Latest Event Updates

19 June poetry-reading location

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Sinéad Morrissey’s poetry reading will be in Diarmuid Gavin’s Chelsea-winning Sky Garden in Fitzgerald Park.


One of our keynote speakers is all over the Irish media!

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Oona Frawley’s debut novel is making a splash!


Deadline has been extended for submissions to ASLE postgraudate seminar in Dublin this July! Also: Funding Available!

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ASLE-UKI Postgraduate Conference, 30-31 July 2014, University College Dublin
Locating Ecocriticism: Systems, Methodologies, Contexts

Confirmed Keynote Addresses:
Day 1: Dr Sharae Deckard (UCD) and Dr Pablo Mukherjee (Warwick)
Day 2: Professor Anne Milne (Toronto) and Brycchan Carey (Kingston, London)

How does one define a system? Be it an ecosystem, world-system, literary system, colonial system, the term itself, despite implying order, exudes chaos in its infinite iterability. In 2004, Greg Garrard wrote that ¡§no single or simple perspective unites all ecocritics.¡¨ It would seem, therefore, that system and ecocritic imply a commonality that diversifies beyond the usual implications of the terms themselves. This conference will therefore investigate how thinking about systems, and thinking systemically, might impact upon green readings of literature. Ecocriticism has at its foundation an awareness of ecological systems, and maintains a keen focus on the myriad ways in which systems of human making depend upon, intersect with, or exploit nature, and how humans are as much a part of nature as plants and other animals, indeed, how nature is produced and produces through a myriad of systems. It is interested in how literature explores the vital relation of people to place and non-human life.

The conference will investigate the ways in which interlaced natural and cultural systems influence, and are influenced by, literary works and criticism. It seeks to open to critique conventional practices and representations in literature as well as grafting trajectories, making sense of the chaotic, or making chaotic that which seems ordered through new paradigms. Must a system be ordered to function, or is chaos the necessary entry-point? Is the motif of environmental crisis overused in literary, theoretical and scientific discourse to the point of exhaustion? Where does connection become convention in ecological critique, and how can this be avoided?
We invite speakers to engage with the theme creatively and we warmly welcome paper proposals and artistic works in progress relating to, but not at all restricted to, the following:

Ways in which literary form relates to ecosystems
Ways in which literatures of past periods understood ecosystems and/or understood nature through contemporary systems of thought
Creating art/creating criticism through intercommunication and interdisciplinarity
Environmental crisis and climate change: systems of measurement/warning systems, and literary representation
Sensibility and Praxis: bringing ethics to bear on environmental systems.
World-Systems theory, the capitalist longue-duree and literary depictions of commodity frontiers, plantation, and industrialisation
Representing the anthropocene: narrative, form, and aesthetic engagement
Postcolonial Ecocriticism: nature, culture, power
Disability Studies and Ecocriticism

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words for 20 minute papers along with a short profile to
Cost of attendance: £22

We are offering 5 travel bursaries of €100 per awardee for abstracts which speak best to the theme. Successful winners will be notified upon confirmation of acceptance in May.
For more information as it happens, see our wordpress site:

Organisers: Emma Curran and Michael Paye
Extended Deadline: 30 April 2014

Sponsored by
UCD School of English
UCD Seed-Funding
The organisers also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the UCD Humanities Institute.

Call for Articles

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Edited Volume: Madness in the Woods

Since the beginning of storytelling the narrative of being lost in the woods or of choosing to live in the woods as a heterotopian space has remained popular. While literary naturalists praise the woods‘ natural and sublime beauty, universal and national myths of the forest from the early settlement until today also include the dark, gothic and uncanny side of nature. Puritan thought associated the “hideous and desolate wilderness” (William Bradford) with the danger of getting lost in the woods where a pure soul might lose its sanity. Native American legends as well as European folktales draw a picture of  haunted woods where spirits and ghosts dwell, but also as places where challenges are mastered and where the person who enters returns as somebody else.

We invite articles that focus on this dark side of forests in literature and film, that address the ambivalence of the forest’s offer for shelter and protection from the dangers of civilisation and the social sphere, but for the price of confrontation with the uncanny.

Submissions could include (but are not limited to):

  • -How certain genres approach the topic
  • – How the uncanny woods are represented in TV series
  • -How ecological disasters, or environmental problems such as climate change or deforestation interfer with the narrator’s, protagonist’s or spectator‘s psyche.
  • – How the dark and uncanny woods in colonizer and settler writings represent a liminal, irregulated space.
  • – How the representation of the uncanny woods has changed over time.
  • – How the woods are gendered, especially when they are uncanny
  • -How ecopsychology and disorders connect with the uncanny woods

If you are interested in being included in this volume, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short CV to and by the 15th of May.

UCC is a Green Campus

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Did you know you will be attending a conference held in the world’s first green university campus?

Conference dinner venue

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There will be vegan and vegetarian options, including vegetarian wine! Fresh, locally sourced food, imaginatively (and deliciously) prepared: