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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

2021 Comparative Literature Conference

University of South Carolina
March 12-13, 2021

Ecologies, Communities, Imaginaries


Adeline Johns-Putra

Adeline Johns-Putra 
(Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University)
Prof. Jennifer Pournelle

Jennifer R. Pournelle
(University of South Carolina)

Prof. James Scott

James Scott
(Yale University)

At-a-Glance Schedule 
Friday, March 12th, 2021 

Please download the final conference program [pdf]


1:00-1:15 PM              Opening Remarks  
Paul Allen Miller (University of South Carolina) 

1:15-3:15 PM               Keynote 

                                                        Adeline Johns-Putra (Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University) 
                                                        “The Multi-Species, Multi-Scalar, and Multi-Author Communities of the Anthropocene” 

3:30-5:30 PM                           Panel A 
                                                          Ecocritical Approaches to Modernity in Latin American Literature 

Saturday, March 13th, 2021 

8:00-9:30 AM                          Panel B           (Re)Imagining the World in Climate Literature 

10:00-11:30 AM                     Panel C           Ocean and Water through the Lens of Ecocriticism 

1:00- 2:30 PM                          Panel D          Environmental Justice 

3:00- 4:30 PM                          Panel E           Bodies, Development, Capitalism 

7:00-9:30 PM              Keynote Session in Honor of Jennifer Pournelle’s Retirement 
  1. James Scott (Yale University), lecture on river and river-time 
  2.  Jennifer Pournelle (University of South Carolina)
    “On the Marche: Borderlands, Wetlands, Occupations” 
  3. Public conversation: Jennifer Pournelle and James Scott  

As COVID-19 continues to sweep the globe and devastate communities, human existence with regard to our relationship with non-human species and non-living things is called into question. The pandemic, like other crises in history, forces us to reimagine the role of human beings in the environment and rethink the meaning of the “biotic community,” to borrow Aldo Leopold’s term. Imaginaries, from this perspective, present fictional communities or noncommunities that help us understand the world in which we live.

Please consider joining us at our annual comparative literature conference, to be held virtually via Zoom on March 12-13, 2021.  We would like to invite paper or panel submissions that explore ecological imaginaries and alternative communities in literature, film, philosophy, and critical theories, on topics including but are not limited to: 

  • Reimagining community in apocalyptic times
  • Rereading Leopold’s land ethics 
  • Ecothinking and Pandemics
  • Waste
  • Ecocriticism and Postcolonial Studies
  • Natural disasters in Climate Fiction
  • Foodways and ecology
  • Poverty, community, and ecocriticism
  • Women, gender, sexuality and ecology

250-word abstracts should be submitted in English to by December 10th, 2020. Panel proposals (with abstracts for 3-4 papers plus an additional 250-word abstract for the panel) are also welcome. 

Download and post the Call for Papers [pdf] in PDF format. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.