ASLE 2019: Paradise on Fire

From Monstrosities to Wonders: Ecohorror and Transcorporeality

Panel at ASLE 2019, UC Davis, June 26-29, 2019

Organizers: Christine Peffer, Michigan State University & Nadhia Grewal, University of London Goldsmiths

This roundtable seeks to explore the body as a productive site for interfacing with the nonhuman in the context of ASLE’s conference theme, Paradise on Fire. In what ways has the body itself been cast as a “paradise on fire” in the face of Anthropocene-era degradations? Conversely, is it possible to conceive of an ethic of care toward the more-than-human world if the bounded body is viewed as a “paradise” unto itself in the first place? We are interested in tracing irruptions and permeations of the strange, both monstrous and wondrous, into fantasies of neatly bounded bodily subjects. Subgenres like weird fiction, ecohorror, and ecogothic have seen authors explore these intra-actions. In the Posthuman Glossary, Christy Tidwell notes that ecohorror can be located in “natural horror, creature features, and ‘nature strikes back narratives.’” Taking our cues from Tidwell and from Stacy Alaimo’s assertion in Exposed that we might begin to conceive of a posthuman subjectivity “opening out unto the larger material world and being penetrated by all sorts of substances and material agencies that may or may not be captured,” this panel will seek to explore narratives of bodily intra-actions and entanglements between the human and more-than-human world. Discussions will ideally aim to investigate the role of weird fiction and ecohorror in confronting the fears and subversive pleasures of the nonhuman.

Panelists are invited to present on topics including but not limited to: weird fiction, horror fiction, body horror, ecohorror, transcorporeality, new materialism, ecomaterialism, ecogothic, ecosickness, dark ecology, posthumanism, monstrous natures/bodies, gothic nature, literary ecology, animal horror, horror film, vegan ecocriticism, etc.

If you would like to propose a paper for the panel, please email a 300-word abstract to Christine Peffer (pefferch@msu.edu) and Nadhia Grewal (n.grewal@gold.ac.uk) by December 15, 2018.

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