Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: Mother/Nature interdisciplinary conference (10/15/2011; 3/16-18/2012)

Mother/Nature Conference

March 16-18, 2012
Thad Cochran Center
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Barbara Gates

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
John Muir

We live in a time of crisis in our homes and in our natural environment. From hurricanes to oil spills, we are linked to each other through the loss and degradation of regional and national habitats. Our selfhoods and the place we make for ourselves in the world are ultimately rooted in both our biological and ecological families.

The theme for this conference, Mother/Nature, seeks to discover interconnectedness and meaning through a study of shifting influences on the changing definition of motherhood. We welcome submissions that consider the conceptions of the intersection of motherhood and the natural world. Interdisciplinary approaches to motherhood and nature, especially interactions between the humanities and sciences, are invited. We encourage scholars to think creatively about this conference theme and invite papers and panel proposals that consider topics including but not limited to:

The Science of Motherhood

  • Theories of childbirth in the United States
  • Psychologizing nature: nature deficit disorders
  • Health and motherhood

Contemporary Sustainability

  • Finding balance in the modern world
  • Conceiving renewable energy
  • Domesticated landscapes

The Nature of Motherhood

  • Nature vs. nurture
  • Biological determinism

Non-Biological Motherhood

  • Foster/adoptive parenting
  • Masculinity and motherhood
  • Single parenthood
  • Educators as “mothers”

Interrogating Conservation

  • Parenting the natural world
  • Protecting endangered species and landscapes
  • The birth of the modern environmental movement

Mother/Nature in Literature

  • Literary Darwinism
  • Defining women’s health through ecocriticism
  • Representations of mother/nature in children’s literature

Modern Motherhood

  • Redefining motherhood in pop culture
  • Representing mother/nature in film

We welcome papers from faculty members and graduate students. Strong undergraduate submissions will also be considered. Please send abstracts (250-300 words) and a brief biography (100 words) to mothernatureconference@gmail.com by October 15, 2011. Include abstracts and biographies in the main text of the email and attach as a .rtf or .doc file. Also indicate whether you have any technology needs. Individual sessions will last 15-20 minutes.

We also welcome the submission of creative works (a selection of 3-5 poems or 3,000 words for fiction or creative non-fiction). Please submit these works following the above guidelines by October 15, 2011.

A monetary prize will be offered to the best student paper. To be considered for this award, please submit the full copy of your paper by February 1, 2012.

Registration fee: none. 

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