August 2019 ASLEC-ANZ News
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ASLEC-ANZ NEWS ~ August 2019
A Note from the President

Dear ASLEC-ANZians,

Earlier this week, staff and students at Goldsmiths, University of London, issued a petition and statement about its response to the climate crisis. As the statement says, universities exist to “prepare students to thrive in the future” and they contravene this purpose “if, through our institutional behaviour, we contribute to undermining the very possibility of this future”.  In response to this collective activity, the college committed to a five-pronged strategy: divestment from all fossil-fuel companies; moving the university to a clean energy provider; moving to lower-carbon foods on campus eateries (no beef!); ending sale of single-use plastics on campus, except where medically required; and moving to chemical-free, organic gardening on campus. They’re setting a great example for other tertiary education institutions around the world, but there’s more we need to be doing – or not doing. Many of us are planning international research trips over the next couple of years, but the time is surely coming where we’re going to need to commit to carbon-free research, whether that means sailing or skyping to Byzantium, rather than spending 24 hours in the sky. It would be great to hear your thoughts about how we participate in an international research community without undermining the very possibility of the future.

Alexis Harley

ASLEC-ANZ President

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Image by Konevi from Pixabay

Almanac for the Anthropocene: A Compendium of Solarpunk Futures

Phoebe Wagner & Brontë Wieland

Submissions close 1st December 2019

Our goal with this edited collection is to provide an accessible handbook to transform the Anthropocene rather than fear it. Each chapter will have the same basic outline of interdisciplinary theory, solarpunk testimonies, and practical action. The action could take the form of recipes, building plans, how to organize a protest, etc. Each action will emphasize not just resistance to capitalism and climate disaster on its own, but also on how these ideas can be molded to resist capitalism structurally. The four sections will focus on ingenuity, generative, independence, and community.

What is Solarpunk?

A solarpunk imagines new futures in the shadow of and in opposition to environmental collapse, then works to create those futures. A solarpunk doesn’t just have ideas and beliefs; a solarpunk enacts. On paper, being a solarpunk might sound like being a Marxist, a municipalist, or another ideology entirely. Yet, a different kind of necessity turns solarpunk thought into action. Mainly extinction. A solarpunk might approach a problem with the following questions: How do my actions impact my human and nonhuman community? What intentionality fuels this issue? Does the following action dismantle a damaging system like capitalism? Does this action produce radical care of self and others? Does this action overcome the cultural desire to consume?

In other words, being a solarpunk is not just about solar. Neither is it Woodstock for the new millennium. The emphasis on solar reminds us of environmental interconnectedness. Human-nonhuman-sunlight-nightlight-mineral-oil-ocean-and-and-and. A solarpunk gives life back to words like intersectional and community.

We invite contributors from all disciplines, and we especially encourage and welcome submissions from diverse voices and under-represented populations, including, but not limited to, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities, and the elderly. Authors of all walks of life should feel encouraged to send us work that engages with solarpunk in some way. We are looking for, but not limited to:

  • Short critical papers (preferably around 3,000 words but if it's longer, we will still consider it)
  • Interviews/Talks
  • Scientific teports
  • Recipes
  • Blueprints
  • Maps
  • Sidebars/Short thoughts (150 words)
  • Illustrative explorations
  • Inventions
  • Designs
  • Though experiments

As solarpunk is a growing area of creation and study, we will be accepting abstracts, queries, proposals, and complete submissions. If you have questions, please e-mail us. We will be accepting on a rolling basis, but final deadline for complete submissions is December 1st as the manuscript will be submitted on February 1.

E-mail submissions and queries to

For more information, click here.

Image by James Chan from Pixabay

Compassion, a Timely Feeling

Hosted by History of Emotions - UNE Node 

24 –  26 October 2019
University of New England, Armidale, NSW

'Composting Compassion' proposals due 30th August
Other paper proposals due 15th September

In a world of diametrically-opposed attitudes towards policed and regulated border control, violent inter-religious intolerance, and impending ecological disaster, it is time to turn our minds to compassion.

