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Eco, Bio, Zoo: A Medieval and Early Modern Workshop

Friday 10 September 2021, 9.30AM

Call for Participants – PhD and Early Career Researchers

This workshop brings medievalists and early modernists together in order to generate new thinking on ecocriticism, animal studies, biopolitics and their applications for work on premodern literature and history. Though these periods overlap, they are rarely brought into conversation together. Our workshop aims to bridge this gap, bringing together PhD and Early Career researchers across the environmental humanities to explore new texts and ideas in a supportive and open space.

Workshop participants will examine a range of texts, evenly split between medieval and early modern, alongside pieces of critical theory or scholarship. The workshop will move through four sessions, each examining a different nonhuman mode of being: beings that sprout, beings that creep, those who fly, and those who splash. Together, we will interrogate a range of topics and aim, by the end of the workshop, to have explored the following questions:

● What is ecocriticism/biopolitics/animal studies to these periods?
● What does this literature tell us about premodern conceptions of the natural
environment, biological networks, and biopolitical relations?
● Are ´ecology´ and ´biology´ productive tools for thinking about these texts?
● How do medieval and early modern texts on the natural world speak to each
other? Can they?
● How might our own environmental awareness be mirrored in our readings of premodern texts, and what does undertaking this sort of research in the light of the current climate crisis mean to us?

Up to 16 participants will be selected to take part in this workshop. We welcome applications from participants outside of literature and history whose work is relevant to the questions of this workshop. To take part, please send a brief biography and an outline of your research, explaining how it engages with the themes of the workshop, to (350 words) by 20th August 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by 27th August.

Workshop materials will be circulated 2 weeks in advance of our meeting.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Becca Drake and Anjali Vyas-Brannick

Contact: Rebecca Drake or Anjali Vyas-Brannick


Location: Online via Zoom