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SAMLA 2014 - Sustainability and the Humanities

Date2014-11-07 - 2014-11-09


VenueAtlanta, Georgia Georgia



Topics/Call fo Papers

Sustainability, or the ability to endure, lies at the heart of many of our pressing problems in the humanities. American universities are serving a larger and more diverse student body than ever before, but shifting employment and institutional structures pose potential threats to long-standing models of our profession and perhaps to the notion of the university itself. Technological advancement offers hope; digitization and information systems have preserved precious archives and made early and oral literatures accessible to a wider audience than ever before, but rapidly changing technological standards have already left some projects abandoned or unreadable. Arts and literatures of all societies have long dealt with the relationship between man and nature, even as that relationship continues to grow more and more fragile with time. For SAMLA 2014, presenters are urged to consider the problem of sustainability and the tensions between progress and preservation in literature, creative works, institutional and pedagogical models, technology, and social structures.
We have two excellent plenaries scheduled. Recipient of awards including the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecture for his prose and poetry, former University of Kentucky professor Wendell Berry will deliver our creative plenary. His connection with the land and his advocacy for sustainability will help inspire us to find solutions for the ever-present tensions between progress and preservation.
Ursula Heise, UCLA Professor with a joint appointment in English and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, will deliver the critical plenary. Professor Heise’s interdisciplinary work leads the field of sustainability studies, with a focus on contemporary environmental culture, literature and art in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan. She has published widely, and her current book project is Where the Wild Things Used To Be: Narrative, Database, and Endangered Species.

Last modified: 2014-04-20 15:01:14