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

Dear ASLEC-ANZians,

It's a tough time for early career scholars in our region, and it's up to associations like ours to do what we can to help. To that end, we're investigating the feasibility of setting up a mentoring scheme. We're looking for scholars with experience in either (1) publishing a journal article, (2) applying for a grant, (3) applying for an academic job, or (4) putting together a book proposal, who would be prepared to mentor an early career scholar in the environmental humanities through one of these processes.

If we can match you up with an ECR looking for guidance in one of these activities, we'd hope you could offer one or two meetings (by phone or email or similar, if not in person) and feedback on a draft. If you think you might be able to help, please email me (a.harley@latrobe.edu.au) and indicate which of these professional processes you could in principle assist with. Expressing interest would of course not commit you to helping with any particular project.

Looking forward to hearing from you, 

Alexis Harley

ASLEC-ANZ President
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Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

Final call for submissions for the new issue of Swamphen

Submissions close 30th July 2019

It is with much pleasure that we invite submissions for the refreshed ASLEC-ANZ journal, Swamphen: a journal of cultural ecology. Creative work and scholarly essays are welcome, as are other submissions that skew these genres. In addition to written submissions, we welcome recorded works, as well as those that blend image and text.

We seek submissions that relate to this year’s ASLEC-ANZ Grounding Story conference, which called for papers exploring the relationship between ‘environmental change’ and ‘storytelling across literary, non-fiction, visual and performative forms.’ Conference participants were asked to critically ‘explore how the stuff of the world weaves itself into story, and how story can materially transform the world.’ With this in mind, we will be drawn to work that engages with the role of storytelling in this time of environmental crisis.

Swamphen is a peer reviewed journal, previously published as the Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology. This will be the 7th volume of the ASLEC-ANZ journal.

The Swamphen editorial collective are: Christine Howe, Kate Middleton, Alanna Myers, Susan Pyke, Hayley Singer and Linda Weste. We encourage pithy submissions of less than 5,000 words. Please register and follow the guidelines here: https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu.au/index.php/AJE/user/register

We look forward to reading and considering your work.

General enquiries: Susan Pyke (smpyke@unimelb.edu.au)
Book review queries: Alanna Myers (alanna.e.myers@gmail.com).
Call for Panel Abstracts:  Encounters with and within the Anthropocene: Speculating on Particular-Planetary Aesthetics 

AAANZ Conference
Auckland, New Zealand, 3-6 December

Submissions close 5pm NZST Friday 2 August 2019

Listen. A Southern Boobook Owl is calling in the fresh dark. It is 6:58 pm, 9 June 2019. She is heard but not seen. She reminds us that the work of art in the Anthropocene continues to be interrogated by contemporary artists, writers, theorists and historians. In this age of extinction and climate-change, many are working to expand alternative critical frameworks and modes in which the human is more-than-human and the social is an ecosocial domain.

This year’s theme at the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ) conference is Ngā Tūtaki: Encounter/s: Agency, Embodiment, Exchange, Ecologies (University of Auckland, 3-6 December). Consequently there are a number of proposed panels that bring together environmental and art/historical concerns. We (Louise Boscacci (University of Wollongong & the National Art School, Australia); Perdita Phillips (Contemporary Artist/ Independent Researcher, Australia); Sally Ann McIntyre (Contemporary Artist/ Independent Researcher, Aotearoa New Zealand)) have proposed the panel Encounters with and within the Anthropocene: Speculating on Particular-Planetary Aesthetics.

How are artist-researchers in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand responding to the push and pull—the effects, affects and implications—of the Anthropocene-in-the-making? This follow-on panel explores the bodily encounter as a vital waymaker of contemporary art praxis and action. We situate this in a developing ‘field’ of particular-planetary aesthetics that emerges from feminist ecosocial thinking and pivots towards local and affect-engaged practices. We delve into diverse contemporary practices that trace and make planetary connections and ecologies of relations in multispecies naturecultures: connections and intersections that can be unknown, unpredictable or provocative; speculations, narratives or poetic reveals. Papers by the convenors will detail critical encounters with colonial-era ornithological collections, shadow ecologies of zinc mined in northern Australia Country, and seepages and flows of water through granite and swamp lands.

