme weather events that were habitually seen as acts of divine retribution against the Lord’s elect nation. Further to this, new scientific developments in meteorology and geography, and the rise of Baconian methodology, increasingly affected the contemporary theory and practice of environmental governmentality. Differences in race, ethnicity, and national character were explained according to climate and colonies judged on their suitability to the British complexion, with climatological observations acting as an incentive for colonial exploitation.

Beyond vague collocations of Merry England’s ‘green and pleasant lands’, ‘Green Britain’ therefore aims to explore the complex relationship between national identity and the environment in a period of tumultuous ecological change. What conclusions can we derive from the study of early modern environmental issues, and how can we apply these to the complex idea of the early modern identity? To what extent is nationhood defined by the dynamic that exists between people, space, and place? And furthermore, is it possible to define an early modern attitude toward green issues? To this end, we invite proposals for both panels and papers based on the themes of nationhood and/or early modern ‘green’ issues for our one-day interdisciplinary symposium on 25th June, 2016.

For more information, write to

Nordic Association of English Studies

The 12th triennial conference for the Nordic Association of English Studies (NAES) will take place at the University of Agder, in Kristiansand Norway, from May 4 to 7, 2016.

The conference is broadly inclusive, open to academics working in such fields as English linguistics, literatures in English, cultural studies, and English-language pedagogy. Interdisciplinary approaches are welcome

The theme of the conference is Englishes and Changing Identities in the North, and the focus this year will be on discussions and re-evaluations of English identities, particularly in the Northern hemisphere, as realized through language, literature and culture.

Papers, posters and panels are welcomed, in all the mentioned fields, and on related topics. All paper presentations will have 20 minutes at their disposal, with an extra 10 minutes set aside for discussion.

Deadline for submitting abstracts: 15 February 2016. Paper proposals should be no more than 250 words and panel proposals no more than 500 words. For more information, see the full call here.

Encountering Shakespeare

The 2016 theme of Encountering Shakespeare invites presentations on historical, cultural, textual, and virtual experiences of Shakespeare. While an “encounter” denotes a casual meeting or fleeting exchange, it also carries the specter of adversity or discord, as in Prince Hal’s anticipation of war’s ravaging effect on the masses: “In both your armies there is many a soul/Shall pay full dearly for this encounter” (Henry IV, Part 1 5.1.84–85). We encourage papers that explore Shakespeare encounters marked by conflict and unease, as well as projects tracing Shakespeare encounters through interrogation  and insight. In a less common use of the word, encounter also indicates an approach, as in Sir Toby’s question to Cesario: “Will you encounter the house?” (Twelfth Night 3.1.75). He extends an invitation to enter Olivia’s domain, stirring up the creative aspirations and energetic passion latent in Illyria. Encountering as crossing or entering is of particular interest for pedagogical approaches to Shakespeare. Whether by accidental acquaintance or by violent opposition, the characteristic feature of an encounter is that it is infused with the force of relevance. In this sense, how does an encounter between Shakespeare and other literary figures, genres, and contexts infuse new meaning to the literary expression? Furthermore, as global encounters are considered foci for reading political and social intersections between cultures and across audiences, global encounters of the Shakespeare kind are also welcome. The conference welcomes a range of encounters with Shakespeare today: as conflicted hallmark of humanist education, as trigger for cultural debates, and as fraught figure of the privileges and limits of the canon.

Proposals for papers of 20 minutes, roundtable topics, or panels of three or four members on Shakespeare’s work and that of his contemporaries are welcome. Please send abstracts of 300–500 words to by August 1, 2016. Those seeking additional information can visit the conference website here.

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