Thursday, July 20, 2017

ALECC 2018 - call for proposals!

(This CFP is posted here as a placeholder online location, until the conference website goes live. I will leave it up indefinitely to keep the link alive for as long as possible, but the website should be your preferred destination once it exists, and I'll post that link here.)


Wrack Zone

Call for Papers, Panels, and Other Presentations
ALECC Biennial Conference

20-23 June 2018, University of Victoria
Traditional territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations
Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada

Wrack (n., v.)
  1. ruination, destruction, subversion (e.g., "wrack and ruin")
  2. items washed up from the open sea (e.g., "wrack zone"): kelp, plastics, feathers, bodies
  3. -ed with guilt, pain, sobs (e.g., "nerve-wracking"): affect, emotion
The phrase “wrack zone” refers to the shifting region just above the high-tide line, where seaweed, woody debris, and floating objects of all kinds are deposited by waves: the collective noun for all those objects is “wrack.” (“Wrack” is also sometimes used for similar collections washing up in rivers and lakes, and on agricultural lands for weeds, vegetable refuse, roots and similar materials.)

The ocean’s wrack zone is where things wash up from elsewhere, but while this might imply a sort of ending, in fact the wrack zone is a profoundly vital site of ongoing materiality. Biologically, for example, wrack is an extraordinarily valuable part of shoreline ecosystems, supporting up to 40% of a beach’s invertebrates, which are a crucial food source for virtually all shorebirds. The wrack zone, as well, is where the detritus of global traffic ends up and takes on ambivalent forms, and represents a philosophically and aesthetically generative space.

With this in mind, the 2018 ALECC conference invites submissions that respond thoughtfully to the term “wrack,” be those submissions practical, creative, theoretical, scientific, or critical.