HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu

Eco-Entanglements: Ruin, Grafting, Stratification [c. 920-2020]

Graduate Conference

February 22, 2020

9:00 am - 5:30 pm

Keynote Speakers: Jean Feerick & Heide Estes

Conference Organizers: Melissa Hudasko & John Yargo


What are the ecological affordances of thinking with the medieval and early modern past? How can the environmental humanities inspire eco-mimetic modes of thinking and writing? This think-tank conference invites research-in-progress that parses logics of environmental entanglement (ruin, grafting, stratification) across pre- and early modern networks of cultural artifacts, earthy matter, and temporality of human timescales. Our conversation will open onto how medieval and early modern ecocritical scholarship is speaking directly to contemporary environmental concerns. 


Follow along on Twitter: @MassRenaissance  #EcoEntanglements


Shared Readings

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Anarky.” Anthropocene Reading: Literary History in Geologic Times, edited by Tobias Menely and Jesse Oak Taylor, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017, pp. 25-42.

Ingold, Tim. “Whirl.” Veer Ecology: A Companion for Environmental Thinking, edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Lowell Duckert, University of Minnesota Press, 2017, pp. 421-433.


Conference Schedule

9:00-9:15      Opening Remarks  

                      Marjorie Rubright, Director

9:15-9:30      Springboard Session: Stratification  
                      Discussion of "Anarky" led by: Melissa Hudasko & John Yargo


9:30-10:30    Colloquy One: Ruin
                      Chair: Katherine Walker, Visiting Lecturer, Mount Holyoke College

                      High Tides, Low lands: Picturing Ecological Precarity, Ruin, and Land Management in 17th century Holland
                      Rachel Kase, Boston University

                     A Fluid, Ruined Future: The Potentiality of Water as Queering Power

                     Lisa Robinson, St. John’s University

                     'Wake shepherds boy, at length awake for shame': Memories of the Ravished in Spenser's 

                     The Ruines of Time (1591)

                     Ty A. Smart, University of Massachusetts Amherst

                     Respondent: Melissa Hudasko


10:30-11      Coffee Break


11-12:30      Keynote Heide Estes, Professor of English, Monmouth University
                     Gender, Disability, and Environment in Old English Poetry: Ruin, Grafting, and Stratification                 


12:30-1:30   Lunch 


1:30-3           Keynote Jean Feerick, Professor of English, John Carroll University
                     ‘Renew I could not': Timon of Athens, Principles of Exchange, and Nature’s ‘conflicting elements’


3-3:15          Coffee Break


3:15-4:15     Colloquy Two: Grafting

                     Chair: Jane Hwang Degenhardt, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

                     Songs of the Sea: Linguistic Currents in the Early Modern Caribbean and the Anthropocene

                     Grayson Chong, University of Massachusetts Amherst

                     Agricultural Metaphors, Translation, and Literary Genealogies
                     in Joachim Du Bellay's Défense et illustration de la langue françoise

                     Marco Lobascio, University of Massachusetts Amherst

                     Can Pleasure Save Us?

                     Dina Alqassar, University of Massachusetts Amherst

                     Respondent: John Yargo


4:15-4:30    Coffee Break


4:30-5:00     Textual Enactments

                     Fugitive Explorations

                     Matthew Biberman, Professor, University of Louisville

                     Whirled Pedagogies

                     Melissa Hudasko


                     John Yargo


5:00-5:10     Closing Remarks

                     Melissa Hudasko & John Yargo

5:10-5:30     Coda: Roots
                     Malcolm Sen, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Reception to Follow

Conference Logistics