Literature and Ecology Colloquium (Lit&Eco)

Venue: Rhodes University

Location: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Event Date/Time: Oct 06, 2006 End Date/Time: Oct 08, 2006
Registration Date: Jul 31, 2006
Early Registration Date: Jul 31, 2006
Abstract Submission Date: Jul 31, 2006
Paper Submission Date: Oct 06, 2006
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“My fate binds me indissolubly to this place”
(James Stevenson-Hamilton, first warden of Kruger National Park)

“By every conceivable measure, humanity is ecologically abnormal”
(E O Wilson)

What is the nature of our belonging on the earth and within natural ecosystems? How do we forge and represent our notions of identity within the oikos – the hearth – of the natural world? Is our presence inevitably toxic? Do our symbolic representations of belonging (or alienation) necessarily partake in the damage we do to our environment, or can they help heal our sense of homelessness? Is our self-realisation – as Freya Mathews argues in The Ecological Self – only or inevitably “a function of ecological interconnectedness”? What is the role of our literatures in expressing such self-realisation, especially in the southern African context?

Papers addressing these and related questions – preferably, but not necessarily exclusively, focussed on southern African material – are hereby invited. Closing date for submission of abstracts: 31 July 2006.

The following are some possible lines of approach:

# Landscape aesthetics and belonging
# Literary treatments of the politics of land ownership
# Nature as trope for Africanness/indigeneity
# Notions of wilderness as expressive of identity
# Urban vs rural representations of belonging
# Precolonial societies as exemplars of ecological belonging
# Influences of scientific ecology on conceptions of belonging

Please pass this call for papers on to anyone you feel might be interested.
Inquiries to Dr Dan Wylie, Dept of English, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
Email: Phone +27 46 603 8409.
Visit the colloquium website on


P O Box 94
Eastern Cape
South Africa