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Published: 20 August 2013

Encounters with literature and the environment

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (UK and Ireland) holds 8th biennial conference at the University of Surrey.

Literature and the environment took centre stage at the University of Surrey from August 29th to 31st as the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (UK and Ireland) held its 8th Biennial Conference on the University campus in Guildford.

The theme for the conference was 'Ecological Encounters: Agency, Identity, Interactions', with delegates gathering to discuss issues and ideas surrounding moments of encounter between people, nature, the environment, science and literary expression.

Keynote addresses came from world experts in the environmental humanities and the public understanding of science, exploring issues ranging from the place of plants and gardening in literature and culture to effecting ways of communicating about climate change. Speakers included:

  • Catriona Sandilands (York University, Canada): " Botanical Sensations: Plants, Publics and New Materialisms"
  • Mike Hulme (King's College London, UK): "Between Two Degrees and the Rainbow"
  • Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University, USA): "A New Climate for Society"

The conference was organised by the School of English and Languages' Dr Adeline Johns-Putra, Dr Gregory Tate and Louise Squire. Dr Johns-Putra is the current Chair of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (UK and Ireland).