Compassion is a social emotion that binds people together. This conference will explore the role of compassion in a range of contexts, how it’s used to move groups and audiences and how interdisciplinary research can help us better understand this emotion.

The program committee would like to invite participants to consider compassion as a lens through which to view a range of discipline-specific topics, with a view to establishing fresh grounds for a wide-ranging interdisciplinary conversation. The aim is to publish selected papers in a special journal issue or edited collection. Please forward 200-word abstracts for 20-25-minute papers, or proposals for themed panels of 3 papers, and brief 150-word participant bios to by 15 September 2019.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Compassion and climate change
  • Compassion and care
  • Reviewing the past with compassion
  • Discourses, forms or rhetorics of compassion
  • Rituals of compassion, ritualized compassion
  • Histories of compassion, case studies of compassion
  • Compassion vs hate, terror, and/or other modes of disaffection
  • Compassion and social justice
  • Compassion in art, music, literature, philosophy and/or theatre
  • Compassion and the culture wars
  • Gendering compassion, class and compassion, race and compassion, citizenship and compassion
  • Compassion and non-humans
If anyone from ASLEC-ANZ is interested in being involved in a mixed platform (digital/live action) composting feminisms roundtable “Composting Compassion”, either submit an abstract to the email listed in the CFP or contact by August 30.

Composting Feminisms

Composting Feminisms and Environmental Humanities reading group has two meetings in September (one online, one in Sydney).

For more information go to

New Environmental Thinking


One-Day Symposium
Monday 9th September 2019, 10am-4pm
Deakin Downtown, Level 12 Tower 2 -727 Collins St, Melbourne

The humanities have been making a valuable contribution to thinking about the environment for many years.  This one-day symposium presents some recent critical thinking about the natural and cultural environments from researchers and writers in the Humanities, including the three founding editors of the ‘Cultural Studies of Natures, Landscapes and Environments’ series with Intellect/Uni Chicago.

Confirmed Speakers

Warwick Mules (SCU), Rod Giblett (Deakin), Emily Potter (Deakin), Alexis Harley (LaTrobe), Rachel Fetherston (Deakin) and Elliot Patsoura (UniMelb).

Each paper will be followed by questions and answers. A general discussion will be held at the conclusion of the Symposium.

Please RSVP to Rod Giblett at

History’s Terrain: Locating Memory, Understanding Landscape


Thursday, 5 September 2019, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Dixson Room, State Library of New South Wales
Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

This public symposium will explore how place and memory shape the way we think about landscapes, the past and the present. Drawing together scholars and practitioners, the symposium showcases new research into encounters with place, collecting cultures, natural history and nature writing, and sites of memory. Speakers will examine what it means to locate memory in landscapes and consider the role of history in a time of environmental crisis. How does a focus on place shape the way we write history? How are connections to place sustained and invigorated through memory work? Are there tensions between the public engagement with historical sites and the academic study of space, place and the past? How should historians draw on material culture and museum collections? What do humanists bring to our understanding of the Anthropocene and how can we use this concept to build more effective stories about our world?

Keynote: Professor Heather Goodall, UTS

Confirmed Speakers: Ann Elias, Andrew Hurley, Jarrod Hore, Simon Ville, Mariko Smith, Jude Philp, Emily O'Gorman, Rohan Howitt

Convenors: Isobelle Barrett Meyering, MQ & Jarrod Hore, MQ

Contact: Jarrod Hore,

This is a History Council of New South Wales, History Week Event

All tickets include morning tea. Tickets including lunch are available. Alternatively, you may choose from a number of nearby options or bring your own lunch.

For ticket bookings, click here.



100 Atmospheres:
Studies in Scale and


100 Atmospheres: Studies in Scale and Wonder is a multi-authored, many-voiced book published by Open Humanities Press in their new Seed Book series. The authors are all members of the MECO Network: Susan Ballard, Louise Boscacci, David Carlin, Anne Collett, Eva Hampel, Lucas Ihlein, Jo Law, Joshua Lobb, Jade Kennedy, Teodor Mitew, Catherine McKinnon, Jo Stirling, and Kim Williams.


