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Upcoming Events:

Affective Habitus: New Environmental Histories of Botany, Zoology and Emotions

5th ASLEC-ANZ Biennial Conference, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, 19-21 June 2014

Perceptions, values and representations of our relationship with the physical environment have been read anew in the Anthropocene century through the lens of ecocriticsm and affect theory. At present we are witnessing a turn in ecocritical theory to the relevance of empathy, sympathy and concordance, and how these move across flora and fauna; yet ecocriticism has not thoroughly considered whether human and non-human affect are reducible to a theory of the emotions. This conference seems to refine that turn while articulating the expansions of the analysis of the humanities.

Confirmed speakers include Philip Armstrong, Charles Dawson, Tom Griffiths, Eileen Joy, Iain McCalman, Michael Marder, John Miller, Siobhan O’Sullivan, John Plotz, Elspeth Probyn, Kate Rigby, Libby Robin, Deborah Bird Rose, John Ryan, Ariel Salleh, Will Steffen, Wendy Wheeler, Linda Williams and Gillen D’Arcy Wood.

Submission of abstracts (c. 200 words) to by March 30 2014

Areas for consideration include:

  • Anthropocene aesthetics
  • Archives, encyclopaedias and images of the natural world
  • Colonialism: pre-histories and the present
  • Cultural studies: art, dance, film, literature, music, new media, photography, theatre
  • Ecocriticism and Critical Animal Studies: theory and practice of empathy
  • Ecopsychology
  • Emotions and the environment: learned feelings and historical variability
  • Environmental history: from the Middle Ages to the present
  • Europa Terra Australis: adaptation and heritage; continuities and disjunctions
  • Global ecologies
  • Green pedagogy: agency, senses and the lifeworld
  • Indigenous ecologies
  • Mappae mundi: emotional geographies and territories of affect
  • Open to others: more-than-human worlds in non-Western spaces
  • Renaissance emotions: animals, minerals, plants
  • Seeds and seed banks
  • Studio based inquiry climate change: botany, fauna extinction or fauna migration

ASLEC-ANZ membership comprises writers, artists, cinematographers and musicians as well as academics working in and across several areas of the Environmental/Ecological Humanities, including ecocritical literary and cultural studies, environmental history and the history of science, anthropology and ecophilosophy. (You do not need to be a member of ASLEC-ANZ to participate in the conference. But we do offer a very affordable annual membership which we hope you may consider.)

Selected conference papers will be published in the Animal Studies Journal and the Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology.

For more details, see:

Conference Flyer

Affective Habitus at the History of Emotions webpage.

Affective Habitus at the Humanities Research Centre webpage.

The Anthroposcene:

Artists and Writers in Critical Dialogue with Nature and Ecosystems, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, 17-18 June 2014

The pre-conference workshop will be held in conjunction with our biennial conference, this year on the theme “Affective Habitus,” 19-21 June, also at ANU.

An in-studio conversation with artists and writers who attend to changes in the environment in their work. This workshop considers perceptions, values and representations of human relationships with natural systems. The sessions will involve looking, listening, walking and talking with colleagues, and everyone presenting an example of their artwork or writing that imagines new relationships with nature, landscapes, seascapes and ecosystems, or creative response to biodiversity loss and climate change. We expect a mix of tradition and experimentation, new media and old media, narrative, lyricism and poetry. We assemble to consider how the arts reset perception with experiences that challenge values; with potential to reconfigure feelings of moral responsibility for the environment. We will consider the import and difference between sympathetic and empathic approaches to non-human relationships. Closing with discussion about how the arts contribute to a cultural discourse about aesthetic virtues and the evolution of freedom.

Collins and Goto will perform/present an edited version of A Conversation with Living Things

Workshop Facilitators:
Timothy M Collins (BFA MFA PhD Artist, Author and Planner)
Reiko Goto Collins (BFA MFA PhD Artist, Author and Designer)

Please submit an overview of your work, reasons for attending and equipment needed to participate
(c 200 words) to – by March 30 2014

Workshop Flyer


ASLEC-ANZ (Australia and New Zealand)

The Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture is devoted:

  • To fostering creative and scholarly work that explores the relationship between human culture and the physical environment
  • To sharing information and ideas about literature, environment and culture
  • To encouraging discussion, publication and practice about the human sciences and the environment

The membership comprises writers, artists, cinematographers, and musicians as well as academics working in and across several areas of the ecological humanities, including ecocritical literary and cultural studies, environmental history and the history of science, anthropology and ecophilosophy

ASLEC-ANZ is affiliated with a worldwide network of similar associations, of which the first was founded in the USA in 1992 (, followed by Korea (ASLE-Korea), the UK & Ireland (ASLE UKI), Japan (ASLE), Europe (EASCLE), India (OSLE and ASLE) and Canada (ALECC), with more in the process of formation elsewhere.

ASLEC-ANZ welcomes your participation in the more-than-human world, in these and other events and in our organisation.


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