Call for Papers: The Work of Wendell Berry

February 26th, 2014
By: Rebecca L. Godwin
June 10, 2014 deadline for invited session "The Work of Wendell Berry"

Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment Panel at 2014 SAMLA Convention, 7-9 November, 2014, Atlanta Marriot Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center, Atlanta, Georgia

The theme for this year's South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference is Sustainability and the Humanities, and Wendell Berry, environmental activist, farmer, and writer of more than forty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, will be a featured speaker at this 86th annual SAMLA meeting. From his farm in Henry County, Kentucky, Berry has become a national spokesman for agricultural, ecological, and economic sustainability. His work highlights the role of the humanities in shaping people's thinking about living in harmony with the natural world, responding to their particular place, and treating other humans, animals, plants, and the land itself ethically. The occasion of his speaking at SAMLA marks an excellent opportunity for ASLE to further explore as well as to honor his contributions to our understanding of the natural world and our obligations to it.

This session invites papers on any aspect of Berry's work. While by no means limited to the following subjects, essays might address the following topics:

The connection of Berry's poetry or fiction to his nonfiction manifestos against corporate industrialism or to his political activism (such as his participation in sit-ins protesting mountaintop removal coal mining).

His fiction's portrayal of shifts in agricultural practices and the rise of agribusiness.

His poetic, fictional, and/or nonfiction pleas for localism or devotion to the land.

The connection of his poetry or fiction to his nonfiction's arguments concerning institutionalized religion’s role in environmental exploitation.

The intersection of his work with that of other writers.

Teaching his poetry, fiction, and/or nonfiction.

By June 10, 2014, please send a 300-word abstract along with a brief bio and A/V requirements to Rebecca L. Godwin, Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment SAMLA liaison, at