To think differently, we need to practice differently. At a time when climate panic obscures clear thought, 100 Atmospheresis an invitation to think differently. Through speculative, poetic, and provocative texts, thirteen writers and artists have come together to reflect on human relationships with other species and the planet. The process of creating 100 Atmospheres was shared, with works (written, photographic and drawn) created individually and collectively. The book contains thirteen chapters threaded amidst one hundred co-authored micro-essays. In an era shaped by critical ecological transformation 100 Atmospheres dwells in the deep past and the troubled present to imagine future ways of being and becoming.


It is available here:


Environmental Humanities and the Uncanny

Rod Giblett


Sigmund Freud’s essay 'The Uncanny' is celebrating a century since publication. It is arguably his greatest and most fruitful contribution to the study of culture and the environment. Environmental Humanities and the Uncanny brings into the open neglected aspects of the uncanny in this famous essay in its centenary year and in the work of those before and after him, such as Friedrich Schelling, Walter Benjamin, E. T. A. Hoffmann and Bram Stoker.

This book does so by focussing on religion, especially at a time and for a world in which some sectors of the monotheisms are in aggressive, and sometimes violent, contention against those of other monotheisms, and even against other sectors within their own monotheism. The chapter on Schelling’s uncanny argues that monotheisms come out of polytheism and makes the plea for polytheism central to the whole book. It enables rethinking the relationships between mythology and monotheistic and polytheistic religions in a culturally and politically liberatory and progressive way. Succeeding chapters consider the uncanny cyborg, the uncanny and the fictional, and the uncanny and the Commonwealth, concluding with a chapter on Taoism as a polytheistic religion.

Building on the author’s previous work in Environmental Humanities and Theologies in bringing together theories of religion and the environment, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of the environmental humanities, ecocultural studies and religion.

For more information, click here.



Psychoanalytic Ecology

Rod Giblett

Psychoanalytic Ecology applies Freudian concepts, beginning with the uncanny, to environmental issues, such as wetlands and their loss, to alligators and crocodiles as inhabitants of wetlands, and to the urban underside. It also applies other Freudian concepts, such as sublimation, symptom, mourning and melancholia, to environmental issues and concerns. Mourning and melancholia can be experienced in relation to wetlands and to their loss. The city is a symptom of the will to fill or drain wetlands.

This book engages in a talking cure of psychogeopathology (environmental psychopathology; mental land illness; environ-mental illness) manifested also in industries, such as mining and pastoralism, that practice greed and gluttony. Psychoanalytic Ecology promotes gratitude for generosity as a way of nurturing environ-mental health to prevent the manifestation of these psychogeopathological symptoms in the first place. Melanie Klein’s work on anal sadism is applied to mining and Karl Abraham’s work on oral sadism to pastoralism. Finally, Margaret Mahler’s and Jessica Benjamin’s work on psycho-symbiosis is drawn on to nurture bio- and psycho-symbiotic livelihoods in bioregional home habitats of the living earth in the symbiocene, the hoped-for age superseding the Anthropocene.

Psychoanalytic Ecology demonstrates the power of psychoanalytic concepts and the pertinence of the work of several psychoanalytic thinkers for analysing a range of environmental issues and concerns. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental psychology, psychoanalysis and the environmental humanities.

For more information, click here.


Image by Julie Clarke from Pixabay


Paradise on Fire, ASLE Conference
26-30 June 2019

Michael Hewson, Senior Lecturer in Geography at Central Queensland University, has penned his reflections on the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) biennial conference held at the University of California, Davis campus from June 26th to 30th 2019.

Image by homecare119 from Pixabay

Newsletter Tidbits

If you have any news, morsels, publications or info on things ecological and ecocritical, please send them to me for posting in future newsletters.

Jessica White
Editor, ASLEC-ANZ Newsletter


Association for the Study of Literature, Environment & Culture,
Australia New Zealand
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