2013 Conference

Wish You Were Here: Positions, Interactions, and Environments

October 24-26, 2013

Keynote speaker: Mathias Nilges

Call for Papers

The English Graduate Organization at the University of Florida is now accepting submissions for its 13th annual conference, Wish You Were Here: Positions, Interactions, and Environments. The conference will be held October 24-26, 2013.

This conference’s keywords – Positions, Interactions, and Environments – aim to complicate the ways we think of the natural in relation to the social, cultural, and literary. How do cultures and texts shape, and how are they shaped by, non-human and manufactured environments? How do we pinpoint ourselves in relation to such environments, and how do the works that we produce question or stabilize our ideas of environments?

This conference draws on ecocriticism, a young field within the humanities and social sciences that acknowledges environmental responsibility and progress, as well as current and impending eco-disasters. But, such criticism also risks simply moralizing representations of nature, and humanity’s relation to it, in literature and culture more broadly. Wishing you were here, however, does not only express physical locations on our planet, nor does it simply yearn for a green future. It also acknowledges how we cognitively position ourselves within and in relation to manufactured, imagined, or potential environments.

This conference then seeks to ask questions. How do we acknowledge spaces, places, and people around us, as well as imagined spaces, authorities and institutions? How do we craft our states of being? What is our human position in relation to non-human life or inanimate matter? How we engage the world around us: is nature a passive outside, or does it act on us? How are humanity and nature constitutive of each other? How has the environment, or how have environments, been historically articulated and generated? How do we interact through time, space, media, language and rhetoric? What environments do we create in our various milieus and to what ends?

Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:
pop culture
media studies
green studies/sustainability
food studies
disaster and apocalypse
growth and evolution
non-human/hybrid/monstrous life
poetry/fiction/creative non-fiction
architecture/cities/urban planning
national identity
queer ecology
system and network theory
digital media/media ecology/digital environments

We encourage submissions from scholars working from a variety of focal points and intersecting disciplines, including but not limited to literary studies, rhetoric and composition, cultural studies, women’s and gender studies, postcolonial studies, critical theory, comics and visual rhetoric, and film studies. In addition, we have organized several creative panels and opportunities throughout the conference where authors and creative writers can present ideas of space, place, and people alongside scholarly research.

Please submit a 250-word abstract for a 20-minute presentation along with contact information to ufl.ego@gmail.com by September 16, 2013. Please indicate any a/v requirements (DVD player and data projection available). Authors of accepted papers will be notified the week of September 27th. For questions concerning the conference, please contact us at ufl.ego@gmail.com.


Thursday 10/24/13 (Dauer 215)

10:30-11:15: YOU ARE HERE

Moderator: Andrea Caloiaro

Samantha Grenrock, University of Florida: Sylvia Plath’s Romantic Gaze
Elaina Mercatoris, University of Florida: A Sense of Thasos, Greece: Poems
11:30-12:45: STAYIN’ ALIVE

Moderator: Emily Glosser

Ryan Ruff Smith, University of Florida: The Disturbance
RL Goldberg, University of Florida: After School
Asmaa Ghonim, University of Florida: Frankenstein and the Little Ice Age

1:00-1:30: Lunch Break


Moderator: Spencer Chalifour

Rafael Hernandez, University of Florida: Iron Ecologies: Gym Culture and the Human Body
Lauren Pilcher, University of Florida: The LGBT Archive: Kickstarting Anders als die Andern (1919)
Jamie Lee Marks, University of Florida: “With You in the Distance”: A photonarrative exploration of lives lived between Lima and Mamihuachin, Peru


Moderator: Ryan Ruff Smith

Mandisa Haarhoff, University of Florida: From Euphoria to Descent: Mapping Contemporary South Africa in Invictus, Jerusalema and A Small Town Called Descent
Walton Wood, University of Florida: Free-Range Poetics: Autopoiesis and Blake’s Biologic
Paulette Guerin Bane, University of Florida: Locating Childhood


Moderator: Kyle Bohunicky

Jacob Greene, University of Florida: Infographing My Inner Library: An Instrumental Heuristic
Nathaniel Deyo, University of Florida: Michael Powell and Emric Pressburger’s Neorealist Fairytale
Asmaa Ghonim, University of Florida: One Hundred and Forty Characters (in a Room), or Box W.out Exits

Friday 10/25/13 (Dauer 215)

