CFP: Ecofeminist collection, Early Modern Studies (1/15/09)

by Jessica C. Murphy

Nearly thirty years ago, Carolyn Merchant proposed new ways to look at the various mechanisms that “sanctioned the domination of both nature and women” (Death of Nature xxi). Today, scholars have made great strides in locating these mechanisms in various periods and places important to American, British, and World literatures, but scholars of early modern literature have yet to consider them at length. Ecocritical studies of Shakespeare, Milton, and others have challenged the way early modern scholars understand the relationship between human beings and the natural world in the period, but these studies still tend to focus on humans in a universal (or universally male) sense. Alternatively, when women are the focus of ecocritical studies in the period, they tend to be discussed in symbolic terms, often as tropes for or related to Nature herself.

We are proposing an ecofeminist collection of essays that look specifically at the material rather than symbolic relationship between women and the natural world in the period, with essays that focus on
women’s writing (or the representation of women in writing) and everyday tasks that position them sometimes in alignment and sometimes at odds with the natural world they used and lived in.

Please send abstract submissions of 300 words or fewer on topics related to materialist study of women and the natural world between 1500 and 1800 that may include readings of texts (male- or female-authored) or more broadly theorized approaches to this issue.

Please submit abstracts or direct inquiries by email (preferred) by January 15, 2009 to Jennifer Munroe at or Rebecca Laroche at; or, you may send abstracts or inquiries by post to:

Professor Jennifer Munroe
English Department
UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223