We invite twenty-minute papers or presentations on art practices, collaborations, alliances, or speculations that take the pulse of what is happening now in the capricious spaces of attunement to the Anthropocene-in-the-making. Proposals for alternative presentations in media and methods other than a scholarly paper are welcome.

Send CFP for this panel to louiseb@uow.edu.au

For other panel calls under the conference themes Ngā Tūtaki: Encounter/s: Agency, Embodiment, Exchange, Ecologies see http://aaanz.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/AAANZ-2019-Call-for-papers.pdf.

For full conference details http://aaanz.info/aaanz-home/conferences/2019-conference/nga-tutaki-encounter-s-call-for-papers


HumanNature Series:
Lessons on Resilience from a Bamboo Bridge


Anzac War Memorial Theatre, Hyde Park south, Sydney (enter via main entrance on Liverpool Street)
20th August 2019

For more than half a century, a 1.5 km handmade bamboo bridge spanned the Mekong River in Cambodia. It was constructed annually as the waters of the river subsided, and dismantled as they rose again with the monsoon rains, until in 2017, it was replaced by a concrete structure permanently connecting the island community of Koh Paen to the bustling city of Kampong Cham.

What can a bamboo bridge teach us about ingenuity and resilience, respect for renewable materials and ethical living? Interspersed with clips from their film commemorating this beautiful, ephemeral bridge, Katherine Gibson and Juan Francisco Salazar illuminate local practices harnessed to diversify livelihoods and build economic resilience.

Katherine Gibson is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society at the Western Sydney University. An economic geographer with an international reputation for innovative research on economic transformation, she has more than 30 years’ experience of working with communities to build resilient economies. As J.K. Gibson-Graham, the collective authorial presence she shares with the late Julie Graham (Professor of Geography, University of Massachusetts Amherst), her books include The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (1996) and A Postcapitalist Politics (2006). Her most recent books are Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities, co-authored with Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy (2013), Making Other Worlds Possible: Performing Diverse Economies, co-edited with Gerda Roelvink and Kevin St Martin (2015) and Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene, co-edited with Deborah Bird Rose and Ruth Fincher (2015).

Juan Francisco Salazar is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, where he is currently Research Director of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS). An anthropologist and filmmaker, his academic and creative work are concerned with the coupled dynamics of social-environmental change. Juan Francisco Salazar has worked with a range of communities in central Australia, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Vanuatu and Antarctica and his latest film The Bamboo Bridge (2019), in collaboration with Katherine Gibson, follows his award-winning documentary Nightfall on Gaia (2015), exploring human-environmental relations in times of abrupt change. He is currently leading the Australian Research Council Linkage Project Antarctic Cities and the Global Commons: Rethinking the Gateways (2017-2020), and his most recent publication is the co-edited volume Anthropology and Futures: Researching Emerging and Uncertain Worlds (2017).

Tickets and more information

Nikulinsky Naturally


Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
University of Western Australia
25 May - 17 August 2019

Philippa Nikulinsky AM is a Perth-based, internationally recognised botanical and wildlife artist.

Nikulinsky Naturally is a survey of her work from the 1970s to the present which provides a perspective on the unique qualities of her practice - focusing on the evolution of her working methodology and exploring the ways in which she continues to interrogate the botanical riches of the Western Australian landscape.

Curated by Ted Snell.

For more information, click here.

Image by Jess White

National Tree Day

Sunday 28th July

National Tree Day started in 1996 and has grown into Australia's largest community tree-planting and nature care event.

It’s a call to action for all Australians to get their hands dirty and give back to the community. ​​​

While every day can be Tree Day, we dedicate celebration of Schools Tree Day and National Tree Day to the last Friday and last Sunday in July.

In 2019, Schools Tree Day is Friday 26th July and National Tree Day is Sunday 28th July.

For more information, click here.

Image by Vicki Nunn 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
In this Newsletter:

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Let us know about your publications, awards, and other recognition. We welcome conference reviews, details of recent work, call for papers, event listings and job openings.

Please send submissions to: jessica.white@uq.edu.au
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