9:15-10:15: ‘A’ IS FOR APPS:

Moderator: Kayley Thomas

Dr. Natalie Dorfeld, Florida Institute of Technology: Can You Hear Me Now?: Bridging the Digital Native and Immigrant Divide
Aaron Beveridge, University of Florida: Beyond Machine Grading: Interactive Technologies of Response Augmentation

10:30-11:45: THE SWAMP

Moderator: Victor Florence

Anastasia Kozak, University of Florida: Reading the Florida Wildlife Corridor: looking for the “real thing”
Emily Sneeden, University of Florida: The Floridian Landscape as a Portal to Deep Ecology in Carl Hiaasen’s Children’s Novels
Katy Rossing, University of Alabama: The Dixie Agony of O. O. Lebreaux

12:00-12:30: Lunch Break


Moderator: Lauren Pilcher

Mitch R. Murray, University of Florida: (Un)Sustainable Monsters of Capitalism
Derrick King, University of Florida: Saving the World for Your Grandchildren: Compulsory Heterosexuality and Anti-Utopianism in Environmentalist Discourse
Dr. E.V. Fathima, Women’s College with Kannur University: Reclaiming Livelihood and Habitat: Kallen Pokkuden’s Mangrove Campaign

2:15-3:30: A SENSE OF PLACE

Moderator: Shannon Butts

Oliver Lee, University of Florida: Patterson Park
Ezra Stewart-Silver, University of Florida: Vehicle with Substantial Subwoofer
Ashley Keyser, University of Florida: The Architect
Adrian Pijoan, University of New Mexico: Cartoon Ecology

3:45-5:00: PARADISE LOST

Moderator: Ezra Stewart-Silver

Jonathan Hernandez, University of Florida: Convents, Covenants, and Covens: Myths and Gender Spaces in Toni Morrison’s Paradise
Alyssa Hunziker, University of Florida: Paradise Lost: Toni Morrison’s Insular Communities
Heather Peterson, University of Florida: Cold Dog


Moderator: Scott Sundvall

Scott Obernesser, University of Mississippi: The Page as an Ecosystem: Ecopoetics and Space
Andrew Freiman, University of Mississippi: Decline of Nature, Overflow of Text: Resituating Conceptual Poetry as Ecological Artifact
Adam Stengel, University of Florida: White Werewolf Karaoke

Saturday 10/26/13 (Smathers 1A)


Moderator: Mary Roca

Kylie Lemon, University of Alabama-Huntsville: Colonizing the Colonizer: Blurring the line between the first and the third-world in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and Veronica Roth’s Divergent Series
Joshua R. Galat, University of Central Florida: The Politics of Diaspora: Position, Identity, and Representation in the Global Hierarchy
C. Danielle Hart, University of Alabama-Huntsville: Environment in Today’s Culture: Uniformism


Moderator: Asmaa Ghonim

Lindsay Head, University of North Florida: Indicting England: Libel Law, Ulysses and Irish Mentality
Rob Leivers, Palm Beach State College: Un Étranger, ou Notre Cher Voisin Américain: French Impressions on Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast

12:00-12:45 Lunch Break

1:00-2:15: THE GRAY AREAS

Moderator: Jonathan Hernandez

Gyasi S. Byng, Florida Atlantic University: Passing for Black, Playing at White: Racial Simulacra in Caucasia and Quicksand
Kate Peters, University of Florida: Geography of the Heart: A Psychogeographic Reading of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Re-Visionary Cartography in Letters
Charles C. Grimm, University of Alabama-Huntsville: 100 Yards and 200 Years: A Walking Tour of Revolution

2:30-3:45: NO MAN’S LAND

Moderator: Ashley Tisdale

Zach Rearick, Georgia State University: “Heaven itself is full with thee”: Mary Joyce as Nature and Nature as Mary Joyce in the Late Asylum Poems of John Clare
Suzy Woltmann, University of Central Florida: The Politics of Voice: Silence, Submission, and Agency in The Poisonwood Bible
Michele Robinson, University of North Carolina: A Pre-Raphaelite Portrait in the Octagonal Room: Lady Audley Breaking the Eternal

4:15: Guest Speaker: Dr. Eric Smith

5:30: Keynote Speaker: Dr. Mathias Nilges

7:30-9:30: Reception


CFP PDF available here.

Program PDF available here.